The Postclassic, The Postmodern, and the Problem of Alternative Facts

Author(s): Anne Pyburn

Year: 2018


Contemporary trends in mass media communication indicate serious confusion in the public consciousness about the nature of science and the status of evidential reasoning. Archaeologists, in an effort to make esoteric research programs interesting to the public have contributed to this problem by providing over-simplified stories and "lessons from the past" based on sketchy evidence and mystified analysis. We have allowed public intellectuals from other disciplines to speak for us, and we have failed to address the dangerous gap between what we were saying about the past from what the public was learning about the past. But the past has important implications for the future of archaeology as a discipline, especially if we continue to oversimplify what we know about the ramifications of sociopolitical change for the future of the planet.

Cite this Record

The Postclassic, The Postmodern, and the Problem of Alternative Facts. Anne Pyburn. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445073)

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Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20361