If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened --- that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death. "Who controls the past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past." --- George Orwell (1903-1950), British novelist. Nineteen Eighty-Four, Part 1, sect. 3 (1948).
why GA status is undeserved, for now
(duplicated in archaeoastronomy Talk as subsection 12.2)
I believe it is appropriate to make a case against restoration of Good Article status, so long as several issues persist with no resolution in sight. No tolerance has been shown for inclusion of minority opinion or for contributions made in the interest of neutralizing the article's point of view. WP:EQ#A_few_things_to_bear_in_mind
In my reading of the article as it is now constituted, exposition is often choppy and erudite, detrimental to ease of comprehension. Sentences strung together can often appear as non sequiturs --- clarity of the narrative subordinated to footnote count --- leaving gaps and nagging questions unanswered in many readers' minds.
All reference to a profound debate that gripped all of British society, science and academia across three decades in the last half of the 19th century, changed astronomy and spun off enlightened and diversified fields such as archaeoastronomy has been thrice excised from the article's History section. The reason given for deletion is that the sourced reference only discusses pyramid metrology and is, thus, unrelated. But in whose opinion? Sanitizing the past by ignoring certain foundational influences, is seen as expedient in that it gilds the science's nobility. In the same way chemistry shuns its dark legacy of alchemy, British astronomy's near obsession with the Great Pyramid from Oxford University astronomy professor John Greaves through prolific author and international astronomy lecturer Richard Anthony Proctor certainly can be ignored; but should it be in an impartial, historical account? Superficial acknowledgements of Charles Piazzi Smyth and Proctor later conceded in the History section completely gloss over the reformation --- if not renaissance --- in that
...Great Pyramid metrology worked its way into the pages of mainstream periodicals, was debated in scientific and religious journals, caused conflict and controversy in British learned societies, inspired the founding of an institute and journal in the United States, attracted the attention of some of the most respected men of the age...
according to The battle of the standards: great pyramid metrology and British identity, 1859-1890, the secondary source written by University of South Carolina historian Eric M. Reisenauer citing many other relevant primary sources. I have repeatedly fought the stubborn reasoning for deletion, i.e. Metrology is not archaeoastronomy, by pointing out the broader discussion, but to no avail. The reasoning persists. WP:IDHT is a disruptive pattern of behavior. Likewise, topical quotations by University of Calgary professor emeritus of archaeology David H. Kelley have been systematically banned as contrary to the establishment's prevailing POV. The first attempted introduction was to offset an attack on Barry Fell in the Fringe Archaeoastronomy section authored by Steve McCluskey. After twice purging Kelley McCluskey agreed to drop the Fell criticism, "OK, since I don't really care about the Barry Fell issue here, I've removed all references to the linguistic claims and focused solely on the archaeoastronomical interpretation of the WV site." But his collaborator restored the offending material and even racheted up the vitriol when he wiped clean a rewritten balance of Fringe including a different quote by Kelley. The rewrite provided a more comprehensive perspective on the Ogham-archaeoastronomy-in-America claims than merely dwelling on the multiple failures of the WV site. Kelley emphasized archaeology's natural inadequacies in dealing with intangibles:
The problem is in the fact that there are influences, but they don't show up in 'dirt archaeology.' Basically, they show up in ideological materials: mythology, astronomy, calendrics. These are precisely the areas which are hardest to deal with archaeologically. And so they don't get much attention from traditional archaeologists.
When the WP article authors purge all traces of Kelley and every uncomplimentary mainstream news media report about archaeology's myopia w/r/t diffusionism, then the article's neutrality is being sacrificed to preserve an institution's unblemished reputation. WP:NPOV. And when such a blindspot colors the evaluation for claims for either non-indigenous archaeology (the Solutrean hypothesis) or non-indigenous archaeoastronomy (CO/OK sites), then science fails the public trust.
My early January rewrites of the article's introduction and History sections preserved all references and retained a good proportion of the expository points made in those sections prior to January 5. The reversion on March 16 preserved none of mine. I vetted my proposed changes online before instituting them, but no such reciprocity was extended prior to the Ides of March wholesale revisions by two collaborative authors, exclusive of any other. Additions continue to be made absent of advance vetting or discussion. Invariably, whatever I've proposed has been shot down in discussion, subject to unreasonably extreme standards for compliance, freshly invented challenges, and ultimately, deletion, purges and excisions.
WP:OWN#Multiple_editors exactly captures the essence of the battle to get a word in edgewise in a possessive climate. I have appealed to dispute resolution in the RfC, editor assistance and request for mediation. My recent attempt to include a coherent stand-alone essay was bounced as non-encyclopedic, however it made a perfectly logical case for why a professional astronomer can be a better judge than archaeology in exceptional cases. Maybe yet another rewrite will comply. I suppose the issue is how does one turn the mirror of criticism on an academic institution in Wikipedia, when the popular media already recognizes the problem? Is archaeology a sacred cow immune to questions about its invincibility? When is the exception of breaking the rules permissible to make an article better or to overcome a hostile climate facing an editor prone to tilt at windmills?
Archaeoastronomy easy ref log
fringe balance 3 online since 15:23 March 31, following 3 deletions by Alun and 3 restores by me. First version posted online at 23:11 March 30
fringe balance 2b everything in section after footnote 108 was erased by Alun Salt at 20:27 March 24 with synopsis rv and deletion of pre-Clovis material from Fringe Archaeoastronomy as it's not Archaeoastronomy. See talk on Precursors and Fringe Archaeoastronomy
fringe balance 2a everything in section after footnote 106 new by Scott Monahan at 21:59 March 22 with synopsis add perspective and balance, what is fringe vs. mainstream, Smithsonian archaeologist Stanford on how brethren can chill novel investigations, TIME Magazine on straightjacket of archaeological dogma, first sentence reworked by Steve McCluskey within half and hour as alternate definition to include pseudoarchaeology, peer review and journals as internal WP topical links
fringe balance 1 everything in section after paragraph ending in the word claims was erased by Steve McCluskey at 20:11 on March 21 with synopsis rv off topic discussion then edit skirmish ending at 20:49 with Steve McCluskey synopsis OK, Fell is out
Reisenauer included in history as it appeared at 20:20 March 24 with minor repairs, first added by Scott Monahan at 18:12 March 23 with synopsis contextual clarification Reisenauer's account of the Egyptian metrology debate which influenced UK astronomers to write about the Great Pyramid years before Lockyer, otherwise cited as UK's first a.a.
new lead w/ pic of Great Pyramid in History sect as it appeared at 1:35 April 10
summarized Politics of Archaeoastronomy as it appeared at 1:01 on April 13