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)
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.
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