Do You Believe?

In Pseudoarchaeoloy and Elongated Skulls, the author tells of how some people have looked at the elongated skulls of ancient people and draw certain conclusions. What the author focuses on is how when reading people’s findings the reader has to be looking for the physical evidence that is provided, and if there isn’t enough how the reader should be skeptical.

This article brought about two different trains of thought for me. The first is how this connects to how one would read an ethnography. Since an ethnography is based upon the author’s experience in a certain situation, or within a certain context there should be plenty of physical evidence that backs up the author’s claims. If there isn’t, or the author is too vague there should be some reluctance on the part of the reader. This course of action however, should be taken when not only reading ethnographies but also all works that are based n evidence.

The second pathway that my thoughts went down was that of cultures in which elongating infants head was the norm. If we were to see something like that occurring in the United States there would be outrage and calls for action to be made against those that had done that to infants. It’s interesting however, to see a culture in which that was the norm, so there should be no criticism on the part of the anthropologist. Based on the reaction of the person that the author writes about it seems as though they were unable to believe that this was something done by the population and was instead a genetic mutation. What that person isn’t considering is that in the United States that is a practice on infant that don’t have a perfectly shaped head in order to made it more circular. This brings another set of questions to that person’s claims. What comes from my reading is that there should be the appropriate skepticism on the part of the reader.