Skeleton People

The Onion recently ran an article on Skeleton People. I thought you all should know about it. Not only is it hilarious, but it also gets into one of the things Dad and I love the most about archaeologists: they make up lots of totally tangent, unknowable stuff, based on obscure little details. You’re always left wondering, “How in the world can they know that?!?” You know what I’m talking about.

DavidFunnies01/12/05 7 comments


Dad • 01/12/05 4:57 PM:

Good one, Dave. I laughed all the way to the bank.

Patrick • 01/12/05 5:20 PM:

I love how the number one Related Entry (over there on the right) is “The Dutch People,” one of the very first entries on Maddenation.

And, yes, David, this article is hilarious, and it pokes good fun at that archeological tendency to extrapolate wildly from a few shards of pottery.

David • 01/12/05 5:34 PM:

Dad, would you be so kind as to put in writing, here on Maddenation, one (or several) of your wildly crazy, yet deeply insightful, (made-up) archeologist quotes?

I love this part, “Imagine: At one time, this entire area was filled with spooky, bony, walking skeletons.”

Dad • 01/12/05 8:58 PM:

One I have used recently is that an archeologist (paleontologist?) can look at a 250 million-year-old footprint of a dinosaur and tell you what it had for breakfast.

Dad • 01/14/05 11:25 PM:

I think this qualifies as a “Man bites dog” story. Yesterday, I read that Chinese “villagers” found a fossil mammal who had eaten a dinosaur for his last meal. Yeah baby! Mammals rule.

David • 01/20/05 2:48 PM:

I just got this email from Scientific American. Kind of funny.

“Lacking direct communiques from ancient peoples, archaeologists turn to other clues—their structures, their artwork, their tools, even their very bones. Examining such relics, scientists attempt to fit the pieces into a comprehensive cultural picture. As fellow members of humanity, the ancient ones must have been very much like us in many ways. But the latest excavations are uncovering some surprising differences as well.

Consider the denizens of Aatalhoyuk, in central Turkey, 9,000 years ago. Oddly, they walked atop their city and entered their houses from above. They had no sidewalks, no front doors. Yet they had a remarkably modern knack for sharing tasks between the sexes. In Egypt circa 1500 B.C.E., even stonecutters had the chance to learn to read and write in a community that greatly valued literacy. Not all the civilizations’ tales end well, of course. In the face of local environmental decline, the prehistoric people of Malta developed a consuming obsession with death, which may have led to the culture’s demise.”

Dad • 01/25/05 12:51 PM:

With this comment, I believe I now completely dominate the “recent comments” section.

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