So what the heck is “Punk Archaeology” anyway?
Before the panties of the collective academic world begin to bunch over the aforementioned, allow me to clarify. Neither Rob nor myself hold a formal degree in archaeology or anthropology, and we’re not at all suggesting that it’s a good idea for anyone to go postal on the environment with a shovel. The only digging we’re suggesting is digging for truth.
As for the “punk” end of things we’re just a couple old dudes who dug the punk rock aesthetic of the late 70s and early 80s and the Do It Yourself (DIY) aspect that seems to be enjoying a (welcome) renaissance lately among millennials. Both Rob and I worked in the music industry and share a continuing affection for independent music and art. Rob was a performing musician in several bands and was working as a rock photographer when he met me trying to earn my keep as a music columnist. Unfortunately we got spoiled by the creations of artists like Firewater, the Grifters, Swell and GvsB, and when the late 90s brought the death of quality to the doorstep we chose to bail. Two words: Boy bands.
In addition to an affinity for aural stimulation we share a hunger for knowledge of our ancient past. This took us on many trips to ancient sites, and the more we saw the more we noticed that what we were taught growing up wasn’t panning-out in person. The more we researched and traveled the more we found inaccuracies, incomplete accounts and an overwhelming lack of (and need for) cross-discinplinary research. No single discipline could possibly provide a full understanding of any ancient site, yet this is what we continue to ask of our educational system.
We also found roadblocks to knowledge at national parks and a grant system inherently geared to reward redundancy, and began to question whether or not there is a purposeful effort to maintain ignorance at work in our society. After all, we are still teaching our children that Columbus discovered America and allowing crackpots to alter history whenever it suits them. Our political system openly serves corporate interests over humanity’s, and our corporate and political entities enjoy a symbiotic relationship with the media that relies on interview access and advertising revenue. Any sentient human can see the intrinsic issues with this set-up, but you may be surprised to see just how far we have allowed things to go. Once you come across an example of the extent to which our government will go to pull the wool over our eyes, you begin to question everything we’ve been told. Being the knowledge whores that we are, we decided that the manure these folks have been shoveling is just not good enough for us – or anyone else for that matter. Thankfully, the more we meet others on our quest the more we are finding hope in the sense that we are definitely not alone.
Americans everywhere are beginning to reclaim their power, stand up and question what it is we have allowed ourselves and our society to become. Independent researchers like Ross Hamilton, Gary David, Jeffrey Wilson, Ed Mallkowski, Dr. Samir Osmanagic, William Romaine, Fritz Zimmerman, Jason Jarrell and Sarah Farmer have mustered the courage to answer a higher call for truth. They know that we cannot possibly get a grip on our present quagmire (giggity) without a complete understanding of how we got to this point, and the institutions we have entrusted with this task have failed to deliver. These true punk archaeology practitioners are acknowledging the ancient oral traditions of our indigenous ancestors and applying a multi-disciplinary approach with sacred geometry, archaeo-astronomy, philosophy, spirituality and science to provide an alternative view of our past that appears to fill in many of the blanks left by our established sources.
Columbus never set foot on U.S. territory and not a single body has ever been found in an Egyptian pyramid “tomb.” We cannot build many of the ancient sites we have found, and there are many signs of ancient cross-oceanic sea travel long before we are told it was possible. It is poignantly obvious that we know very little about who we are, how we got here and what we’re supposed to be doing on this trip. Between the tremendous amount of quality work done by the academic community and the cross-disciplinary research of punk archaeologists we just may get somewhere. If we could just get everyone together…
Punk archaeology is an answer to the inaccuracy, misinformation and disinformation we are subjected to daily by those who have something to gain by our ignorance. It is acknowledging that we know absolutely nothing and considering all possibilities and sources. Punk archaeology is two smart-asses with a camera running around the world visiting academics, independent researchers, indigenous peoples and ancient ruins to learn the truth of our past in hopes of generating meaningful conversation about the topics were are not supposed to discuss. With an understanding of our past we just might learn how we allowed ourselves to backslide into such a detrimental present. Maybe then we can work together on forging a positive future.
“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”