Prehistoric archaeology depends upon what it calls a “material horizon” to identify the geographic range of a culture. With the Ubaid in Southern Mesopotamia and around the Persian Gulf, as-well-as northwest up the Tigris-Euphrates valley into the Jazira, the material horizon was marked by the excavation of pottery with a common style of decoration, and subsequently expanded to include various other artifacts. You can examine these artifacts and my review of this cultural horizon by entering the word “Ubaid” in the search bar in the top right of this page. For the impatient, you can get my latest list here.
An archaeologist is a scientist, like Joe Friday the stoic telling a witness, “Just the facts, ma’am. Just the facts.” If they haven’t found—or have overlooked or discarded—evidence, such as the wing bone of a sparrow or the leg bone of a rat in a cave where ice age men sheltered and cooked their meals, but have found large bones in the midden, then the archaeologist will tell you these primitives made their living killing large game. I think you’ve jumped ahead of where I’m going, so let’s let the cat out of the bag. Early hominids and their successors: Neanderthal and Anatomically Modern Humans during and between the ice ages ate any protein they could kill.
These two tidbits of evidence change the image of paleolithic hunters from lumbering killers of mega-fauna to more nimble hunters of small-fauna:
(2) Archaeology: “New Thoughts on Paleolithic Hunters” MARCH 7, 2019.
So, what’s the point? Here’s the point: archaeologists can dream on their own time, but not in their profession. It is professionally risky to connect the dots without evidence. But, an author of novels can connect dots with tenuous hypotheses. Archaeologists can only do that with a trusted colleague in private—but not at the conference cocktail party, or in a publication.
Actually that’s pretty much the primary ground rule for any legitimate scientist.
That’s why we trust those scientists faithful to the fundamental tenets of science— “Just the facts, ma’am. Just the facts”—and rage at those who falsify facts and degrade the credibility of their science and peers.
Thanks for visiting,
R. E. J. Burke