The landscape of the 19th century, Stephen Williams asserts, is dotted with fakes, frauds and humbugs who made fantastic claims of purported findings. This study has been designed to illuminate, debunk and instruct on the modes, methods, manners and manifestations of American archaeology over the past two centuries. The author begins with an introduction to the continent's real past. He presents such theories of the past as the quest for the first Americans, the transoceanic search for links to distant civilizations and the meaning of ancient writings. He profiles the archaeologists behind monstrous stone giants and mysterious messages from the past, from the frauds and eccentrics to the serious pioneers who delved truthfully and successfully into America's archaeological past.
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press