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Alternate Perceptions Magazine, Septmeber 2019

My Memory Misleads Me:
Acknowledging & correcting a blunder in Denisovan Origins

by: Dr. Greg Little

Issued Friday, September 13, 2019

The new book Denisovan Origins was a detailed, very meticulous effort for both Andrew Collins and me. In the first part of the book, Andrew Collins provided a highly detailed series of chapters tracing the movements of ancient peoples as they moved to various parts of the world.

Part 2 was mine, and I tried to pick up the story in the Americas. Andrew was not at all responsible for the fact checking in my portions. I was.

It was toward the end of a radio interview (recorded yesterday) that I was suddenly struck by something I said that was in the book, and I realized quickly that it wasn’t true. I had somehow transposed my memory of something I did and attributed what I had done to a couple archaeologists I was discussing with respect to that issue. I won’t provide any excuses for it, and all I’ll say is that what I wrote in a sentence in the book was simply wrong. I can’t provide an excuse or reason for this blunder, but my memory was certainly jumbled and my judgment about accepting my memory as factual was a serious mistake. In a 2014 book I wrote about that same issue correctly, and how it became jumbled in my memory by 2018 is curious but really irrelevant.

The error is on page 284 of Denisovan Origins, in the middle of the page. This section of my chapter describes our 2013 investigation at the Chickasawba Mound in Arkansas, and is probably the most recent story from archaeology of giant skeletons found in mounds. In the 2014 book “Path of Souls” I mentioned that 2 archaeologists had examined the remains from an excavation at the site where a 29-inch femur bone was recovered. To determine the probable height of the individual I did a calculation (from the femur’s length) using the accepted forensic formula. However, in Denisovan Origins I wrote that “the archaeologists” did the calculation. Of course, that isn’t true. I did the calculation. I’ve told both Andrew and the publisher, and will hopefully correct it in any future printings of the book. I’m just stunned by this error. So much, in fact, that I realize that it’s time to stop writing in that field. When one realizes that you can’t trust what you write, it’s time to bow out. I am really very sorry for this, probably more than anyone realizes.

Thursday, August 18, 2022