Pseudo-archaeology and self-correction in Curse of Oak Island fan communities

Significant online fan communities have developed around the most popular pseudo-archaeology television series, such as Ancient Aliens and Curse of Oak Island. Far from being uncritical of the claims made on those shows, these fan communities are spaces for radical speculation, but also for rapid self-correction. They are spaces in which professional archaeologists could participate…

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A generational change in how we address pseudo-archaeology

There was a time when well-behaved, responsible, professional archaeologists did not engage with pseudo-archaeology and its claims. For the few who did, “it is quite common for us to receive a negative response from our colleagues; We are often asked why we waste our energy thinking, researching, and writing about nonsensical claims” (Feder 1990:391). That…