10 Things You Never Knew about “America Unearthed”

America Unearthed was the original series to make its debut on the A&E Networks channel called H2. Speaking bluntly, the series is nothing more than pseudohistory, which is perhaps unsurprising when one learns that it is hosted by a man named Scott Wolter. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about America Unearthed:

1. Has Lied about His Credentials

Wolter has a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology. However, he used to claim that he was handed an honorary Master’s Degree in Geology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1987. Unfortunately for Wolter, the school maintains not one but two separate lists of the people to whom it has issued honorary degrees dating back to the 1930s, which do not include Wolter’s name.

2. Claims that His Former Professors Gave Him a “Sympathy Degree”

In response, Wolter claimed that he was invited to the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Geology Department to give a lecture about his research. Supposedly, six of his former professors asked him some technical questions before presenting him with what he called a “sympathy degree” in the lounge. As for whether one should believe this or not, a healthy sense of skepticism can be an excellent thing indeed.

3. Marketed as Real Life Indiana Jones

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Wolter gets marketed a lot as a kind of “real life Indiana Jones.” While the choice is understandable, it is nonetheless terrible because the character comes off as more of a looter than an actual archaeologist, as shown by his focus on the very economically valuable golden statue rather than the still-functional booby traps that would could have provided experts with a treasure trove of information about what the creator culture was like.

4. Not Too Fond of Dissenting Viewpoints

America Unearthed isn’t too fond of dissenting viewpoints. As a result, viewers shouldn’t expect to get more than one side of the argument, meaning that they will have to look up topics on their own to get the “mainstream academia” side of things. Most viewers should be able to recognize that America Unearthed is nothing more than pseudohistorical entertainment, but most is not the same as all.

5. Launches Regular Attacks on “Mainstream Academia”

Speaking of which, it should come as no surprise to learn that America Unearthed launches regular attacks on “mainstream academia,” meaning the continuously-refined understanding of subject matters upheld by the overwhelming majority of experts in relevant fields. Certainly, “mainstream academia” can be wrong, as shown by the fact that it is in the constant process of refining its understanding of things. However, the sheer scale of deliberate malice required by the speculation proposed on America Unearthed is wholly unbelievable, particularly since academics are notoriously prone to clashing with one another for sometimes good and sometimes not so good reasons.

6. Thinks that Native American Copper Mining Is a Sign of Minoan Presence

One of the episodes proposed that Native American copper mining was a sign of Minoan presence, referring to the Bronze Age culture that existed on Crete and other islands in the Aegean Sea. Suffice to say that its evidence is weak, with examples ranging from unreliable copper production numbers based on assumptions pulled out of nowhere to presenting something that clearly isn’t Linear A script as Linear A script. Never mind the fact that while Bronze Age cultures ventured to far-off places to make bronze production possible, they did so because of the need for tin rather than the much more common copper.

7. Thinks that a Bull Carving Means that There Was a Celtic Mithras Cult in the United States

Another episode proposed that a bull carving meant that there was a Celtic Mithras cult in the United States. This is ignoring how cattle images have been popular pretty much whenever and wherever cattle can be found. On top of that, the show presents no evidence that the bull carving is even real rather than a modern fake.

8. Thinks that the Holy Grail Is a Bloodline

There is an episode in which the claim is that the Holy Grail is a lineage born of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. This is pretty dubious, not least because the concept didn’t exist until 12th century Arthuriana. Even then, it took some time before it turned into a sangreal meaning “Holy Cup,” which in turn, was turned into sangreal meaning “Holy Blood” by medieval wordplay because of the idea that the vessel was used to catch the blood of Jesus on the cross.

9. Thinks that the Holy Grail Is Literal

With that said, the show also thinks that there is a literal Holy Grail, which was concealed by the Knights Templar in North America. Suffice to say that while it might be entertaining, it isn’t very original to say the least.

10. Believes in the Mound Builders

American Unearthed has brought up the Mound Builders. In modern times, the academic consensus is that said structures were built by the Native Americans, which is based on a combination of archaeological evidence, anthropological evidence, and in some cases, the written records of Spanish explorers. However, there was a time when people believed that the structures showed a sophistication that could not have been achieved by Native Americans, which not coincidentally, was used in support of policies such as the Indian Wars. For the most part, such beliefs have been pushed to the fringe, where they continue to be espoused by various kinds of people. Suffice to say that some of the motivations behind this continuing belief is much more benign in nature than others.

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