A Conspiracy of Silence: Are We Older Than We Think We Are?

A Conspiracy of Silence: Are We Older Than We Think We Are?

Generally speaking, when archaeologists find something it's because they are deliberately looking for it. There are exceptions, of course, when someone in the field metaphorically trips over something unexpected in the dark, accidentally discovering a Göbekli Tepe or a Denisovan bone. Then the tendency is to label such a find an anomaly—a one-time accident that doesn't fit within accepted parameters.

Map of gene flow in and out of Beringia (CC BY-SA 2.5)

Map of gene flow in and out of Beringia (CC BY-SA 2.5)

When something new turns up that threatens to completely upset the proverbial tried-and-true apple cart, the following argument often ensues: "Where's the evidence? I don't want to see one example. I want many examples!" "Then give me some grant money to go out and find more!" "That would be a waste of money without more evidence!"


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