Alternate Perceptions Magazine, September 2022
Louisiana State University’s Archaic Mounds Redated to 11,700 Years Ago
Is This a Game Changer? Skeptics Say “No.”
by: Dr. Greg Little
The two Archaic mounds located on the main campus of LSU in Baton Rouge, have been controversial for many reasons. In the 1980s the mounds were driven over by students, often badly eroded, and in one serious event, a student was struck and killed when a vehicle careened over one of the mounds. The university eventually erected a fence and barrier around them. The new controversy revolves around the construction dates of these mounds. Until recently, the oldest mound in the US was the destroyed Archaic Era mound known as Monte Sano (5200-5300 BCE), but that date has never been completely accepted or rejected.
In the June 2022 issue of the “American Journal of Science” a peer-reviewed article was published entitled, “The LSU campus mounds, with construction beginning at 11,700 BP, are the oldest known extant man-made structures in the Americas.” There were 8 authors of the paper, mostly geoscientists, who took core samples of the mounds and generated 31 carbon 14 dates. They found that the mounds were first formed around 9,750 BCE. The mounds were abandoned for a couple thousand years after that date, and then reused and enlarged. For many decades mainstream archaeology asserted as fact that mound building in America began in the northeast and Ohio around 3000 BCE and gradually spread south. Over time, most archaeologists accepted that some “intrusion” into the south occurred a bit earlier, leading to the southeastern Archaic Culture around 4000 BCE. So yes, if the new dating of this site is correct, it would be profound.
As soon as the article was published, a Facebook group of archaeology skeptics, called the Fraudulent Archaeology Wall of Shame, posted the new claim and the ire of skeptics emerged quickly. One of their main focuses was on the lead author of the study, Brooks Elwood, PhD, Emeritus Professor of the LSU Department of Geology and Geophysics. The gist of the arguments was that Elwood was a geologist, not an archaeologist, so in essence, he has no legitimate qualifications to assess an archaeological site. A secondary argument, posted several times, was that until a peer-reviewed article appeared, archaeologists would not take it seriously. Of course, it was published in a peer-reviewed article. Another archaeologist wrote: “I’m not sure carbon dating would be enough to be compelling when it so far predates the other evidence for the beginning of mound building.” Another commented, “Bet he’s read Graham Hancock.”
Since the 1970s (yes, for 50 years) I have observed the field of archaeology and been involved in it, essentially writing popular articles and books on archaeology topics for the public. I came to see archaeology as a field that uses scientific methods, but not really a field that could be called science. At its core, American archaeology is more of a cult. I mean this in this sense: Once mainstream archaeology settles on a set of beliefs, it goes to great lengths to defend those beliefs. It will belittle and denigrate those who propose new ideas, literally destroy their own members who publish data that goes against their cherished beliefs, and go to great lengths to squash any and all who question their authority. I have also uncovered a long list of outright lies perpetrated by archaeologists to denigrate and destroy contrary arguments. In brief, it is a cult pretending to be a science.
So, are these mounds some 11,700 years old? Maybe. I think that a lot more has to be done, and it could be done, because LSU has a strong archaeology department. Was it afraid to be involved because of the “cult-like” atmosphere of archaeology? Can it examine the results?
In our 2019 book, “Denisovan Origins,” Andrew Collins and I showed that the first-known mound in the Americas was in South America (Amazon basin in Bolivia), dating to about 10,400 years ago. It is likely that there are many others in the same area that could well be a bit older. Everything has pointed to the mound culture starting in the south and moving north. One important point in this dating is seldom addressed, and it is hinted at in the comment on the skeptics’ Facebook page relating that the article’s authors must have read Graham Hancock. Anything dating to that 10,000 BCE date tends to bring to mind Atlantis, and if you truly have kept up with archaeology research, they despise anything that can remotely align with Plato’s date of Atlantis.