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Archaeotrek—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, April 2015

The Most Mind-Numbing, Stinking Pile of Archaeocrap Ever Spewed: Ancient Europeans and the People in the Middle East Did Not Build Mounds or Earthworks!

by: Dr. Greg Little

For centuries, there have been theories about America’s “Mysterious Mound Builders.” “Who were they, how did they get here, were they Hebrew, were they Celts, could they possibly have been Native American?” The answers to these questions were recently answered on episode number 4 of “Archyfantasies,” a podcast on the “The Archaeology Podcast Network.” After relating the questions above, co-host Sara says, “We’re gonna look at the evidence and discuss the facts.”

Good, fair enough. Sara, who I believe to be archaeologist Sara Head, has also apparently gone by the name Sara H, Serra Head, and Serra Zander in various blogs and audios, serves as the primary host. On this particular 72-minute audio, archaeologist Ken Feder served as the guest. Feder is archaeology’s main media guy, their point man in attacking the pseudoscience that archaeology seems to believe is rotting the minds of Americans by touting “facts” that aren’t facts. So, as Sara or Serra related, “get ready to think critically.” Okay then, let’s think critically.

The main point of the show is that the ancestors of Native American tribes built the mounds and that all other theories about Vikings, Europeans, and Hebrews being involved are completely myth. As Ken Feder relates at 2:50 into the show, “It’s the myth that keeps on giving.”

Side note: There really is no doubt that the ancestors of Native Americans were the Mound Builders. I know that some will disagree with that, but the actual evidence of this is overwhelming. In several books and countless articles I have personally affirmed that assertion is true. (Contrary to the information cited on this show, I believe the strongest evidence is genetics research.) However, I can’t assert that there were never any intrusions into ancient America by outsiders. In fact, I think that there is genuine evidence that such intrusions did happen. How much these intruders might have influenced the people already in the Americas, I don’t know. Rather than overt racism, which is usually asserted as the motive for believing the “Mound Builder Myth,” it’s likely that the genuine evidence of intruders into America drives what archaeologists call the “myth.” However, the facts and reasoning cited in this podcast I simply find astonishing.

Of course the show begins by telling how the myths of the mound builders were begun by the early explorers and settlers who would not attribute the mound building cultures to the indigenous tribes. Later in the show, this myth, and the people who assert it, is generally described as racist. Sara says that, “it’s aggravating that modern people want to believe that the mounds were built by white Europeans who had come across way before contact” (4:30). I’m sure that some people want to believe that, but I don’t know anyone who does. But how do they dispel this myth?

Feder accurately relates that inhabited mound complexes and mound construction was witnessed by De Soto and others in the 1500s when they encountered the indigenous tribes. At the 12:00 point Feder relates that, because of all the fake “Hebrew” scripts from mounds, some people reason that “Jews came to the New World 2000-years ago and built these mounds.” Then he states, “never mind that they weren’t doing it [building mounds and earthworks] in the Old World, but as soon as they got to Ohio they said, ‘you know what, let’s build some earthworks.’” Sara then states, “all of these cultures being attributed to do with mound building, it’s like, ‘but they don’t do that.’ They don’t do that in Europe, why would they come to America and start doing that here?” Feder replies, “It doesn’t make a lick of sense, does it?” “No,” says Sara. “Absolutely not,” Feder responds.

So there is the starting logic. It can be easily summarized in two sentences. The ancient people of the Middle East (Jews/Hebrews) and ancient Europeans didn’t build mounds or earthworks. Therefore, it’s illogical to conclude they would have started building mounds and earthworks if they migrated to America. And this “logical” assertion has to rank at the top of the most mind-numbing, stinking pile of archaeocrap ever spewed by anyone, ever.

The Middle East, does of course, have a lot of ancient mounds. Bahrain, in the Persian Gulf, once had 76,000 burial mounds, which dated to 2050 B.C. These were conical burial mounds, many of which had stone tombs that are so similar to many American burial mounds that they could be called identical. Many of them (tens of thousands) still exist. Ancient Israel, called the Levant region, had many burial mounds as well as large dwelling mounds. The Semitic people also erected circular camps from earthen embankments. Turkey, Greece, and virtually every Asian country had ancient burial mounds. Every European country has burial mounds from the same ancient time period. The UK is dotted with mounds and earthworks, many of which are built and laid out in identical sizes and shapes to American mound sites. In Scandinavia, all of the countries have ancient mounds, both conical burial mounds and truncated pyramid mounds. The Netherlands has 3,000 mounds remaining today. Norway has several thousand mounds. Denmark has over 20,000 mounds that remain preserved today. Sweden has about 3,000 mounds. A few years ago my wife and I spent 2 weeks in Sweden visiting mound sites. The truncated pyramid mounds were astonishing and identical to American mounds. At one site in Sweden we saw a series of large horseshoe-shaped earthworks at a mound complex. These were virtually identical to various horseshoe-shaped earthworks I have visited in Ohio and elsewhere. I could continue with these facts that refute Feder and Sara’s assertions and go into much more detail, but that’s pointless. All of these facts are easy to find. The counterpoint to this false argument cited by Feder and Head is simple. All of those ancient people did build mounds: Lots of them. Mound and earthwork construction was seen virtually everywhere in the ancient world and was being done elsewhere at the same time it was taking place in America. That is ONE MAJOR REASON that the early settlers in America thought that people from those places might have built the American mounds. These early settlers saw mounds in America that were very similar to the mounds of their homelands. It may have been more the pride in one’s heritage that led them to conclude that Native Americans didn’t build the mounds. But in Smithsonian reports and many books and articles from that time case after case is cited where Native Americans told the settlers that they didn’t know who built the mounds. Few of the early settlers knew that the tribes had been decimated by disease to the extent that the native culture had what archaeologist Charles Hudson called a “virtual amnesia” —their past history had been largely forgotten after 90% of the population died from disease and warfare.

For mainstream American archaeologists to assert that the ancient people in Europe and the people from the ‘land of the Jews’ didn’t build mounds is simply mind-boggling. How can anyone believe American archaeologists when their premier spokespeople spout such utter claptrap? Feder is right about one thing, it is “the myth that keeps on giving.”

I didn’t want to do this. I didn’t want to write any of this. I generally like Ken Feder and have had an interaction with him in the past that showed me he wanted to be accurate in his skepticism. But this was way over the top. I find it hard to understand how they could get so worked up to make such a massive blunder. In a response on their website, Sara wrote that their claims had to be taken in context. Okay, what I wrote above is in a completely accurate and full context. They said those ridiculous things. I suspect their students are told the same things. If you can listen to their entire show and if you have the ability to listen to both what they say and how they say it, you are likely to come to some rather disheartening conclusions. It is sad that mainstream archaeology has come to this. But they won’t be criticized by any other academic archaeologists.

Listen to their show: Here

Wednesday, May 31, 2023