Sasquatch is real

Sasquatch is probably its most recognizable name. In parts of Southeast Asia, it is Orang Pendek. In parts of the US, people call it Bigfoot. In Central Asia it is Almas or Yeti. Whatever its local name, it is like us in many ways, but unlike us in other ways that are both specific and…

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Untermassfeld reflections part 3 : The damage that false positives do

When I posted part 1 of my discussion of Untermassfeld, @Iza_Romanowska pointed out that “false positives are infinitely more damaging than false negatives and this should be our guiding principle”. I agree. Archaeologists learn mainly by finding what we don’t expect to find, and even more by finding what we expect not to find. That…

The real lesson from Untermassfeld, Pedra Furada, and the Cerutti Mastodon is that the peer reviewed journal has become counter-productive.

My recent discussion of Utermassfeld and Pedra Furada focused on criteria for accepting assemblages as archaeological, but both episodes, as well as that of the Cerutti Mastodon claim, have implications for the traditional peer reviewed journal system that are worth discussing. All three present very surprising and ultimately poorly supported claims. All three claims were…

What’s good for the American Pleistocene is good for the European Lower Paleolithic: Untermassfeld, Santa Elina, Pedra Furada, and Monte Verde

In their spirited defense of Pedra Furada as an archaeological site, Boëda et al (2014a, 2014b), argue that an archaeology developed for the curated assemblages and formal features of the European Paleolithic is not equipped to recognize a New World Pleistocene of expedient cobble industries and low density occupations. As I’ve previously discussed for Santa…