Proofreading and indexing is slow-going work, and I’m finding it challenging to fit enough of it into my workday to meet the deadline after the publisher delivered the page proofs late, cutting the indexing time way down. As a result, I am not going to be doing much blogging until the indexing and proofreading are done. The good news, for what it’s worth, is that indexing goes faster the deeper into a book I go because most of the index terms will have already been entered into the list, so by the time I am halfway through, it will mostly be autopilot.
Meanwhile, I thought I would briefly discuss Andrew Collins’s Facebook postings from last week in which he claimed that Turkey was out to get him. If you subscribe to my weekly newsletter, I briefly mentioned it there, but it’s worth repeating for everyone. Collins says that his book From the Ashes of Angels was banned in Turkey and that he has himself been kicked out of Göbekli Tepe because of his controversial views about the site. No, not that it’s some sort of Nephilim-Denisovan afterlife computer. At first he said it was because he refuses to accept the Turkish line that Göbekli Tepe is the temple of idols that Abraham destroyed in the Qur’an, a claim that some Islamists in Turkey have been promoting with help from the Turkish government, as I reported years ago. (While Turkey’s media has promoted the claim, the government has done nothing to suppress actual archaeological research about the site’s history.)
Collins posted a YouTube video about the issue.
As he discussed the issue of the ban on his book, Collins admitted the real reason: His book carries a dedication to Kurdish independence, which ran afoul of Turkey’s hardline position against Kurdish independence or autonomy. A Turkish court found that the book was “propaganda” for the Kurds.
The suppression of books because they disagree with the government is a tragedy, and doing so in service of political ends is outrageous. The Turkish government is wrong to do this, and it betrays a fundamental sense of weakness if they think their position is so insecure that a bonkers book by a nutjob from Ancient Aliens can threaten an entire government. I’ve faced a lesser version of this when Turkish Pres. Erdogan’s supporters spent weeks attacking me when the Washington Post cited a blog post of mine to refute Erdogan’s false claim that Columbus saw an Islamic mosque in Cuba.
The Göbekli Tepe incident is, frankly, more funny than it is tragic. Dr. Lee Clare of the German Archaeological Institute, apparently screamed at Collins that he didn’t want Collins’s pseudoscience at the site and berated him until Collins left the site.
I can’t even work up the energy to care about him getting yelled at for having stupid ideas. I can however work up the energy to note that Collins spent more time in his YouTube video bitching about getting yelled at by Lee Clare than he did from having the weight of the Turkish government used to suppress his work. They just don’t carry the same weight, but Collins was much madder at Clare because Clare called him a purveyor of “pseudoscience,” which insulted Collins more than being considered a threat. In other words, one action hurt his ego and the other flattered it.
9/30/2019 08:06:27 pm
Having just looked at Mr. Collins's website, in this case I side with President Erdoğan. Mr. Collins is an idiot who buys into seemingly all of the stuff that has been discussed here ad infinitum.
10/1/2019 01:16:46 pm
I would take it as a compliment to be called a pseudoscientist by hardcore mainstreamists.
DR. MARTIN HESSELIUS
10/1/2019 02:03:28 pm
Consider yourself complimented.
10/1/2019 03:55:05 pm
Seems to me it would be prudent to do everything we can to keep Andy C. From pissing off "Islamists" that control world heritage sites. Right?
9/8/2021 07:53:05 am
Me too man, me too… the only consistent narrative grounded in most credible is some of the hieroglyphs indicated a comet or some type of cataclysmic event. But nobody knows anything concrete yet. Sigh.
10/1/2019 03:57:15 pm
"Trouble in Turkey".
10/1/2019 08:43:25 pm
I've always wondered what might happen if one of these idiots show up while someone is actually working a site. A very different dynamic from hanging out at the Great Pyramid or the Sphinx or Stonehenge for photo ops or a video bite for a crappy "documentary while nothing else is going on there.
10/1/2019 11:19:11 pm
10/1/2019 11:44:22 pm
My reading was that Collins and Clare were both at the site and Clare yelled at Collins until he left. I'm assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that Clare was at the site working.
10/2/2019 12:17:40 am
Just curious because I don't know how you folks operate that sort of business.
10/2/2019 12:42:41 am
Setting "trenches and pressure washers" aside for the moment,
10/2/2019 12:29:11 pm
A site like GT has many mysteries that require very slow and careful excavation and analysis of materials recovered in-situ. digging trenches and using pressure washers would be like exploring the mysteries of the human by dissecting a cadaver with a chainsaw and meat cleaver and then looking at the pieces under a bright light.
10/2/2019 09:45:24 pm
Been thinking a lot about your post. I realized that I had really wanted to leverage my silly post about trenches and power-washers to highlight some of my Scythian-humor. Yes, funny stuff about Scythians. That sort of thing happens when you don't have anyone to talk to about Scythians. But since you replied so thoughtfully, and gave me stuff to think about, I'm engaged.
RICHARD UPTON PICKMAN
10/2/2019 10:02:51 pm
I think that I've got a few close personal friends that I'd like you to meet.
10/2/2019 10:18:14 pm
"I think any "feathering" with tiny brushes would be more in the realm of microscopes and microbiology labs."
10/2/2019 10:22:47 pm
🎵More than a vulture...🎵
W. Ross Ashby
10/2/2019 10:40:51 pm
"What you think" is not part of any archaeology curriculum".
10/3/2019 12:14:34 am
There's "scientific disciplines" and there's being wrong.
10/2/2019 10:16:45 pm
Imagine wanting to take the body apart down to the smallest organs, bones, blood vessels and then down to their constituent parts, and then try to understand their relationship to one another. You are going to go as slowly and carefully as possible and with the smallest and most appropriate instruments for particular tasks.
10/3/2019 08:55:16 pm
"Something along the lines of a pressure washer is useful if it is decided that it is appropriate to water screen soil/sand/small rocks, etc. after removed from the ground, though."
10/4/2019 03:30:43 pm
Hi Doc -
10/4/2019 04:54:44 pm
Nice to see that you have roused yourself from your sickbed because that bodes well for your much to be desired deceasement, but...
10/4/2019 08:09:15 pm
A hot shower always worked for me. The one dermatology site that I took a quick look at advised against "very hot" water. But if folks want to go with lukewarm water or ice cold water then fine because washing and sensible clothing still does the trick. No elaborate protocol or nuking an entire site with multiple applications of chemicals is required.
10/4/2019 10:27:10 pm
Mr. Grondine expects it! Because he claims Indian ancestry that makes it part of the Native Oral Tradition. Show some respect!
Jr. Time Lord
10/5/2019 02:06:58 am
10/5/2019 04:25:40 am
E.P.'s blood quantum is probably too low for the tradition of using jewelweed for poison ivy to register.
10/5/2019 10:22:04 am
AW strikes me as being a fun guy, a nice artist, and has done good work in dealing with theosophist cult archaeology.
10/6/2019 12:26:19 am
This is E.P. Grondine, the one who is giving an assessment of an actual well qualified archaeology instructor.
10/3/2019 09:29:47 pm
"Drainage ditches and power washers are basic tools in the astronomer's toolkit..."
10/4/2019 07:13:00 am
"a couple days"? Based on timestamps that's clearly a lie.
10/4/2019 03:25:24 pm
I am reminded of Brad Lepper, who plagiarized Bob Converse's book, and then forbid the sale of Converse's book in all OHS pfoperties.
E.P. Grondine's Pussy
10/4/2019 10:37:48 pm
10/5/2019 07:53:23 am
I'm so confused by all of the questions and conversation on here about "what archaeology is" and "what is happening at Göbekli Tepe" --- Come on, guys, if you really want to know, look it up!
10/5/2019 08:33:04 am
If it doesn't address poison ivy it's useless.
10/5/2019 08:46:02 am
I've checked out the GT website in the past and don't recall seeing any discussion of why it isn't a good idea to excavate the site by means of drainage trenches and pressure washers. But there is a lot of material and perhaps I missed it.
10/5/2019 10:31:21 am
This is beyond sad. I have always enjoyed Collins' books, and although I have not agreed with all of his speculations, they have always been based on a factual basis.
10/5/2019 04:21:48 pm
"His showing gratitude to his Kurdish hosts probably brought this on."
10/5/2019 11:57:34 pm
So, you're saying Theosophy is claptrap, but believing in angels isn't?
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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