The Four Stone Hearth #37 – The Pulp SciFi Edition


Pulp Science Fiction is a cultural gem that I recently rediscovered at a second hand book store when I chanced upon a pile of science fiction anthologies. The cover art was fantastic! I ended up not purchasing any of them and immediately regretted it when I got home, so I spent the better part of an hour in Google looking at this art form and finding comic book and magazine covers from the 1950s and 1960s that were familiar to me from my childhood. I grew up in the late 60s and then the 70s, so the space craze was a very memorable. I remember watching Moon landings and wanting to be an astronaut like every other kid.

The art from the 1960s reveals an expectation that we had about the way things might be, should be, or perhaps the way we were afraid things would be. Jet packs, streamlined rocket ships with fins, girls in space with tight fitting spacesuits, and killer robots and aliens. Many of these themes still pervade modern science fiction, but not nearly with the style and drama brought to life in the imaginations of artists like Ron Turner and Frank R. Paul.

I hope you enjoy this installment of the Four Stone Hearth!


4sh1.jpg Archaeology From Around The World, by Middle Savagery.

Jet Packs. Where are the jet packs? Isn’t that what was promised by science fiction in the day?

So strap on your jet pack, don your goldfish bowl helmet, and grab your ray gun. Then visit your tour guide, Middle Savagery, at the link above to begin a world tour of archaeology in action around the world. If you don’t have a jet pack, Middle Savagery links to a Flicker Group that specializes in archaeology photos. From the Isle of Wight to the Sudan, archaeology never looked so good.

4sh2.jpg Pictland Should Be Plural, by Jonathan Jarrett.

The Picts have invaded A Corner of Tenth-Century Europe! These one-eyed tentacled beasts are snatching Spandex-Space-Suited girls and your help is needed to stop the invasion!

Or, perhaps the Picts began one of the first recycling programs in Scotland and weren’t alien monsters at all. Visit the link above and find out for yourself. Recycling? Really? In 600 CE no less! If you want to find out the details, read the post!

magnus-robot-fighter.jpg Discovery Channel, Teaching The Debate, by Archaeoporn.

What could be more absurd than two scantily-clad boxers duking it out in front of an audience of robots? And did you notice one is straddling the other!?

To answer that question, click the link above and read Archaeoporn’s take on The Naked Archaeologist and a porn-star host of a “documentary” on the History Channel. The post at Archaeoporn provides a decent overview of the Shroud of Turin and the nonsense asserted by proponents of its authenticity. Archaeoporn’s critique centers around The Discovery Channel’s online article/slide show. He didn’t comment on it, but the PBS special “Secrets of the Dead: The Shroud of Christ” wasn’t much better.

4sh4.jpgHuman Evolution on Trial -“Culture,” by Terry Toohill.

Unless aliens landed in the night and started playing recordings of Pimsleur‘s Indo-European or the latest Rosetta Stone course in Pama-Nyungan (it is the choice of NASA!), then Language (big “L,” folks) is an evolved process. Terry Toohill has written this post on human evolution and touches on Language, Religion, and other topics as evolutionary processes within human culture.

russian-moon.jpg “Clovis First” – The End, by Tim Jones.

“Behold! This great phallic and fluted warhead is the first of its kind!”

Tim writes a great post that ties in several sources to discuss the “Clovis first” paradigm and some of the sites involved that Clovis may not have been the first lithic technology in the Americas.

saturn.jpg Domestic Fowl In Roman Egypt, by Archaeozoo.

If you were to visit Titan, a moon of Saturn, and you have a penchant for Coturnix coturnix, you can forget about logging into A Blog Around the Clock (dial up is too expensive from there and DSL lines aren’t in place yet). You’ll need to bring your quail with you!

And that’s what Archaeozoo’s post above describes with regard to an isolated Roman site in ancient Egypt. Not as isolated as Titan, this desert quarry still wasn’t in any position to order take-out, so they would have had to stock up on supplies. Read the post to find out about the domestic fowl play involved.

4-1.jpg Human Exploitation Of Birds On The Isle Of Man, by Archaeozoo.

You might be tempted to think Archaeozoo has gone to the birds, but he has two posts to offer us today!

Perhaps it comes as a shock to some, but man has been known to exploit non-human species for human gain. Read about the wild birds netted on the Isle of Man as early as the 16th century, fattened up, then served up at the local KFC. Okay, maybe not the KFC.

50ftwoman.jpg Pimp My Grant Proposal, by Martin Rundkvist.

A 50 ft. woman named “Grant Proposal” is attacking the Öresund Bridge and Martin needs your help! ‘Nuff said.

4sh3.jpg Impressive Angkor, by Paul.

Why become an anthropologist? Exotic travel to far away places and the joy of discovery. The beauty of it is, if you can’t leave your own chair due to budgeting, time management or gravity, you can click on the link above and visit Wanna be an Anthropologist and read his take on a presentation Paul attended “by Roland Fletcher, an archaeologist from the University of Sydney who is leading up the Greater Angkor Project.”

There are some great links and photos to the new discoveries at Angkor that reveal that “Angkor Wat [the temple itself] is just the tip of the iceberg– that it was the center of an enormous, low-density urban complex whose size (1000 square km) rivaled large modern day cities.”

About Carl Feagans 396 Articles
Professional archaeologist that currently works for the United States Forest Service at the Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area in Kentucky and Tennessee. I'm also a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Army and spent another 10 years doing adventure programming with at-risk teens before earning my master's degree at the University of Texas at Arlington.

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