Archaeology Morphing into Entertainment?

It’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference between science and fiddle-faddle.

OK, it costs a fortune to run an archaeological dig, and money’s always hard to come by. Turkey and Egypt are looking to tourists to pay the freight.

Zahi Hawass, long-time head of Egypt’s Antiquities Dept.–a very important post: Egypt would shrivel up and die without tourism, and that means pyramids and statues–has seen his job description change over the years. Nowadays he most closely resembles a 1960s variety show host, a la Jackie Gleason. He has to let New Agers enter the pyramids and conjure up the ghosts of pharaohs and magicians. He used to just dismiss such burlesque, but he’s not allowed to anymore. Can’t say no to the money.

Meanwhile, Turkey is turning Gobekli Tepe into a tourist mecca.

Visiting One of the World's Greatest Archaeological Sites in Türkiye - AFAR

Here’s the crowd. Next will come the rides and gift shops. “I’ve been to Potbelly Hill–and here’s the belly to prove it!”

Some scientists are worried that these famous sites might get compromised, somehow. Ya think? On the other hand, what’s the point of a “World Heritage Site” if the world isn’t allowed to come and see it? Although, speaking for myself, I think the Disney World atmosphere would probably spoil Gobekli Tepe for me.

These sites have many things to teach us… things we’ll never know unless we take some care.

One comment on “Archaeology Morphing into Entertainment?”

  1. We live in a world of endless fads. Gobekli Tepe seems to be flavor of the month. It’s sickening.

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