Carl Feagans is a professional archaeologist that earned a master’s degree in anthropology with a focus on archaeology at the University of Texas at Arlington. Among his academic interests are the religious and cult beliefs of prehistoric peoples, particularly in the Near East around the Pre-Pottery Neolithic. His current interests historic archaeology, particularly related to clandestine distilleries (moonshine stills!). He currently works for the United States Forest Service and records 19th and 20th century home sites that have a rural, agrarian focus.

I also have a fascination with fringe, fantastic, and fraudulent archaeology and what it is that drives people to believe in this and other pseudoscientific notions. In this modern age of “alternative facts” and a deliberate blurring of science by those that would seek to profit or gain from the obfuscation, I find it necessary to write about these topics with an intent on clarifying and exposing them for the poor science that they are.

I’ve been blogging off an on for 10 years, with Hot Cup of Joe being my most prolific attempt. My original blog is/was at http://hotcupofjoe.blogspot.com/ and I moved it after some bad experience with the Blogger auto-spam software which removed/deleted one of my blogs thinking it was link-spam when every bit of the content was original and every link to a legitimate blog or site. It later showed back up, but by then I moved to WordPress. In 2017, I re-branded this blog to Archaeology Review and, while I have that domain (www.archaeologyreview.com), I still have everything sitting on the original ahotcupofjoe.net domain. I also own ahotcupofjoe.com. I originally planned to migrate everything to the archaeologyreview.com address, but for now it ain’t broke, so i’m not fixing it.

What is A Hot Cup of Joe?

In a word: coffee. “Hot cup of joe” is an old nickname for a cup of coffee that still persists today. It can be traced historically back to the 1930s but the actual origin of the nickname is a bit of a mystery. It’s one of those cultural memes that began and gained its own popularity without any surviving documentation that I’ve found to date (though I occasionally browse 1930s and 1940s literature with this in mind).

There are several possible explanations and the one with the most traction that I’ve found is that “Joe” refers to the every-day man and was used as a generalization (such as with “your average Joe” and “GI Joe”). Thus “hot cup of Joe” refers to the drink of the every day man. The sort of comforting beverage available to your average Joe. A plain cup of coffee has always remained inexpensive and satisfying and, in the 1930s (the time of the Great Depression), it would have been an important indulgence for the average Joe who could afford little else on the menu.

As a 12-year veteran of the United States Army, I was first introduced to a good cuppa joe working mid-shifts as a Military Policeman stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. While in Honduras on a 4-month security mission, we ran out of sugar. I’ve taken my coffee black ever since.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on this blog in no way represent the universities or employers to which I’m affiliated. They are my own opinions and views and I alone am responsible for them.
–Carl T. Feagans

For questions, concerns, corrections or happy praise, email me at cfeagans@ahotcupofjoe.net.


  1. Speaking of Indiana Jones, thought this might be something you would be interested in. As millions of people poured into movie theatres across the nation to watch the new Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – many were left to wonder about the mystery behind crystal skulls. So many people aren’t aware that crystal skulls really exist in our history. Uncover what archaeologists and scientists have to say about these fascinating artifacts and the theories surrounding there creation only on NationalGeographic.com.

    You can find the story here – http://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/ancient/crystal-skulls.html

  2. book you might like which i just picked up (maybe you’ve read it already): Cult Archaeology & Creationism: Understanding Pseudoscientific Beliefs about the Past. Edited by Francis B. Harrold and Raymond A. Eve.

  3. MOUND HACKER- site-specific art project. I intervene in the time lines of actual Tells [mounds] and archeological sites around the Mediterranean. By leaving a ceramic shard- key to Ancient Alexandria Library around the Mediterranean, I am drawing a line between ancient cultures and our present day.
    Possibly one of the ceramic keys will stay unnoticed for a bewildered archaeologist to find 500 years henceforth…
    You are welcome to dig.
    Main door: http://nonaorbach.com/blog/
    Mound hacker at Herculaneum: http://nonaorbach.com/blog/?p=7790

  4. Hello! I am the Science Media Producer at the Field Museum. I produce a series called “The Field Revealed” – The most recent episode discusses the most up-to-date information about the well known Magdalenian Girl specimen at the Field Museum, and discusses the reconstruction of her skull using modern medical technologies and 3D modeling. I thought you might be interested. The film can be found on Youtube and Vimeo. Feel free to use the video however you wish. Email me with any questions!

    Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCM966O5_oc
    Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/63686493

    • I’d be happy to contribute to the print version of Darling. I’m just not sure what within my genre of writing would fit 🙂

      Still, if you’re truly interested (and not just spreading links for Google), let me know. Perhaps I can write something about women in archaeology or fashion of archaeologists.

  5. I am curious, Carl; you say in the disclaimer that your views are not meant to represent the university or who you are affiliated with; what university are you employed by?

  6. Carl, if I’m not prying to much, or if you think the questions are not appropriate, were you ever employed by a university as a “Professional Archaeologist” or in the capacity of one? I tried to find more info on your background because of your comments relating to Graham Hancock’s works, especially dealing with the archaeological aspects of the latter. You say in another post that you worked or are working as an “Archaeological Technician”, a term that I’m completely unfamiliar with. Is that latter job title correct?

    • I’m actually a full-time professional archaeologist with the Forest Service. I started out as an archaeological technician. Now I lead a lot of projects, crew chief a few… mostly section 106 related but some research relative to our forest. Research that ranges from prehistoric (Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian) to historic (Iron Industry, slave settlements/post-Emancipation settlements, even moonshine industry). You won’t find a lot of published available to the public by me in the past, since most of my work ends up in what’s called “grey literature” at places like the State Historical Preservation Officer’s desk. I’m still at an Archaeologist Technician pay grade, but I do much of the work of the Assistant Heritage Program Manager and have been temporarily assigned to that posting.

      Most professional archaeologists in the United States do not work for universities.

      Having said all that, I do have several publications I’m involved in that will be available to the public in the future. With more planned behind those.

  7. Carl,you never let anyone know how it turned out with the gpr and the grave dowser and land owner. Did the gpr find anything? Was the grave dowser correct? Did they end up digging and finding remains, Caucasian or Native American? Or….Did the land owner get the 4 lane highway through his property?

    • I tried to find follow up on this over the years, but I never saw any mention of the results from the GPR. I did find out that they also used a magnetometer. My guess is that there were no indications of a graveyard/cemetery. But, in the end, the landowner, Buddy Dupuy, won out–at least for now. The Mississippi Department of Transportation ended up not having the funds to pursue the four-lane project there.

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