Dennis Cassinelli: ‘Uncovering Archaeology’
My least expensive book also is probably the most interesting, depending what might be of interest to you. I have often referred to “Uncovering Archaeology” as my critique on how archaeology has been performed, not only here in Nevada but worldwide as well.
Having lived and worked here in Nevada, much of my writing has been about Nevada history and archaeology.
Many of the stories I tell in the first half of “Uncovering Archaeology” involve things I have observed or done in this state. These include finding the hundreds of coin dies at the old Carson City mint, and finding and identifying hundreds of Indian artifacts and donating the collection to the Douglas County Museum in Gardnerville.
I once had a contract with Nevada State Public Works to exhume and relocate several sets of human remains from the historic cemetery at the Nevada State Mental Hospital, once known as the Nevada State Asylum. After the re-burials were made, a commemorative monument was erected with more than 800 names of former inmates interred there.
Other things I tell about in this illustrated book are stories of how certain individuals have looted and desecrated Nevada archaeological sites. Having worked in construction, I was always looking for artifacts on job sites and made many interesting discoveries. These included caches of antique bottles in old outhouse holes and finding mammoth teeth at the West Winnemucca Interstate 80 interchange.
I discuss disagreements I have with the way archaeologists and anthropologists interpret things they have found and how the information about archaeological discoveries are or are not made known to the public.
There is a discussion in my book about the famous Spirit Cave Man that was discovered in a cave east of Fallon. I always felt a more thorough study should have been done on the remains of this partially mummified man that lived nearly 10,000 years ago. That was about twice as old as the Egyptian Pyramids. Unknown at the time I wrote my book, the remains of the Spirit Cave Man were more recently returned to the native Indian tribes for repatriation. This removes the possibility for any further study of his remains.
Hundreds of years more recent was the discovery of the famous Tyrolean Ice Man that was discovered in the Italian Alps that was studied and written about extensively.
The second half of “Uncovering Archaeology” is based on things I observed on several trips I made to ancient Mayan cities in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. After visiting these places and later studying my photos of the ruins, I have made observations that differ from those of traditional archaeologists. I have many questions that remain unanswered. How did the idea of building pyramids develop on both sides of the Atlantic in ancient times without some trans-oceanic travel? Did Jesus Christ travel to Central America to resume his ministry as written in the Book of Mormon? Why do some of the carved statues in the Mayan countries have Negroid or Asian facial features? Could the lost continent of Atlantis actually have been Central America? The Phoenicians are known to have sailed around the continent of Africa, yet why did they never venture to cross the Atlantic Ocean — or perhaps they did?
“Uncovering Archaeology” is illustrated with many of my photographs taken in Central America. One is an ancient ball field in Copan Honduras that has statues of elephants around the perimeter. How could the Mayans have carved statues of elephants when they did not even exist in Central America?
Perhaps the most guilty of all looters were the British, when they built the Crystal Palace at Hyde Park in London. Here they brought priceless looted artifacts from Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome and Byzantium. Before the grand opening of the Crystal Palace, all the male parts of the Greek statues were removed so Queen Victoria, who presided over the grand opening, would not be offended. Like my other three books, “Uncovering Archaeology” would make a great Christmas gift. Order it today on my blog at a discounted price. Orders will be shipped upon receipt of payment.
This article is by Dayton author and historian Dennis Cassinelli, who can be contacted on his blog at denniscassinelli.com. All Cassinelli’s books sold through this publication will be at a discount plus $3 for each shipment for postage and packaging.