OPINION PIECE: Why do archaeologists hate fun?


And historians, and scholars in general. Why do they all hate fun? Or perhaps, more accurately, why do they lack imagination? Why do we dig our heels in and insist that anything that challenges our views couldn't possibly exist? And if an academic is open to a non-mainstream thought, they're immediately black-balled by the academic community. I think more than many other disciplines, archaeology and history are inundated with amateurs who wish to partake in the field without the "proper educational background." But this lack of an educational background actually creates a much more open-minded interpretation of the evidence. 

The Maine Penny - Hoax or Real?  Photo courtesy of Maine State Museum.

The Maine Penny - Hoax or Real? Photo courtesy of Maine State Museum.

Or it makes them gullible enough to believe hoaxes. But even the most educated minds have been fooled before. 

I remember a paleontology professor - a man with a doctorate and one of the smartest people I've ever known - saying there was IMPOSSIBLE for anything other than carbon-based life to exist. He gave his very well-thought-out evidence for this assertion. But haven't we discovered life we insisted couldn't be possible before? Why do scholars keep shutting down a universe that has proven to be full of infinite possibilities?

The world went insane when it was discovered that Columbus wasn't the first European to step foot on the American continent - it was the Vikings, nearly 500 years prior. "There must have been a mistake!" But, no, we are still discovering more Viking sites in North America

This is not to say that aliens built the pyramids. This is not to say that scholars are uptight. I'm an archaeologist myself. And always be skeptical. Certainly, question. And question again. And again. Never stop questioning. But denying possibilities could be denying real evidence that revolutionizes our knowledge of the world we live in.