This article is by Dayton Author and Historian, Dennis Cassinelli, who can be contacted on his blog at denniscassinelli.com. All Dennis’ books sold through this publication will be at a discount plus $3.00 for each shipment for postage and packaging.
Probably one of the most unusual books I have written, is titled “Uncovering Archaeology.” This is a collection of stories about things of interest to me, such as archaeology, anthropology, artifacts, theology and various other off-the-wall topics. Since the subjects are of interest to me, I believe that you will find them interesting as well.
The book has been described as a critique on how archaeology has been performed, not only here in Nevada, but world-wide as well. Please understand, I am not being critical of individuals, but more about the system where these professionals must work.
In this book, I tell about finding Indian artifacts, buried coin dies, antique bottles and mammoth remains. There is a section in the book about looting of archaeological sites and illegal excavation, removal and display of human remains. Some of the stories are about senseless pranks that have been done and phony artifacts that have been planted for archaeologists to find. There are stories about illegal pot hunting and vandalism of archaeological sites.
I tell about professional archaeologists employed by the British Museum, who during the British colonial period, when the sun never set on the British empire, looted countless sites in Egypt, Greece, Assyria, Byzantium and Persia. In the 1840’s the British constructed the Crystal Palace in London’s Hyde park where they displayed hundreds of artifacts “rescued” from sites around their Empire. This was to create a one stop display of the Ancient World where “Civilized” people could enjoy them properly.
At the grand opening of the 1,664-foot long Crystal Palace in 1851, all the male parts of the Greek statues on display were removed so Queen Victoria would not be offended.
In the second half of Uncovering Archaeology, I tell about several trips I have made to explore the Maya Coast of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras. After returning from these trips, I carefully examined photographs I had taken and made some interesting interpretations of things I had seen. As you may know, I have always been interested in American Indians and the Mayans. I found the Mayans had developed a written language and had a calendar accurate even by modern standards.
At Copan in Honduras, I visited an ancient ball field that had stone statues of elephants around the perimeter. We have always been told that elephants did not exist in the Western Hemisphere. How then did the Mayans know how to carve statues of elephants? We do know that elephants were once hauled by ship across the Mediterranean Sea, to invade Rome from the north by crossing the Alps. Could they have also been hauled across the Atlantic and brought to Central America?
I have often wondered what happened to the fabled city of Atlantis. My theory is that a few thousand years ago, some ancient mariners, possibly Phoenicians, crossed the Atlantic Ocean and discovered Central America. They called the place Atlantis. Upon their return, it was several years later before anyone else tried to make the journey. A different group then set sail to re-discover Atlantis, but before they reached the shore, they gave up and returned. They then made up the story that Atlantis must have just sunk into the sea.
The book contains more stories such as the Book of Mormon telling of Jesus Christ coming to Central America to resume his teachings unhindered by the Romans or the Jews. If nothing else, Uncovering Archaeology will certainly stir your imagination.