American Unearthed: Season Two Assessment

Pallavicini at Arapahoe Basin.

Pallavicini at Arapahoe Basin.

I’ve neglected this blog to gather the loose ends of my second novel and press them into an orderly document. They’re really not loose ends, rather more like the Medusa snakes, they squirm and bite. Frustrated with that, I decided to write a short story for an anthology our sci-fi and fantasy group is planning. The short story has become a novella or novelette, at 18,000 words and growing.
Then there are taxes.
Then there is the garden. With global warming, California has had the warmest winter in its 150 year history. Of course, last fall was one of its coldest falls in recent times. My bonsai jade plant lived happily on my front porch for thirty years then froze this last December. And of course, since I started my seeds, the warmest winter has transformed into a cold spring.
Then there’s skiing. My neighbor convinced me to revive my favorite sport. I gave it up three years ago, at that time deciding I was too old. It turns out that I’m not too old—until I take a nasty fall, then I might become too old rather quickly. So long as the slopes are groomed, I’m okay. I don’t think I’ll be doing Broken Arrow (Squaw) or Pallavicini (Arapahoe), the Golden Spike (Mary Jane), or Our Father (Alpine Meadows) again, but that doesn’t mean there is no skiing left.
If you’ve kept with this so far, you’re thinking WTH. Okay my assessment of America Unearthed:
I was excited when America Unearthed was first introduced. I hoped the show would uncover stuff that stirred my imagination while offering a fragment of believability. Anyone, with any sense, has to realize that a show of this type will never prove a thing. It can only open doors for consideration. If the door is enticing enough, then maybe someone will delve more into the subject.
The first episodes of season one and two were both disappointing. I felt there were gaping holes in the theories presented and those shortcomings were brushed aside by Scott and his team. Although there were a few good episodes in the first season, overall it was disappointing and I wondered if the show would get a second season.
Midway through the second season, something changed; possibly it was the scope. We got to see and hear about some significant sites. More knowledgeable people were mixed into the program even when they disagree with Scott’s point of view. Maybe, he is taking a more neutral position on the topics. A little more time is being spent on the technologies, e.g. the device used to reconstruct the skull of the Kennewick Man. Scott is telling us more about the geology of sites. In general, we are getting a broader and more authoritative perspective regarding the topic of the show. I do find the focuses of the programs to be less interesting than the sidelights, e.g. I found the clues about contact between the Polynesians and the California Indians to be much more interesting than the obsidian spear point, which was never proven to be old, i.e. it could have been manufactured during the last decade as far as we know. I understand there is a way to determine a time frame for the manufacture of an obsidian implement, maybe for other minerals as well. If that is correct, then it should be done.
Back to the Kennewick Man, I always thought it was a backwater legend that had been exaggerated by wackos. Well, according to this article at Wikipedia, it was, and is, considered important. The backwater legend states that no one has been allowed to study it because of a Native American claim that it is their ancestor. It appears to be in limbo now, but earlier the courts ruled that it didn’t appear to be a Native American ancestor and scientists did study it in detail. DNA could not be established using techniques of the period. Who knows, advances in DNA recovery might change that. It did for the Siberian remains talked about in a previous post. The Kennewick remains now are locked up based on the legal argument that any old remains in the Americas must obviously be the remains of Native Americans, unless you can prove the ancient in question was a monk of sorts, I suppose.
There are flat-earthers in every society. They live in fear that something will prove their faith baseless, and there are other, more forward thinking people, who say, “Bring it on, I can handle anything.” In the end, it gets brought on, one way or another, and the flat-earth people reconstruct their reality to accommodate it. Very few actually reassess their beliefs and change them.

Old photo of ainu people

Old photo of ainu people

Right now the best guess is that the Kennewick Man is an Ainu man. The Ainu are another completely different story worthy of reading about. In simple terms, they are a separate indigenous minority to the Japanese Islands.
There are several ideas about how Kennewick (alternative article) got to the Americas, but I contend that anyone could have walked across Beringia. It was there longer than it took the first Americans to colonize the entire western land mass. Given the ebb and flow of humanity in know history, we should expect that pre-historical times were no different.
Anyway, if America Unearthed continues in the pattern of the last two or three shows, then I’m still game to watch it. Scott, the Lost Dutchman Mine in the Superstition Mountains, please.

2 thoughts on “American Unearthed: Season Two Assessment

  1. Julaina,
    Thanks. I feel like Noah without the boat. Too much to do, not enough energy or time. The jade plant made it with major amputations due to frostbite.

  2. Sorry your Bonsai plant didn’t make it after 30 years.
    Thanks for showing Written Across the Genres with the list of your books.
    I will be posting your interview answers as a contributor to the anthology soon.
    You’re welcome to return to class when you have the time.

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