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List of Fictional Xenoarchaeologists[edit]

I wonder if the list of fictional xenoarchaeologists is really necessary? 17:43, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Nothing is really necessary, not even this article, but it's at least useful for those interested in this stuff Pictureuploader 18:49, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
    • Yes, but I'm thinking that the list of works with xenoarchaeological themes would be a better source of information than a list of names of characters from those works Xenoarchaeology 03:27, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

I removed these two entries because the book isn't technically xenoarchaeological: it deals with human archaeology. Icehenge by Kim Stanley Robinson, Hjalmar Nederland (Icehenge). Xenoarchaeology 00:31, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Constructive criticism[edit]

An article that consists mostly of lists isn't that useful. I wish there was more "meat" to this article.

I did a search in Google scholar and I found this reference to an unpublished paper:

"V. Walsh, ‘Exoarchaeology’, unpublished paper presented at the ‘“When Worlds Collide”: Archaeology and Science Fiction’ session of the Theoretical Archaeology Group Annual Conference, 16–18 December 1997, Bournemouth University, England." -- 17:41, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
  • This paper has since been published, see references in the article Steve 22:00, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

On a normal Google search I found this essay in a British journal of archeology: [1] and a letter in response that mentions "Xenoarcheology" -- written back in 1996 [2]. Here is a neat article in another archeology journal: [3]. It would be cool to try and summarize the "established" point of view given by these scientific-like papers into the article and reference them. Currently this article does border on "original research" because it is not backed up by scientific papers (or references of any type at the moment.) -- 17:41, 7 May 2006 (UTC)


There are only 500 Google hits for xenoarchaeology and 350 for exoarchaeology. The most common term for this field is "extraterrestrial archaeology" (11,100 hits) -- although that may be in part because it is the name of a book and a few documentaries. This fact should probably be mentioned. Another term is "alien archaeology".

Hope this helps a little bit. -- 17:41, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

  • I plan to add more meat ... time permitting! Thanks for the references, I've put them in my bibliography of xenoarchaeological works. Regarding the name, a search for "extraterrestrial archaeology" which excludes the name of the author Childress cute the number of Google hits to 800-900. Xenoarchaeology 23:38, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm concerned that the definition might be a little too narrow. If xenoarchaeology is limited to study of "the physical remains of alien cultures", what would be the proper term for the study of the remains of human cultures that are found off the Earth? In the present/near future this would include both the investigation of certain technical mysteries (such as why the Soviet Mars 3 probe failed) and advocacy to establish and maintain World Heritage sites associated with important events (like the Apollo landing sites). I know that at least a couple of papers have been published dealing with the latter. Farther into the future, one can easily imagine archaeologists studying the remains of early human space colonies. JJefferson 06:38, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia policy doesn't permit new usage of an existing term. Your terminology is original. Only established termonology should be analyzed Pictureuploader 10:09, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Maybe for "xenoarchaeology", but a Google search on "exoarchaeology" brings up hits for both usages. So perhaps "exoarchaeology" could be it's own entry, rather than redirecting here? Or "space archaeology", which has no Wikipedia entry at all, and which, based on Google, seems to be the most common term for the non-fiction, non-crank uses of archaeology off Earth? JJefferson 17:30, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Then you have a point. Pictureuploader 04:26, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Vicky A. Walsh's paper 'The Case for Exo-Archaeology' defines "off-world or Exo-archaeology" as "the search for and analysis, interpretation and presentation of the artefacts and remains of intelligent life beyond the confines of the Earth... Exo-archaeology is unlimited in spatial scope as it includes the moon, the planets of our solar system, asteroids and all the space in between, and, more especially, beyond. Such study could certainly include the debris of our own somewhat limited exploration of the universe, and in the future it almost certainly will" (Walsh 2002, p. 121).

Note: exoarchaeology is thus the practice of archaeology in space, on either extraterrestrial or human sites. Xenoarchaeology, which focuses on alien life, is a specialisation within exoarchaeology, in the way that Egyptology is a specialised field of archaeology, focusing on Egyptian culture. Should the article be renamed "exoarchaeology" with "xenoarchaeology" a subsection? Or should an exoarchaeology article be created? Steve 22:00, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Space archaeology deals with Terran artifacts in space.

Paragraph added by IP editor[edit]

Recently, an IP has been repeatedly adding the following paragraph to the article:

Both Walsh and Fewer's suggestions attempt to introduce the use of the scientific principles to a future discipline of Xenoarchaeology and as such are responses to the current highly unscientific nature of this area of interest. Both statements should however be seen within the context of a purely hypothetical need for the study of alien artefacts or remains since even given a high propability of other life within the Universe (as suggested by some interpretations of the Drake Equation) the size of the universe would make the probability of humans finding remains very low especially within the first few hundred years of interstellar travel. In addition the current development of space exploration is still in its infancy compared to the level of technological development in interstellar travel needed for humans to reach beyond our own solar system and into an area where the presence of extant or extinct alien remains might be encountered, thus rendering the development of a field of archaeology to study such remains of little scientific value at this point in human development.

This paragraph doesn't adhere to WP:NPOV and the Wikipedia:Manual of Style, and to me it doesn't seem to add anything to the article. Third parties, please advise: should this be included? If so, it needs drastic revision. Michaelbusch (talk) 23:58, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree. The lead already explains that xenoarchaeology is a hypothetical science - we don't need a detailed (and "some interpretations of the Drake Equation" POV) attempt at explanation of why we haven't found any off-world alien dig sites yet. --McGeddon (talk) 10:23, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Other human species?[edit]

Could this subject extend to archeological studies of other human species, or is it exclusively extraterrestrial?

The term Xenoarchaeology could technically be applied to a parallel human offshoot, I suppose, but it would be a slightly asinine use currently. I could see it being the term of choice in some distant future involving the study of any human colonies that may go their seperate ways, but even that use is a bit questionable. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 17:21, 18 May 2008 (UTC)