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Xenoarchaeology imagined: Lovecraft vs. von Däniken

25 Jan 2012, 22:04 UTC
Xenoarchaeology imagined: Lovecraft vs. von Däniken
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Clashing Pioneers of Xenoarchaeological Thought The idea of alien archaeology, or more appropriately, “Xenoarchaeology,” is a mainstay of current science-fiction. Hopefully, it may soon graduate to the realm of science-fact. In this light, it is fruitful to consider a couple of prime examples of cultural influences and to discuss which amongst them leans more toward fiction or [...]

Human explorers discover an alien vista over an extraterrestrial-designed pyramid in the movie "Stargate." (Credit: MGM)
Clashing Pioneers of Xenoarchaeological Thought
The idea of alien archaeology, or more appropriately, “Xenoarchaeology,” is a mainstay of current science-fiction. Hopefully, it may soon graduate to the realm of science-fact. In this light, it is fruitful to consider a couple of prime examples of cultural influences and to discuss which amongst them leans more toward fiction or fact.
For many, the idea of xenoarchaeology practiced here on Earth is best exemplified by the works of Erich von Däniken, who in the 1960s and 1970s popularized the idea that many ancient human beliefs, artifacts, technology, and structures could be attributed to the influence of extraterrestrials in the distant or even prehistoric past, (known generally as the “ancient astronaut” hypothesis.)
His landmark non-fiction work, ”Chariots of the ...

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