Deconstructing the Pseudoarchaeological Narrative


In order to deconstruct any of these theories about the Quimbaya people having connections with Atlantis and also there having been airplanes over 1,000 years ago based off of aerodynamic features of the zoomorphic pendants; we must look at several different principles.  The first being where these pseudoarchaeological claims are coming from.  Next we must look at who is making the claim and whether that person is a scholar or has the credentials to express a reliable opinion.  Next we look at whether other experts are consulted or whether these claims are interpreted in an unbiased way.  We should also consider the amount of information and factual evidence presented as well as the data presented.

The majority of pseudoarchaeological claims are made by individuals with little to no experience or academic expertise on the material they express opinions on.  Looking at three websites that I read supporting pseudoarcaeology related to the Quimbaya artifacts, they all fell short of this first principle.  Looking at the website Above Top Secret, which provides pseudoarchaeological information on theories about anything from Bigfoot to the Quimbaya artifacts.  This website has 309685 members, all of which are able to edit and provide information and their own opinions on these various articles.  None of the articles are scholarly journals, and the article written about Quimbaya only has the last name of the author available.  The same can be said about the Quimbaya gold artifacts article located on the Mystery pile website; this article has no author.  Lastly the Ancient Aliens website also fails to provide an author for their article on Quimbaya and even claims to use scientific methods that are unbiased in order to justify their ancient astronaut beliefs associated with the Quimbaya pendants.

Above Top Secret, Mystery pile, and Ancient Aliens all use biased words throughout their articles on the Quimbaya artifacts.  Looking at the Above Top Secret article first, you don’t have to read very far before you find two different examples of biased views and lack of evidence.  “The belief is that these golden amulets are representative of flying machines used by beings of this time and Nazca was a sort of ancient airport for their flying machines” (Above Top Secret).  According to the scholarly article Pre-Hispanic gold work technology. The Quimbaya Treasure, Colombia.  The author Perea, mentions nothing of this belief because there is no evidence to support this claim.  The Above Top Secret article then goes on to state that archaeology is mainstream, in an attempt to discredit this entire scientific study of thought.  All three pseudoarchaeological sites mention archaeology as being main stream.

Looking further, the Mystery Pile article claims that there is a connection between the Quimbaya artifacts based on the amount of copper in these treasures.  “The majority of gold pieces discovered are made with a tumbaga alloy with 30% copper, very similar to those accounts mentioned by Plato in his dialogues about the lost city of Atlantis” (Mystery Pile).  The following picture shows the levels of Copper in several of the Quimbaya artifacts according to Perea.  Artifacts range from having one percent of copper to as high as fifty percent copper, with no correlation between the amount of copper per item or the majority of the artifacts having thirty percent copper.

The main principle that needs to be considered is whether there is enough evidence and factual information, as well as data, in order to accept what is being said as the truth.  The articles by Bruhns, Perea, and Les Fields all provide several pages of data, information, and quoted facts from scholarly research and scholarly research papers.  Many references are also provided throughout each of these works and there are bibliography’s at the end of each article.  However when the articles from Ancient Aliens, Above Top Secret, and Mystery Pile are examined, there is little over a page of information with no bibliography or quoted scholarly papers.

The main argument from pseudoarcheology believers is that the zoomorphic pendants from the Quimbaya artifact collection are clear representations of flying machines.  They argue that these pendants do not represent insects, fish, or birds; which main stream archaeologists believe them to be.  Their main theory to support these claims is that the Quimbaya zoomorphic pendants are aerodynamic, proving that the Quimbaya culture understood the principles of flight.  Aerodynamics is basically the study of how objects move through the air.  It is likely that aerodynamics was understood by the Quimbaya people; however, that does not mean that they created airplanes or flying vehicles.  There is no evidence in the archaeological record of any machines that show the Quimbaya people were capable of or had built flying aircrafts.  Also many of these zoomorphic pendants were aerodynamic because they were depictions of aerodynamic animals, some of which could fly.  Birds, fish, and many insects are aerodynamic allowing them to fly through the air or swim efficiently through water.  These pendants are merely representations of aerodynamic creatures.