Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries

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Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology (1990) is a book by Kenneth L. Feder on the topic of pseudoarcheology. Feder is a professor of archaeology at Central Connecticut State University.

Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries takes a skeptical look at outrageous claims in the field of archaeology. It is in the tradition of Martin Gardner's Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science and Charles Mackay's Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. It is required reading in some archaeology courses.[citation needed] Bettina Arnold, a professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, writes that this book "has influenced thousands of undergraduates in introductory courses across the country (and presumably overseas as well), a significant contribution to the everlasting struggle to maintain some control over how professional archaeology is perceived by the general public."[1]

Editions in print[edit]

The book was originally published in 1990 (ISBN 0874849713, Mayfield Pub., 1990). A second edition (ISBN 1-55934-523-3, Mayfield Pub., 1996) added several topics that had gained attention in the media since the first edition, such as Chauvet Cave and Ötzi the Iceman, and included a greater number of illustrations.[2] As of 2017, it is in its ninth edition (ISBN 9780190629656, 2017, Oxford University Press).


  1. ^ Arnold, Bettina (2005), "Teaching with intent: The archaeology of gender", Archaeologies, 1 (2): 83–93, doi:10.1007/s11759-005-0023-5 .
  2. ^ Pate, F. Donald (1997), "Book review: Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology (Second Edition) by Kenneth L. Feder", Australian Archaeology, 45: 68–69 .

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