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Archaeology/Separating Truth from Fiction

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Question
Hi,

I live in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I have read books like archaeology for dummies, anthropology for dummies. Other than that I dont hold a degree in archaeology neither do I know much about it.


What is the academic discipline of finding truth from fiction like mythology called?

In Bangladesh, like in any other country, there are numerous folktales, myths, legends that have been written down or passed down orally.
If I wanted to analyse these myths and try to separate the truth from fiction. Where should I start? Or what books should I read for guidelines?

What I had in mind was to make a short film for university based on the a few popular myths. Analysing those myths and separating the facts from fiction in the film.

Answer
HI Brown,

You have set your self an extrodinarily hard task.  Archaeology is the right dicipline but the interpretation of the information from the ground and equating it to the written word is difficult at best and nearly impossible in reality.  Even in a place like the middle east when researching the Bible, trying to find evidence of Jesus Christ has proven extreemly tenuous.  And that is only 2000 years old.  Many of the myths of your part of the world go back several thousands of years and have been "embelished" over time.  

So, first you must ask your self, why do I want to discover the factual aspect of these myths and legends.  Secondly, how will this impact or will it impact others in a negative way and if so, is this ok and socially acceptable?

Thirdly, why on film?  

So, these are the challenges.  

I go back to the stories from the Old Testimen of the Jewish people.  These are stories that were also oral and then written down.  Some have shown to be probably factual but others have little to no evidence but this does not mean that they arn't based in fact.  The nature of the oral tradition and those that have been written down is trying to remain true to the original story.  It is the story that conveys the important informaiton not necessairiy the "facts".  

Archaeology

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Ralph Salier

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Archaeologist for the last 30 years. Norh American generalist and Hopwell culture/Red Ocher culture specifically. Lithics Expert and Ground Stone tools.

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Numerous museums in US and Canada. Several University Anthropology Departments.

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