The importance of learning from local people and respecting the original inhabitants of ‘newly’ discovered archaeological sites is covered concisely in this article. Please read.
Every few years, a new group of explorers ‘discover’ a fabulous archaeological site in the Honduran rain forest. It is lauded in the press as a huge discovery, perhaps the mythical lost city in the Honduran rain forest, maybe even a lost civilization.
The problem is that it isn’t a lost civilization, or even a mythical lost city. I know, because I’ve been studying that area for years. Other archaeologists worked there before me. People live nearby and travel through there all the time.
So there is always a lot of hype and sensationalism, and most scholars are disgusted. They write letters complaining about it all. The original team looks silly, like children playing out a movie fantasy. The scholars who complained look humorless, and maybe jealous that they didn’t get to play jungle explorer. And if that’s all it was, it wouldn’t matter much, perhaps. Nobody else would care.
But this kind of careless sensationalism has…
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