Archaeology and Our Religion
Reprinted by permission from Old Testament and Related Studies, vol.1 in The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1986), 21—36.
Nothing illustrates better than archaeology the inadequacy of human knowledge at any given time. It is not that archaeology is less reliable than other disciplines, but simply that its unreliability is more demonstrable. Meteorology (to show what we mean) is quite as “scientific” as geology and far more so than archaeology—it actually makes more use of scientific instruments, computers, and higher mathematics than those disciplines need to. Yet we laugh at the weatherman every other day; we are not overawed by his impressive paraphernalia, because we can check up on him any time we feel like it: he makes his learned pronouncements—and then it rains or it doesn’t rain. If we could check up on the geologist or archaeologist as easily when he tells us with perfect confidence what has happened and what will happen in the remotest ages, what would the result be? Actually, in the one field in which the wisdom of geology can be controlled, the finding of oil, it is calculated that the experts are proven right only about 10 percent of the time.1 Now if a man is wrong 90 percent of the time when he is glorying in the complete mastery of his specialty, how far should we trust the same man when he takes to pontificating on the mysteries? No scientific conclusion is to be trusted without testing—to the extent to which exact sciences are exact they are also experimental sciences; it is in the laboratory that the oracle must be consulted. But the archaeologist is denied access to the oracle. For him there is no neat and definitive demonstration; he is doomed to plod along, everlastingly protesting and fumbling, through a laborious, often rancorous running debate that never ends.
To make a significant discovery in physics or mathematics or philology, one must first know a good deal about the subject; but the greatest archaeological discoveries of recent years were made by ignorant peasants and illiterate shepherd boys. From that it follows, as the handbooks on archaeology never tire of pointing out, that the proper business of the archaeologist is not so much the finding of stuff as being able to recognize what one has found. Yet even there the specialist enjoys no monopoly. Dr. Joseph Saad, who directed the excavations at Khirbet Qumran, tells of many instances in which the local Arabs were able to explain findings that completely baffled the experts from the West, to the rage and chagrin of the latter. Hence Sir Mortimer Wheeler warns the archaeologist: “Do not ignore the opinion of the uninstructed. ‘Everyone knows as much as the savantâ€¦’ Emerson said so and he was right.2
With everybody getting into the act, it is not surprising that the history of archaeology is largely the story of bitter jealousies and frightful feuds. Archaeology mercilessly accentuates certain qualities characteristic of all research but often glosses over the exact sciences. The elements of uncertainty, surprise, and disappointment, and the pervasive role of speculation and imagination, with all the unconscious conditioning and prejudice that implies, are not merely regrettable defects in archaeology—they are the very stuff of which the picturesque discipline is composed. “What in fact is Archaeology?” asks Sir Mortimer, and answers, “I do not myself really knowâ€¦I do not even know whether Archaeology is to be described as an art or a science.” Even on the purely technical side, he points out, “There is no right way of digging, but there are many wrong ways.”3
Duel in the Dark
The idea of archaeology as the key to a man’s origin and destiny was introduced as a weapon of anti-clerical polemic in the revolutionary movements of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Reimar’s “hate-filled pamphlet” on history and the New Testament launched the “scientific” attack on the Bible,4 and when Boucher de Perthes, a child of the French Revolution, found stone “hand-axes” among the flints of Abbeville he published them in five stately volumes entitled, with pontifical finality, “On the Creation.”5 These objects, whose use and origin are still disputed, were to be nothing less than the key to the creation. Such fantastic leaps of the mind reveal the fierce determination of the first modem archaeologists to “get something” on the Bible. It was inevitable that biblical archaeology should become little more than “an offshoot of Darwinism.”6 The great Lamarck, before he even came up with his explanation of the creation, was animated “by a severeâ€¦philosophical hostility, amounting to hatred, for the tradition of the Deluge and the Biblical creation story, indeed for everything which recalled the Christian theory of nature.”7 And Darwin writes of himself in his twenties: “I had gradually come, by this time, to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos [sic], or the beliefs of any barbarianâ€¦By further reflectingâ€¦that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become—that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible to usâ€¦This disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted for a single second that my conclusion was correct.”8
This is a very revealing statement, a rich compound of cliches, a testament of Victorian smugness: “manifestly falseâ€¦revengeful tyrantâ€¦any barbarianâ€¦fixed laws of natureâ€¦never doubted for a single second.” Those are the words of a man who knows all the answers and is proud rather than ashamed of his unflinching loyalty to his adolescent prejudices. Just how much would a young English theology student in the 1820s know about the real history of the world, books of the Hindus, or “the beliefs of any barbarian”? Next to nothing, is putting it mildly, but it was enough to put the stamp of “complete disbelief” on Darwin’s thinking forever after. Students commonly assume that it was the gradual amassing of evidence that in time constrained such men to part company with the Bible. Exactly the opposite is the case: long before they had the evidence, they brought to their researches such an unshakable determination to discredit the book of Genesis that the discovery of the evidence was a foregone conclusion. It was Darwin’s bosom friend and spokesman who blurted out the real issue with characteristic bluntness: “Darwin himself avoided attacking the Bible, but for Huxley, his doughty champion against all comers,” writes J. C. Greene, “the battle against the doctrine of inspiration, whether plenary or otherwise, was the crucial engagement in the fight for evolution and for freedom of scientific enquiry.”9 The battle was against revelation, and evolution was the weapon forged for the conflict. We must not be misled by that inevitable tag about “freedom of scientific enquiry.” When a Tennessee high-school teacher was fired for teaching evolution in 1925, the whole civilized world was shocked and revolted at such barbaric restriction on freedom of thought; yet at the same time there was not an important college or even high school in the country that would hire a man who dared to preach against evolution. Freedom of thought indeed.
The great debate between “science” and “religion” has been a duel in the dark. How do things stand between the picture that “archaeology” gives us of the past and the picture that the scriptures give us? Take the biblical image first: the best efforts of the best artists back through the years to represent a clear picture of things described in the Bible look to us simply comical. Even the conscientious Flemish artists, using the best Oriental knowledge of their time, paint Solomon or Holofernes as boozy Landgraves at a fancy dress ball, while the masters of the Italian Renaissance show their prophets and apostles affecting the prescribed dress and stock gestures of traveling Sophists of the antique world. We are no better today, with our handsome “Bible Lands” books, based on diligent research, showing Jesus or Elijah in the garb of modern Bedouins or Ramallah peasants moving through the eroded terrain of modern Palestine or discoursing beneath arches and gates of Norman and Turkish design. The moral of this is that no matter where we get our information, our picture of the Bible is bound to be out of focus, for it will always be based on inadequate data, and it will always be of our own construction. And at no time did the Christian world have a more distorted picture of the Bible than in the nineteenth century. To the Victorians, creaking with culture and refinement, it was easy and pleasant to assign all other creatures their proper place and station in the world—for that is what evolution does. Their outspoken objection to Mormonism was that it was utterly barbaric, an intolerable affront to an enlightened and scientific age. Huxley declared with true scientific humility that the difference between a cultivated man of his own day and a native of the forest was as great as that between the native and a blade of grass. What possible understanding could these people have of the real Bible world? Taken at face value the Bible was a disgustingly primitive piece of goods— “poor stuff,” John Stuart Mill pronounced it; the work of people “ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible to us,” as Darwin said, for this, of course, was the Bible that Darwin rejected: in it he was attacking an image that was the product of his own culture and nothing else.
The Mind’s Eye
Archaeology today “in our universities and schools,” according to Wheeler, “forms innocuous pools of somewhat colorless knowledge—mostly a refined Darwinismin—in which our kindergartens are encouraged to paddle.”10 Again, everybody gets into the act. My own children, long before they could read, write, or count, could tell you exactly how things were upon the earth millions and millions of years ago. But did the little scholars really know? “What is our knowledge of the past and how do we obtain it?” asks the eminent archaeologist Stuart Piggott, and answers: “The past no longer exists for us, even the past of yesterdayâ€¦This means that we can never have direct knowledge of the past. We have only information or evidence from which we can construct a picture.”11 The fossil or potsherd or photograph that I hold in my hand may be called a fact—it is direct evidence, an immediate experience; but my interpretation of it is not a fact, it is entirely a picture of my own construction. I cannot experience ten thousand or forty million years—I can only imagine, and the fact that my picture is based on facts does not make it a fact, even when I think the evidence is so clear and unequivocal as to allow no other interpretation. Archaeology brings home this lesson every day, as Sir Flinders Petrie pointed out, for in no other field does interpretation count for so much.12 “The excavator, ” writes Sir Leonard Woolley, “is constantly subject to impressions too subjective and too intangible to be communicated, and out of these, by no exact logical process, there arise theories which he can state, can perhaps support, but cannot proveâ€¦They have their value as summing up experiences which no student of his objects and notes can ever share.”13 Yet what makes scientific knowledge scientific is that it can be shared. “There are fires,” writes a leading student of American archaeology, “which man may, or may not, have lit—animals he may, or may not, have killed—and crudely flaked stone objects, which those most qualified to judge think he did not make. By weight of numbers these finds have been built into an impression of probability, but the idol has feet of clay.”14 This is the normal state of things when we are dealing with the past: “If one certainty does emerge from this accumulation of uncertainties,” writes an eminent geologist, “it is the deep impression of the vastness of geologic time.”15 An “accumulation of uncertainties” leaves the student (“by weight of numbers”) with an “impression” which he thereupon labels a “certainty.”
Yet with examples gross as earth to exhort him, the archaeologist is constantly slipping into the normal occupational hazard of letting the theory rather than the facts call the tune. For years archaeologists always assumed that pieces could be chipped from the surface of stones merely by exposure to the burning sun—they never bothered to put their theory to the test, though no one ever was present when the sun did its chipping.16 From Breasted’s Ancient Times, millions of high-school students have learned how primitive man woke one morning in his camp in the Sinai Peninsula to find that bright copper beads had issued from the greenish rocks with which he banked his fire that night. It was not until 1939 that a scientist at Cambridge actually went to the trouble to see if copper could be smelted from an open fire, and discovered that it was absolutely impossible.17 Nobody had bothered to check up on these simple things—like the Aristotelians who opposed the experimenting of Galileo, the men of science felt no need to question the obvious. If man had been on the earth for, say, 100,000 years, scattered everywhere in tiny groups subsisting on a near-animal level, could we possibly find the cultural and linguistic patterns we do in the world today? After fifty thousand years of local isolation, is it conceivable that languages at opposite ends of the earth should be recognizably related? Only in our day are such elementary questions beginning to be asked— often with surprising and disturbing results. But however vast the accumulation of facts may become, our picture of the past and the future will always be, not partly but wholly, the child of our own trained and conditioned imaginations. “The world will always be different from any statement that science can give of it,” a philosopher of science writes, and he explains: “that is, we are looking for an opportunity to restate any statement which we can give of the worldâ€¦We are always restating our statement of the world.”18 Scholarship is also an age-old, open-ended discussion in which the important thing is not to be right at a given moment but to be able to enter seriously into the discussion. That I cannot do if I must depend on the opinion of others, standing helplessly by until someone else pronounces a verdict, and then cheering loudly to show that I too am a scholar.
Because interpretation plays an all-important role in it, archaeology has been carried on against a background of ceaseless and acrimonious controversy, with theory and authority usually leading fact around by the nose. If the great Sir Arthur Evans decided eighty years ago that the Minoans and Mycenaeans were not Greeks, then evidence discovered today must be discounted if it shows they were Greeks; if it was concluded long ago that the Jews did not write in Hebrew at the time of Christ, then Hebrew documents from that time if they are discovered today must be forgeries. “Does our time scale, then, partake of natural law?” a geologist wonders. “Noâ€¦I wonder how many of us realize that the time scale was frozen in essentially its present form by 1840â€¦? The followers of the founding fathers went forth across the earth and in Procrustean fashion made it fit the sections they found even in places where the actual evidence literally proclaimed denial. So flexible and accommodating are the ‘facts’ of geology.”19 “Science,” said Whitehead, “is our modern-day dogmatism.” There is something cozy and old-fashioned, almost nostalgic, in the archaeology of forty years ago with its invincible meliorism and romantic faith in man’s slow, steady, inevitable onward and upward march. But archaeology is the science of surprises, and the most desperate efforts of accommodation have not been able to discredit the sensational changes of our day.
“One of the most exciting results of the radio-carbon dating,” writes Piggott, has been to emphasize how rapidly and severely the environment was modified.”20 Extreme and rapid changes of environment have long been anathema to science. “Darwin’s secret, learned from Lyell,”21 according to H. F. Osborn, was (in Lyell’s own words) that “all theories are rejecting that which involves the assumption of sudden and violent catastrophies.”22 In a world of nuclear explosions this seems downright funny, but it “was a perfect expression,” as Egon Friedell has written, “of the English temperament and comfortable middleclass view of the world that refused to believe in sudden and violent metamorphoses, world uprising, and world calamities.”23 One of the most militant evolutionists of our day says that “it remains true, as every paleontologist knows, that most new species, genera, and families, and nearly all categories above the level of families, appear in the record suddenly, and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences.”24 One wonders why if most species appear on the scene suddenly without millions of years of evolutionary preparation leading up to them, the human race cannot have done the same. “Because it didn’t,” we are told. For a hundred years, thousands of scientists have devoted their lives to proving that it didn’t; yet all they have to offer us as proof to date is a large and cluttered science fair of bizarre and competing models, interesting but mutually damaging.
The New Uniformity
Through the years the writer, who is no archaeologist, has had to keep pretty well abreast of the journals and consult occasionally with archaeologists in order to carry on his own varied projects. Anyone who has any contact at all with what is going on is aware that the significant trend since World War 11 has been the steady drawing together of far-flung peoples and cultures of antiquity into a single surprisingly close-knit fabric. Early in the present century an “Egyptologist” could make fun of the “amusing ignorance” of the Pearl of Great Price, in which “Chaldeans and Egyptians are hopelessly mixed together, although as dissimilar and remote in language, religion, and locality as are today’s American Indians and Chinese.”25 Today a ten-year-old would be reprimanded for such a statement, since now we know that Chaldeans and Egyptians were “hopelessly mixed together” from the very beginning of history. Even as late as the 1930s so eminent a scholar as T. E. Peet had to exercise extreme caution—suggesting that there might be any resemblance between the literatures of Babylonia, Palestine, Egypt, and Greece.26 Today we know better, as every month establishes more widely and more firmly the common ties that knit all the civilizations of the ancient world together.
A hundred years ago, investigators of prehistory already sensed “the essential unity of the earlier Stone Age cultures throughout the Old World.” From the very beginning of the race “at a given period in the Pleistocene,” writes Piggott, “one can take, almost without selection, tools from South India, Africa and South England which show identical techniques of manufacture and formâ€¦What happened at one end of the area seems to be happening more or less simultaneously at the other.”27 I have never seen any attempt to account for this astounding worldwide coordination in the industries of primitive beings who supposedly could communicate to their nearest neighbors only by squeals and grunts. In the mid-nineteenth century the folklorists were beginning to notice that the same myths and legends turned up everywhere in the Old and New Worlds, and philologists were discovering the same thing about languages; today Hockett and Asher are bemused by the “striking lack of diversity in certain features of language” and make the astounding announcement that “phonological systems [of all the languages of the world] show much less variety than could easily be invented by any linguist working with pencil and paper.”28 The same authorities note that “man shows an amazingly small amount of racial diversity,” and pardonably wonder “why human racial diversity is so slight, andâ€¦why the languages and cultures of all communities, no matter how diverse, are elaborations of a single inherited ‘common denominator.'”29 With a million years of savagery and hostility, ignorance, isolation, and bestial suspicion to keep them divided, it seems that men should have had plenty of time to develop a vast number of separate “denominators” of language, legend, race, and culture. But that is not the picture we get at all.30
In religion it is the same. It was not until 1930 that a group of researchers at Cambridge cautiously presented evidence for the prevalence through the ancient world of a single pattern of kingship, an elaborate religious-economicpolitical structure that could not possibly have been invented independently in many places. We do not find, as we have every right to expect, an infinite variety of exotic religious rites and concepts; instead we find a single overall pattern, but one so peculiar and elaborate that it cannot have been the spontaneous production of primitive minds operating in isolation from each other.31
When history begins, “let us say c. 5000 B.C.,” to follow J. Mellaart, “we find throughout the greater part of the Near Eastâ€¦villages, market townsâ€¦and castles of local rulers” widely in touch with each other as “goods and raw materials were traded over great distances.”32 It is essentially the same picture we find right down to the present; and we find it everywhere—if we go to distant China “the life of the Shang [the oldest known] population can have differed little in essentials from that of the populous city-states of the Bronze Age Mesopotamia,”33 or from that of the peasants of the Danube or of “the earliest English farming culture.”34 This is what has come out since World War II. Before that, archaeology had made us progressively aware of the oneness of our world with successive discoveries of Amarna, Ugarit, Boghazkeui, Nuzi, and so on, each one tying all the great Near Eastern civilizations closer and closer together while revealing the heretofore unsuspected presence of great nations and empires as active and intimate participants in a single drama. And the Bible is right in the center of it: the patriarchs who had been reduced to solar myths by the higher critics suddenly turned out to be flesh-and-blood people; odd words, concepts and expressions, and institutions of the Bible started turning up in records of great antiquity; the Hittites, believed to be a myth by Bible scholars until 1926, suddenly emerged as one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever seen. Since then a dozen almost equally great empires have been discovered, and the preliminary studies of each of them have shown in every case that they had more or less intimate ties with the great Classical and Middle Eastern civilizations.35 The picture of ancient civilization as a whole has become steadily broader and at the same time more uniform, so that the growing impression is one of monotony bordering on drabness. Seton Lloyd is depressed by “the drab impersonality of the ‘archaeological ages.'”36 Archaeology gives us, as M. P. Nilsson puts it, “a picture-book without a text or, in the words of Sir Mortimer, “the archaeologist may find the tub but altogether miss Diogenes.”38 The eager visitor to a hundred recent diggings is fated to discover that people once lived in stone or brick or wooden houses, cooked their food (for they ate food) in pots of clay or metal over fires, hunted, farmed, fished, had children, died, and were buried. Wherever we go, it is just more of the same— all of which we could have assumed in the first place. The romance of archaeology has always resided not in the known but in the unknown, and enough is known today to suggest the terrifying verdict that a great Cambridge scientist pronounced on the physical sciences a generation ago: “The end is in sight.”
And now we come to the crux of the matter. As the tub without Diogenes has nothing to do with philosophy, so archaeology without the prophets has nothing to do with religion. “You cannot,” says Piggott, “from archaeological evidence, inform yourself on man’s ideas, beliefs, fears or aspirations. You cannot understand what his works of art or craftsmanship signified to him.”39 The ancient patriarchs and prophets ate out of ordinary dishes, sat on ordinary chairs, wore ordinary clothes, spoke the vernacular, wrote on ordinary paper and skins, and were buried in ordinary graves. The illusion of the pilgrims to the holy land, Christian, Moslem and Jewish, that this is not so— that is, that contact with such objects by holy men rendered them holy—gave rise to Biblical archaeology at an early time. The Palestine pilgrims from Origen and Gregory to Robinson and Schaff had all been looking for extra-special things, for miraculous or at least wonderful objects. Men who viewed the idea of living prophets as a base superstition turned to the dead stones of the “Holy Land” for heavenly consolation, and enlisted archaeology in the cause of faith.40 But though archaeology may conceivably confirm the existence of a prophet (though it has never yet done so), it can never prove or disprove the visions that make the prophet a significant figure. Former attempts to explain the scriptures in terms of nature-myths, animism, and psychology had nothing to do with reality.41 What can archaeology tell me about the council in heaven? Nothing, of course—that all happened in another world. The same holds for the creation, taking place as it did at a time and place and in a manner that we cannot even imagine. Then comes the garden of Eden—a paradise and another world beyond our ken. It is only when Adam and Eve enter this world that they come down to our level. Strangely enough, the biblical image is not that of our first parents entering a wonderful new world, but leaving such to find themselves in a decidedly dreary place of toil and tears. Before long the children of Adam are building cities and are completely launched on the familiar and drab routines of civilized living: “dreary” suggests old and tired, and there is nothing fresh or new about the Adamic Age.
On the archaeological side we have Jericho, by general consensus (as of the moment) the oldest city in the world. It emerges abruptly full-blown, with a sophisticated and stereotyped architecture that remains unchanged for twenty-one successive town-levels, and from the first it displays a way of life substantially the same as that carried on by the inhabitants of the nearby towns right down to the present day. This has come as a great surprise; it is not at all consistent with the official model of the onward and upward march of civilization that we all learned about at school. When the civilization of China was rediscovered by European missionaries in the seventeenth century, skeptics and atheists saw in it a crushing refutation of the Bible—here was a great civilization thousands of years older and far richer, wiser, and more splendid than anything Western man had imagined, thriving in complete unawareness of God’s plan of salvation. It was the discovery of such other worlds, such island universes, that was once the concern of archaeology, ever seeking the strange, the marvelous, and the exotic. But now archaeology has found too much; the worlds are there, but they are not isolated—not even China; they are all members of a single community, and by far the best handbook guide to the nature and identity of that community remains the Bible.
1. Sloan, Raymond D., “The Future of the Exploration Geologist—Can He Meet the Challenge?” Geotimes 3, no. 1 (1958), p. 6. “Only one wildcat well in nine discovers oil or gas: only one in forty-four is profitable.” In spite of scientific methods, “the high risksâ€¦are unusual in the business world.” (Sloan, pp. 6, 7.)
2. Wheeler, Sir Robert Eric Mortimer, Archaeology from the Earth (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1954), p. 50.
3. Wheeler, p. 2.
4. Jeremias, Joachim, “The Present Position in the Controversy Concerning the Problem of the Historical Jesus,” Expository Times 69 (1958): 333.
5. Rapport, Samuel, and Helen Wright, eds., Archaeology (New York: New York University Library of Science, 1963), pp. 18—20.
6. Gall, August Freiherm von, Basileia tou Theou (Heidelberg: Winter, 1926), p. 12, discussing the Wellhausen school.
7. Gillespie, Charles Coulston, “Lamarck and Darwin in the History of Science, ” American Scientist 46 (Dec. 1958): 397.
8. Darwin, Charles, Autobiography (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1959), describing the period between 1836 and 1839. Darwin was born in 1809.
9. Green, John C., “Darwin and Religion,” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 103 (1959): 717.
10. Wheeler, p. 23.
11. Piggott, Stuart, ed., The Dawn of Civilization (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961), p. 11.
12. Petrie, William Matthew Flinders, Social Life in Ancient Egypt (1923), part 3, pp. 80, 81.
13. Woolley, Leonard, Digging Up the Past (New York: Crowell, 1954), p. 119.
14. Bushnell, G.H.S., “The Birth and Growth of New World Civilization,” in Piggott, p. 377.
15. Swinnerton, Henrv Hurd, The Earth Beneath Us (Boston: Little-Brown, 1955), p. 15.
16. Morgan, Jacques Jean Marie de, La Prehistoire Orientale (Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1925), II, pp. 4ff., discusses this phenomenon, with pictures of “hatchet-shaped seile chipped by the heat of the sun.” (Fig. 2.)
17. Coghlan, H. H., “Some Experiments on the Origin of Early Copper,” Man 39 (1939): 106—8.
18. Mead, George H., Movements of Thought in the 19th Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1936), p. 508, discussing Bergson.
19. Spieker, Edmund M., “Mountain-Building Chronology and Nature of Geologic Time Scale,” Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists 40 (August 1956): 1803; cf. Norman D. Newell, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 103 (1959): 265.
20. Piggott, p. 40.
21. Osborn, Henry Fairfield, The Origin and Evolution of Life (New York: Scribner’s, 1918), p. 24.
22. Lyell, Charles, Principles of Geology (New York: John Murray, 1872) 1:318.
23. Friedell, Egon, Kulturgeschichte Aegyptens und des alten Orients (München: C.H. Beck, 1953), p. 105.
24. Simpson, George Gaylord, The Major Features of Evolution (New York: Columbia University Press, 1953), p. 360.
25. Peters, John, in Rev. Franklin S. Spalding, Joseph Smith as a Translator (Salt Lake City: Arrow Press, 1912), p. 28.
26. Peet, Thomas Eric, A Comparative Study of the Literatures Of Egypt, Palestine and Mesopotamia (London: British Academy, 1931), pp. 52f., 96f., 127—29, 113—16.
27. Piggott, Stuart, Prehistoric India (London: Cassell, 1950), p. 26.
28. Hockett, Charles F., and Robert Ascher, “The Human Revolution,” American Scientist 52 (1964): 90.
29. Hockett, p. 90.
30. Hockett and Ascher insist not only that man had already achieved the essence of language and culture at least a million years ago (p. 89), but that “the crucial developments must have taken place once, and then spread” by that time, since “true diversity is found in more superficial aspects of language” but not in the fundamental aspect (p. 90). That is, all the languages of the world have retained recognizable ties to a parent language from which they separated over a million years ago! Since C. S. Coon puts the age of the human race at about 50,000 vears, this is quite a thing.
31. Lord Raglan, The Origin of Religion (London: Watts and Co., 1949).
32. Mellaart, James, “The Beginning of Village and Urban Life,” in Piggott, Dawn of Civilization, p. 62.
33. Watson, William, in Piggott, p. 271.
34. Sieveking, Gale, “China: The Civilization of a Single People,” in Edward Bacon, Vanished Civilizations of the Ancient World (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963), this being the Windmill Hill site of 2750 B.C.
35. For a good survey, see Sieveking’s paper in the preceding footnote, which deals in major civilizations of which we have virtually no history but all of which are definitely tied to the great civilizations of antiquity.
36. Seton, Lloyd, “The Early Settlement of Anatolia,” in Piggott, p. 185.
37. Nilsson, Martin Persson, Minoan and Mycenaean Religion (Lund: C. W. K. Gleerup, 1950), p. 7.
38. Wheeler, p. 214.
39. Piggott, p. 15.
40. We have discussed this in the Jewish Quarterly Review 50 (1959): 99ff., 109ff.
41. Lord Raglan, p. 38.
“Archaeology and Our Religion,” accompanied by two cover letters dated September 16, 1965, was originally intended to be included in the "I Believe” series in the Instructor.