|Style over substance|
Pseudoarcheology is a pseudoscience focused on the study or promotion of archaeology in ways which do not meet the basic standards of the scientific method. Pseudoarcheology often involves the study of real archeological objects such as pyramids and the Stonehenge monument, but ascribes alleged mystical powers or supernatural origins to them. Belief in ancient astronauts, or in mythological locations such as Atlantis, are sometimes part of pseudoarcheology.
A related area of pseudoarcheology consists of hoaxes claimed to be new archaeological finds. Among the most infamous of these hoaxes was the Kensington runestone "found" in Minnesota.
 Selective use
The selective use of archaeological data to support pre-existing religious beliefs (while ignoring data that contradicts their claims) also falls under pseudoarcheology. This can include, for example, the use of archaeology to support creationism, the claims of British Israelism, or to support the Book of Mormon claims about the ancestry of the American Indians. The finding of Kennewick Man in eastern Washington state in the late 1990s caused a round of pseudoarcheological speculation about his origins, among both Mormon apologists who believed the find backed up their claims about ancient inhabitants of the Americas, and among a neopagan "Asatru" group who believed it backed up their beliefs that ancient Viking explorers had once been to the Americas.
 Ancient astronauts
The idea that such artifacts as the Egyptian pyramids, Stonehenge, the statues of Easter Island, Mayan hieroglyphs and the Nazca lines are all evidence of ancient extraterrestrial visitors to Earth was popularized by Erich von Däniken, who wrote the pseudoarcheological book Chariots of the Gods in 1968.
Diffusion, the influence of one culture on another, undoubtedly happens. But "hyperdiffusionism" is the extension of this phenomenon beyond reasonable bounds to "explain" how "primitive" societies could do things. For example, to explain the pyramids of Mesoamerica as being built by immigrants from Egypt, some two thousand years earlier, by unknown means, leaving no traces, when the Mesoamerican pyramids were of a different shape, and with a different purpose; often based on belief that the indigenous peoples of the Americas were incapable of such achievements on their own. See also Thor Heyerdahl.
 Misuse of history
Historical documents are misused in a similar way. A good example is the text on Jesus found in Josephus. This text is clearly the work of a Christian scribe but is claimed to “prove” that even a Jew acknowledged Jesus.
 See also
|Articles on RationalWiki related to pseudo-studies|
|Pseudoarcheology - Pseudohistory - Pseudolaw - Pseudolinguistics - Pseudomathematics - Pseudoscience - Pseudopsychology - Pseudoscience list - Pseudoscience in advertising - Pseudoskepticism - Pseudovitamin|