The most dedicated man in Swedish fringe archaeology is at it again. I've reported on and off about Bob G. Lind's antics in Scania (1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5), but it's been a while now. I didn't write about the time when he interpreted a dotted line on an old map as an alignment of standing stones that had been removed, nor about his recent statement to the effect that his new discoveries would topple the current Swedish government once he presented them. But now Bob's made the news again and Ystads Allehanda has the story.
Ystad municipality has temporarily cancelled its guided tours of the Ales stenar stone ship (a Late Iron Age grave monument), reported Bob to the police for threatening and harassing the site guides, and hired a security guard. Bob believes that this particular stone ship is a Late Bronze Age calendaric observatory, and he's run a loud and aggressive one-man presentation at the site for many years. It seems that his interest is currently not directed towards his other project, where he interprets a nearby Early Iron Age cemetery as yet another Late Bronze Age calendaric observatory.
Thanks to Anders Ljungberg for the tip-off.
Is there a point where you lose the title of Archaeologist and get demoted to Quack Historian?
Because if these people have higher education they don't seem to be utilising it much...
It's kind of hard to classify Bob. I don't want to call him an amateur archaeologist or weekend archaeologist, because that's what I call the excellent people I collaborate with. Purveyor of wild theories, perhaps. He's a practicing homeopath and has had no archaeological training.
On a page for his book titled Ales Stenar Lind calls himself a scientist in the field of archeoastronomy. I gather that his promoting of ancient Swedish cemeteries as calendric observatories is tantamount to raising their status to that of little Stonehenges. In any case, I've known for years that you've got to watch out for those guys named Bob.
Archaeoastronomy is a small legitimate subfield shared by archaeology and astronomy. Two of Sweden's most prominent archaeoastronomical practitioners have studied Lind's work and found it to lack all merit.
Martin R @ #2:
He's a practicing homeopath and has had no archaeological training.
Ah, that probably explains it! He's a homeopath, so he likely believes that his theories get more powerful the more he dilutes the facts.
I didn't write about the time when he interpreted a dotted line on an old map as an alignment of standing stones that had been removed,
nor about his recent statement to the effect that his new discoveries would topple the current Swedish government once he presented them
I can believe it would - they'd all be falling over laughing.
Do archeoastronomers study the history of astromical and astrological reception in human civilisations or do they study cosmology and astronomy from the period before the point of earliest available data?
tamakazura: Is there a point where you lose the title of Archaeologist and get demoted to Quack Historian?
Martin: He's a practicing homeopath and has had no archaeological training.
Perhaps the term for him should be quack archaeopath.
According to R.M. Sinclair, archaeoastronomy is the study of how people "have understood the phenomena in the sky, how they used phenomena in the sky and what role the sky played in their cultures". In practice, it's often about the orientations of various archaeological features toward celestial events. The most robust kind of archaeoastronomy, in my opinion, is the one where you look at trends in the orientation of large classes of structure, not at lines and angles at a single site like Bob Lind does.
why they catch him, it's fun to watch people make fun of himself
The people he threatened and harassed didn't find it very funny.
"The most robust kind of archaeoastronomy, in my opinion, is the one where you look at trends in the orientation of large classes of structure" - like Greek temples, for example? I have been struck by how Scandinavian Iron Age grave structures seem to have been located more to capture terrestrial attention. But there is an obvious distinction between location and orientation, although presumably they are somehow at least to some extent interrelated.
Well, we have all heard of naturopaths, homeopaths, sociopaths and psychopaths, so why not an archaeopath?
Australia has its paleoanthropaths, so I don't see why Sweden should be spared its fair share of lunacy. But in truth, I don't wish it on you, I wish you could be spared.
Signed John Sandgroper, Independent, Totally Unqualified and Irrational (not to mention Lazy and Shamelessly Opportunistic) Researcherpath.
Yes, Greek temples are an excellent example. My buddy Alun Salt recently presented his dissertation on that topic.
I wish to become a gardenpath.