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Old January 10th, 2013, 10:17 PM   #1
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”Modern” artifacts found at ancient site.


Let us say contemporary archaeologists, dig at a certain ancient (minimum some millennia) site, and there they find some items that are equivalent of “modern”. Let us say those finds are immediately made public. What will be the immediate reaction? What would be Your first thoughts?
I imagine items like what seems to be an ancient airplane of a type not known today but made by materials that in any other respect seems to be very old and probably from the same time as the rest. Other examples of items could be imagined.
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Old January 11th, 2013, 12:34 AM   #2
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This seemingly modern glass (in fact carved out from monolithic crystal of quartz) was excavated from warring state period tomb
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old January 12th, 2013, 06:05 AM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasus View Post
Let us say contemporary archaeologists, dig at a certain ancient (minimum some millennia) site, and there they find some items that are equivalent of “modern”. Let us say those finds are immediately made public. What will be the immediate reaction? What would be Your first thoughts?
I imagine items like what seems to be an ancient airplane of a type not known today but made by materials that in any other respect seems to be very old and probably from the same time as the rest. Other examples of items could be imagined.
My reaction would be tempered by the amount of information I was given about the discovery. 'Tell me more' would therefore be my first response.
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Old January 12th, 2013, 06:33 AM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasus View Post
Let us say contemporary archaeologists, dig at a certain ancient (minimum some millennia) site, and there they find some items that are equivalent of “modern”. Let us say those finds are immediately made public. What will be the immediate reaction? What would be Your first thoughts?
I imagine items like what seems to be an ancient airplane of a type not known today but made by materials that in any other respect seems to be very old and probably from the same time as the rest. Other examples of items could be imagined.

What archaeology does is write Terminus post quem date on the layer the modern object is found in on the Harris Matrix respective of the date of manufacture of the modern object....... So no problem, no controversy, no issue. The archaeological method has been around a long time, you don't think it has ways of handling these things?

Last edited by Toltec; January 12th, 2013 at 06:42 AM.
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Old January 12th, 2013, 11:28 AM   #5
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"Leave it to the experts"?


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What archaeology does is write Terminus post quem date on the layer the modern object is found in on the Harris Matrix respective of the date of manufacture of the modern object....... So no problem, no controversy, no issue. The archaeological method has been around a long time, you don't think it has ways of handling these things?
If You mean "leavie it to the experts" that is what "laymen" most often do. My intention was not to belittle archaeology, but to raise discussion about when to believe whatn is observed and when to question a bot harder. Since this is forum is about the speculative (and I think I can include archaeologyn in this context) I pose a "what if" question. Not that I normally accept strange alternative theories.
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Old January 12th, 2013, 11:59 AM   #6

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I didn't say "leave it to the experts".

I was just pointing out how the archaeological method would handle such a find.

Last edited by Toltec; January 12th, 2013 at 12:04 PM.
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Old January 12th, 2013, 12:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasus View Post
Let us say contemporary archaeologists, dig at a certain ancient (minimum some millennia) site, and there they find some items that are equivalent of “modern”. Let us say those finds are immediately made public. What will be the immediate reaction? What would be Your first thoughts?
I imagine items like what seems to be an ancient airplane of a type not known today but made by materials that in any other respect seems to be very old and probably from the same time as the rest. Other examples of items could be imagined.
First of all, no responsible archaeologist would release the finds immediately. But if they did, then the standard responses would be

1. It was a modern object that somehow contaminated the site.

I remember reading about how a modern ladies wrist watch was found in an ancient Chinese tomb. No question about it being modern, unless the ancient Chinese were already forging "made in Switzerland" even back then.

2. It was a hoax, a prank, that someone pulled off.

I remember reading about how the students of one professor (19th century) buried "evidence" of Noah's flood where they knew he would find it. The prof was a big believer in the Flood, and his students wanted to play a joke on him..Unfortunately, the prof took it seriously, published papers.

3. Some would say "We Knew it! See, there were ancient astronauts, and here is the proof!"

4. The rest would yawn, say that's interesting, and then look to see how their favorite football team was doing.
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Old January 12th, 2013, 01:18 PM   #8

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Old January 12th, 2013, 02:21 PM   #9
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Here is the article on the Swiss watch found in a 400 year old Chinese tomb

Swiss Watch Found in 400-Year Old Chinese Tomb

And it was professor Johann Beringer of Wurzburg University who was the butt of the fake fossil joke.

Last edited by Bart Dale; January 12th, 2013 at 02:50 PM.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 03:53 AM   #10
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I imagined something different


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Here is the article on the Swiss watch found in a 400 year old Chinese tomb

Swiss Watch Found in 400-Year Old Chinese Tomb

And it was professor Johann Beringer of Wurzburg University who was the butt of the fake fossil joke.
If the imagined discovery is so easy to put in the "forgery" cathegory it is a bit different from what I mentioned in the OP("an unknown type"). There would of course not be any indication of "Made in..(country X)" or any of any specific company - not any modern one at least. What counts as an "airplane" is not determined by any very specific design, but by "functionality". Some humans probably always imagined flying "like birds", so it is not the very idea that were invented in the 20.th. century, but the ways to do it. What I am interested in is not so much the very question about wether any finding is a forgery or "real", but how to find out - I am open regarding the first question. In short I imagine a sort of "dilemma":Either rejecting what was imagined as evident or rejecting what appears to be "real" - a forgery of highest quality.
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