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Archaeology/Megalithic structures & elongated skulls


Hi Ralph,

I'm just curious as to why there's this tendency for archaeologists to avoid doing fieldwork pertaining to certain sites around the world. I'm talking about places such as Paracas, where hundreds of remains of elongated skulled people were found ( ), as well as Yonaguni and Siberia ( ), where ancient megalithic structures of eye-popping proportions have been discovered. I mean, if I were an archaeologist (and believe me, I was at some point seriously considering heading in that direction), I would have been more than willing to study these places of curiosity even if the funding would not have been enough. Unfortunately as it stands though, the only information that I'm getting about these sites are from alternate science websites or non-professionals in the field like Brien Foerster. Are there certain restrictions that are keeping archaeologists away?  


Hi Ron,

Sorry it took me a while to respond, out in the field.   

Why is it that we avoid doing field work in some areas.  There is a whole host of reasons.  

1) the local/national government may prohibit any exploration at the current time.
2) it may never be open to exploration due to the site being in a "national park zone"
3) The site may have been "ravaged by "pot hunters" and is so messed up that it doesn't make any sense to try (Paracas is such a site)
4) some sites as in Siberia are extremely difficult to a) get to, b) bring in enough personnel, equipment and lab space, c) conditions are harsh, even in the summer excavation season d) permafrost issues
5) Some sites are not really of great significance but have been "blown out of proportion" by the "ancient astronaut theorists".  These folks are not archaeologists of standing and are not funded or supported by real organizations.

I work with a number of amateur archaeologists who regularly go out and hunt for arrow heads.  I have educated them on proper procedures and mapping methodologies.  I have taught them the critical nature of what can be found in a site and have brought them to an understanding of the importance of leaving a site alone (not to pot hunt and dig holes).  They now understand that an archaeologist excavates a site only once it is fully understood and then practices the utmost care in the excavation of the site in order to capture the environmental, geological and cultural materials in the site.  This includes pollen, microphytoliths, malacological materials, osteological materials, lithic materials, ceramic materials etc... some of which are microscopic in size and very delicate.  All of these materials provides a more complete picture of what occurred at this site over thousands or hundreds of years.  A pot hunter destroys the context of these materials and thus the picture of the site.  Its like taking a big drill to a book and drilling holes into the book.  Makes the book very hard to read.

I hope this helps you to understand why some sites are not excavated and the importance of not disturbing sites due to curiosity.  And what curiosity has done to some sites.

If you are interested in doing it right, get a degree in archaeology.  Barring that, join a local chapter of the American Archaeological Society.  They often run field schools for serious amateurs run by professionals.  Some times professionals that are excavating may seek additional volunteers above and beyond the students they are using.  


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Ralph Salier


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


Past/Present clients
Numerous museums in US and Canada. Several University Anthropology Departments.

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