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Editors' Picks Volume 59 Number 2, March/April 2006
Wine bottles from Montpelier

Historical archaeologists' investigations of America's famed diversity are explored at Washington D.C.'s Stephen Decatur House Museum (through September; future venues to be announced). Artifacts from 26 historic sites overseen by the National Trust for Historic Preservation--including wine bottles (left) bearing the seal of James Madison from Montpelier, his estate near the Blue Ridge Mountains, and a chamber pot from the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York--are on display at the museum, named after its original owner. (Decatur was a naval officer who earned his fame during the Barbary War and who died, in classic early nineteenth-century fashion, in a duel.) Look for a full review of the exhibition in the May/June issue of ARCHAEOLOGY. (Photo: Montpelier, a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation)
[Current exhibitions...]

Lost Civilizations Uncovered

Journalist Jason Colavito's cleverly named online magazine Lost Civilizations Uncovered (thelostcivilizations.com) is likely to get hits from people researching the many half-baked theories circulating about ancient cultures. And that seems to be exactly the audience he wants to attract. The author of The Cult of Alien Gods: H.P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture (Prometheus, $19), Colavito, who also has an anthropology background, is seemingly on a one-man mission to debunk alternative archaeology. The website offers many of the young writer's well-reported and smartly written articles, some of which have been previously published, on theories that just won't die, such as Atlantis, Mu, and the Maya; the Chinese beating Columbus to the New World; and alien architects building the pyramids of Egypt. The next time you hear someone favorably cite Hancock or von Däniken, send them to Colavito.
[More website reviews...]

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© 2006 by the Archaeological Institute of America
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