Outside of scientific journals, archaeologists are depicted as searching for lost cities and mystical artifacts in news reports, television, video games, and movies like Indiana Jones or The Mummy. This fantastical image has little to do with day-to-day science, yet it is deeply connected to why people are fascinated by the ancient past. By exploring the development of archaeology, this book helps us understand what archaeology is and why it matters.
In Spooky Archaeology author Jeb J. Card follows a trail of clues left by adventurers and professional archaeologists that guides the reader through haunted museums, mysterious hieroglyphic inscriptions, fragments of a lost continent that never existed, and deep into an investigation of magic and murder. Card unveils how and why archaeology continues to mystify and why there is an ongoing fascination with exotic artifacts and eerie practices.
Jeb J. Card is an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Anthropology at Miami University. He is the coeditor of Lost City, Found Pyramid: Understanding Alternative Archaeologies and Pseudoscientific Practices.
"Spooky Archaeology excels in presenting many intriguing aspects and lesser-known details of the history of archaeology and archaeological interpretation."--Cornelius Holtorf, American Antiquity
"Spooky Archaeology is an important book, as public outreach in archaeology requires serious engagement with how the field is understood by non-specialists. By illustrating how archaeologists have been complicit (usually unwittingly) in reifying these problematic notions, Card convincingly explores how these approaches can undermine the discipline's attempts at engagement from non- or anti-colonialist perspectives."--Kevin McGeough, Reading Religion
"Spooky Archaeology is more than just a cabinet of curiosities. It also explains how those curiosities work culturally, and where they came from. In some ways it's a social history of archaeology."--Black Gate
"An exceptional achievement and a worthy addition to the discourse on the past and future of archaeology."--Jason Colavito, author of The Cult of Alien Gods: H. P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture
"This is a book to read and reread."--Fortean Times
"Spooky Archaeology is a comprehensive and timely discussion of pseudoarchaeology that deserves a wide and thoughtful readership. The research is comprehensive and impressively thorough, the closely argued narrative crammed with interesting biographical insights. This well-written and welcome study dwarfs anything written previously on the subject and is bound to become a definitive source for all archaeologists to read and think about."--Journal of Anthropological Research
"An excellent look at why we have romanticized this one science more than other fields of study. . . . It's an outstandingly interesting subject, which has been well thought out by Card, excellently researched and very well written. It's educational and entertaining. It takes the reader on an adventure full of professional archaeologists as well as shady characters, mysterious inscriptions, haunted museums, magical places, and continents that never were."--Bowling Green Daily News
"Card relates 'spooky' themes in archaeology not only to popular understandings of archaeology and pop-culture invocations such as the Mummy movies but to the discipline's history and practices and to its transition from more antiquarian and speculative interpretations to the modern, professionalized, science-oriented discipline of today."--Choice
"Card's fine book sees the relationships between the 'spooky' and the scientific in archaeology as not altogether antagonistic, which furthers our understanding of how people process their pasts and use them."--Larry J. Zimmerman, author of The Sacred Wisdom of the Native Americans
List of Illustrations
Chapter One. Time, Memory, and Myth: The Foundations of Spooky Archaeology
Chapter Two. Supernatural Relics
Chapter Three. Occulted Archaeologists
Chapter Four. Hieroglyphs, Magic, and Mummies
Chapter Five. Myth and Protohistory
Chapter Six. The Creation of a Lost Continent
Chapter Seven. Relic Hunters and Haunted Museums
Chapter Eight. Time Detectives and International Intrigue
Chapter Nine. Digging Up Witches and Murder
Chapter Ten. Cthulhu and Cosmic Mythology
Chapter Eleven. The Revenge of Alternative Archaeology