Thursday, May 07, 2009

Gavin Menzies at Old Government House: should Auckland Uni be hosting an exhibition inspired by a racist crank?

The University of Auckland's Old Government House has for many decades been an important centre of intellectual and cultural exchange. As well as providing a common room for university staff, Old Government House has regularly hosted academic seminars, debates, and conferences. Work by important New Zealand artists like Toss Woollaston hangs permanently on the building's walls, and many fine artists have exhibited there.

Unfortunately, a new exhibition at Old Government House makes a mockery of the building's history as a venue for serious scholarship and quality art. Entitled A Stirring Myth of Conspiracy, the exhibition consists of a series of paintings and sculptures inspired by the theories of Gavin Menzies, a retired British naval captain who has in recent years won notoreity for claiming that fifteenth century Chinese sailors visited New Zealand and many of the other islands of the Pacific, as well as places as far afield as Iceland, the Azores, and Antarctica.

In their contributions to the catalogue for A Stirring Myth of Conspiracy, painter Pauline Brill and sculptor John Young repeatedly praise Gavin Menzies. Young claims that Menzies' ideas have 'power and strength', and Brill predicts that artefacts from Chinese voyages to New Zealand and other lands will 'emerge in due course'. Young has sculpted impressions of objects associated with Menzies' theories, like the 'Tamil bell' found in the interior of New Zealand in the nineteenth century. Brill has painted a Chinese junk sailing in New Zealand waters. Neither Brill nor Young has studied history or any comparable discipline at postgraduate level.

Not everyone shares Brill and Young's admiration for Gavin Menzies. In his books and in his public appearances, Menzies has made a string of claims about Pacific history which have offended many Polynesians. In 2006, for instance, Menzies visited New Zealand and gave a public lecture in which he claimed that 'Maori people don't exist'. According to Menzies, Maori are not a Polynesian people who reached New Zealand in waka, but rather the offspring of a group of Melanesian slaves who took over the Chinese junk that had been transporting them and raped a group of Chinese concubines who had also been travelling on the junk. When Maori members of his audience challenged his claims, Menzies told them that Maori oral history was 'just fantasy' and that New Zealand historians like Michael King 'don't understand history'. Menzies has also caused offence in Niue by claiming that the people of that nation are the descendants of Chinese, and that the Niuean and Chinese languages are 'practically one and the same'.

Menzies is deeply unpopular amongst academics who study the history of China and the cultures of the Pacific. Though Menzies' books have sold well, he has not received a single positive review in a refereed academic journal. Many reviewers have complained that Menzies deliberately distorts the historical record and the work of serious scholars in order to make his claims appear more credible than they are. The historian George Wade is taking legal action to try to get Menzies' volumes moved from the 'Non-fiction' to the 'Fiction' sections of British bookstores. A large number of scholars have banded together to set up the website, which is dedicated to countering Menzies' falsehoods.

It is easy to understand the anger that Menzies has caused amongst many people. The man has no training in history or any other academic discipline, and he does not understand a word of the Chinese language, yet he claims to know better than all the world's historians and Sinologists combined. Menzies' first book has the portentous title 1421: the Year China Discovered the World, yet it was written as a novel, and only recategorised as 'history' on the advice of its publishers. Menzies' work is characterised by amateurish blunders and clumsy attempts to distort the work of genuine scholars of Chinese and Pacific history. In 1421, for instance, Menzies reproduces a map which he claims was produced by Chinese sailors in the fifteenth century, and which includes locations like New Zealand and Antarctica. But the modern Chinese script used in the map was not created until after Mao's Communists came to power, in the middle of the twentieth century. Menzies' distortion of the work of serious researchers is exemplified by his references to the DNA tests undertaken in recent decades to help determine the origins of the Polynesian peoples. Tests by dozens of academics have confirmed the long-held view that the ancestors of the Polynesians entered the Pacific from the coast of southeast Asia four or five thousand years ago. In both his books and his speeches, Menzies tries to argue that DNA tests have proven his theory correct, because they show a distant connection between Polynesians and certain Asian peoples. But Menzies claims that the Polynesians are descended from fifteenth century Chinese, not peoples who lived on the coastal fringe of southeast Asia many thousands of years ago. Menzies is guilty of grossly distorting the findings of real scholars in an effort to give his ideas some sort of credibility.

In his desperation to prop up his strange interpretation of history, Menzies has turned to some very unpleasant ideas. One of the worst aspects of 1421 is Menzies' attempt to argue that the Maori legends of a patu paiarahere, or fairy folk, are actually based on memories of a light-skinned pre-Maori people. This claim was first made in the 1970s by Kerry Bolton, one of New Zealand's best-known neo-Nazis and the originator of the idea that a pale-skinned people occupied New Zealand before being dispossessed by Maori. Bolton has propagated the idea of a 'white tangata whenua' in a stream of books and articles, and it has been picked up by a new generation of far right activists, the best-known of whom is Martin Doutre, the author of Ancient Celtic New Zealand and a leader of the anti-Maori One New Zealand Foundation. For racists like Bolton and Doutre, the existence of a pale skinned pre-Maori people means that whites are the rightful owners of this country, and that documents like the Treaty of Waitangi are null and void.

Gavin Menzies takes the idea that the patu paiarehe were a light-skinned pre-Maori people and adapts it by claiming that the 'fairy folk' were in fact Chinese. In a passage which Pauline Brill and John Young quote in the catalogue for their exhibition, Menzies claims that:

They [the patupaiarehe] wore white garments and also differed from Maoris in having no tattoos and by carrying children in their arms. Some married Maori women. I believe this local legend to be true and the first non-Maori settlers in New Zealand were not European but Chinese. The word Patu paiarehe has another meaning, namely fairies.

In reality, the stories of patu paiarehe have always been regarded by Maori as legends, like stories of taniwha, and not as accounts of a distinct group of real people. In a criticism of the misuse of the patu paiarehe myth written last year, the distinguished Kai Tahu writer Keri Hulme pointed out that fair-skinned individuals were sometimes born into pre-colonisation Maori groups, but that they 'were part of us, Maori, normal people...[though] rare'. Hulme condemned the appropriation of Maori oral tradition by misinformed racists as 'abhorrent'.

The past is an almost infinitely complex phenomenon, and the ways that we understand it are continually changing. Disciplines like history and archaeology are exceptionally disputatious, as scholars test different interpretations against the evidence. Universities should be places where scholars come together to argue with and learn from one another. Certainly, no university should ever enforce a particular 'line' on the interpretation of history. Equally, though, universities should be bastions of rational thought and scholarly standards. Gavin Menzies' complete lack of understanding of scholarly method, his contempt for historical fact, and his destructive and libellous use of the work of serious scholars has earned him the contempt of historians and Sinologists around the world. It is wrong for the University of Auckland to host an exhibition and publish an exhibition catalogue which celebrate Menzies' racist pseudo-scholarship.

It might be argued that bad ideas can inspire good art, and that A Stirring Myth of Conspiracy might still have aesthetic value even if the theories of Gavin Menzies are worthless. But the exhibition fails on an artistic as well as intellectual level. Pauline Brill's paintings are very clumsy attempts at traditional portraits of sailing ships that show no awareness of any art movement of the last hundred years. Young's sculptures resemble the sloppily joined trinkets that are offered to tourists at second-rate market stalls. Neither Brill nor Young has any profile in the Auckland arts community. The fact that they are exhibiting at Old Government House seems to have more to do with the fact that they sit on the House's Gallery Committee than anything else. Even if the ideas that inspired it were wholly inoffensive, A Stirring Myth of Conspiracy would still be an embarrassment to the University of Auckland.


Blogger Edward said...

First of all, Eww. Why the hell are they hosting this rubbish!? It's a slap in the face to the Maori and anthropology departments not to mention the rest of the scholarly community. And by hosting it there they might actually lend credence to the thesis in the public's eyes. What's next, a celebration of Celtic New Zealand? This is very disappointing.

9:10 am  
Blogger Matthew R. X. Dentith said...

I've contacted the Maori Studies Department to see if they are aware of the exhibition.

9:27 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all these calls for censorship are a bit tiresome. It's an opportunity to educate people who might not be aware of the all the pseudo-history issues with Menzies. Print out some articles from the website that exposes him. Insist they are made available as flyers at the exhibition. Go to the exhibition and talk to people. Censorship is not a trustworthy technique for critiquing people, it leads to problems as troublesome as pseudo-history and propaganda do.


11:59 am  
Blogger Ross Brighton said...

I agree with james re censorship.
these issues need to be brought to the public eye as a means of educating and hopefully inoculating the public against such diseased and anti-social ideas. Fight ignorance with knowledge.

This pseudo-scientific anti-history makes me very very angry, and erodes my faith in humankind. Though those who stand against it make me feel a bit better.

12:36 pm  
Blogger Edward said...

For me it's not about censorship so much as appropriateness. Pseudo's like Menzies are welcome to write what they want, I don't have to like it or agree with it, but it's a free country. But, I do not think it appropriate for a University - a symbol of scholarship and higher learning - to promote or even humour the views of people such as the Doutre's and Menzies of this world. It is an insult to the Human Sciences, History, and Maori departments where people devote their lives to the opposite of what Menzies stands for. Such a platform should not, in my opinion, be supplied by the very institution which is supposed to be actively trying to educate the public.
It's just like the Uncensored Holocaust deniers having a show-and-tell at a war memorial hall - bad form and poor taste.

1:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott Hamilton, though you cite John Young and Pauline Brill as having no formal education in history on your blog, how unfair is it to comment like you do towards their artwork, when it seems that given you have ONLY just graduated with your doctorate in sociology, what education in Art do you have to make such comments? Perhaps you need to look in the mirror at the comments you make...? Grow UP!

1:43 pm  
Blogger Dr Jack Ross said...

Sparing Scott's blushes, I think it's only fair to say in answer to the last "anonymous" speaker below that Scott was a graduate student in Art History before he transferred to Sociology ...

Whether that means that his judgement of art is "correct" or "canonical" or not of course still remains in question, but it's simply not true that he's not extensively qualified in this area.

It might be better for all of us to go in and have a look ourselves at the works in question before we commit ourselves to views on their merits ... which is pretty much Scott's point, as I understand it.

2:19 pm  
Blogger Strypes said...

If he was saying that this exhibition should be forcibly prevented from being shown *anywhere*, Scott would be advocating censorship. He is not. He is criticizing the showing of the exhibition in a venue that risks raising the credibility of baseless, misleading pseudo-academic work, by association with a respected academic institution.

A lot of well-meaning people I know have been taken in by these 'white tangata whenua' ideas, and when they are given false credibility by uncritical articles in mainstream newspapers, and exhibition at universities, it just makes it harder to convince them they are being conned by neo-nazis.

Thanks Scott for bringing attention to this, and giving such a thorough analysis.


3:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Pauline Brill and John Young will pop up here and explain why they are so impressed by a 'researcher' who thinks Maori come from Melanesian slaves and Chinese prostitutes...

Maybe not...

4:34 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Thanks for the support folks.

After I put this post up, I emailed Tim Biggs, the Manager of Old Government House ( and a member of the Governors' Gallery Committee, and suggested that he might let me leave copies of it near the exhibiton, so as to balance the views of Menzies. I haven't had a reply from Biggs.

I've had e mails from anthropology and philosophy students who have visited the exhibition today and been annoyed by it. I also know that at least one senior academic has complained today about the exhibition.

4:44 pm  
Anonymous keri h said...

Slightly OT (not that I dont thoroughly appreciate Maps' entirely appropriate objection to such an exhibition being held at Old Government House) -
anyone else noted how *selective* Doutre, Menzies et al are appropos patupaiarehe traits? They seize upon
the pale skin - but not necessarily the red hair. They enjoy the 'fact' that patupaiarehe carried their offspring in their arms - but dont mention that they had a deep hatred of cooked food - and fire (& red ochre come to that.) They mention that the patupaiarehu wore 'white' - but not that they were found on mountains and were deeply associated with mist. And that they disliked sunlight...

Anybody who has any illusions about Menzies' ability as a researcher, might like to go to 'In The Hall Of Maat' (there's a good link in Wikipedia) and have them dispelled. He doesnt shine as a navigator either-

5:27 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old Government House gallery space is actually the staff common room, not a public university gallery such as Gus Fisher or George Fraser.

The argument that by exhibiting an artwork, they lend academic credence to whatever inspired it is a trifle farfetched.

Personally I associate OGH more with its colonial baggage and cheap beer than I do with any kind of role in the art world - and if you really don't think they should show art that aesthetically displeases you, you'd have had good cause to protest any time these past ten years.

While I'm sympathetic of your dislike of Menzies, it's preposterous to suggest that OGH (of all places) ought to act as some kind of Gatekeeper which polices not just art but the thoughts of artists. What's next, censuring them for displaying Evans cartoons because you disagree with his political viewpoints?

7:25 pm  
Blogger Paul said...

Whilst we are on the subject of Art, let us not forget the sequel to 1421, the imaginatively entitled 1434, in which Cdr Menzies claims that the Chinese fleet went to Italy and "ignited" the Renaissance. This, of course, is bollocks.

As an Art History PhD student at Auckland, I am rather embarrassed that this sort of nonsense should be given credence in the Senior Common Room. Surely they could find better artists and better subject matter than this.

An explanation for this monstrosity is at hand. It seems that Pauline Brill is the former Art Director of the Governor's Gallery and John Young her successor.

3:28 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, there is good cause to be concerned about this material being displayed at the moment; we just had capping week here and the graduation activities start in and around OGH; family and friends of the graduates could very well mistake the presence of this exhibition in the staff common rooms as tacit agreement with what it (tries to) represent.

11:39 am  
Blogger maps said...

Absolutely, anon. Old Government House is being almost constantly visited by different parts of the community outside the university.

When I was there on Thursday, I saw a large group of new immigrants to New Zealand being hosted for lunch by a government official of some kind. I had the impression that these new arrivals in the country were being given a guided tour of the university. A number of them seemed to have arrived from countries whose histories Menzies has wilfully distorted. I hope they didn't linger too long over the exhibition inspired by Menzies' racist pseudo-scholarship.

12:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A suppoerter of the pseudo-historians has hit back at critics:

2:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Young and Brill specifically state in the exibition catalogue that the works of Menzis are theories and open to question. You, Scott have been very accusatory and bombastic. If you have issues with the Chinese or what Bril and Young exhibit you will have to be a lot more inductive in your reasoning.

6:58 pm  
Blogger Paul said...

Menzies' claims are not theories open to question; they are fabrications: falsehoods and fantasies. Treating them as if they had academic credibility does harm to intellectual discourse.

8:14 pm  
Blogger Edward said...

Anonymous (3rd above this post),

"A suppoerter of the pseudo-historians has hit back at critics"

Not exactly, that's my satirical blog.

9:01 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'If you have issues with the Chinese...'

WTF? Critiquing Menzies for his lies has nothing to do with being anti-Chinese. Are those who pint out that Men Kampf is full of fabrications anti-German?

9:29 pm  
Blogger bi -- International Journal of Inactivism said...

"But the modern Chinese script used in the map was not created until after Mao's Communists came to power, in the middle of the twentieth century."

It's not strictly true that the map uses the modern script. It does attempt to use traditional characters, but some of the usages are bogus -- some words were written with distinct characters in the traditional script, but were collapsed to the same character in the simplified script, and the map has them confused.

-- bi

12:56 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a sense isn't the pivotal issue here what is the role of the university?

While in the U.S, academics operate under a combination of "free speech" laws and the tenure system, in New Zealand, academic freedom is specifically protected by law (the Education Act 1989). This protection includes our right to express unpopular or controversial opinions, as well as to question orthodoxy.

I think the idea is that in a climate of constant testing and challenging, claims based on poor scholarship will eventually fall by the wayside, in academia if not the general populace.

Where this system has run up against, say, dodgy revisionist history or science, I think maybe there is a tension between the rights of academics and the rights of those harmed by them.

There is also a blurring of the distinction between a university harbouring an academic - and a university officially endorsing what they did. As has happened in these comments.

In terms of this exhibition, I think calling them on it is a good idea and I think debate over it is a good idea.

However, by hosting it in the first place, they are not outside their appropriate role as a university. Quite the contrary.

If they had given it official endorsement - say, by granting the artist a degree for work based on it - that would be a different matter.

- Titus fan

11:23 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

while I personally endorce the fundamental right of any artist to exhibit there appropiate works, I have no problem with the exhibits I have witnessed at OGH this past week. Having read the catalogue as presented on the exhibits I found them to be extremely tasteful NOT TRINKETS and if one noticed on one of the exhibits the sculptor created three Fairies, quiet ironic wouldn't you think Scott.Is it right that the University Library carries a copy of Gavin Menzies book on the 1421 The Year China Discovered The World. This suggests that Academics have the right to search whatever they like Don't you think? Its healthy to be informed one would suggest.

12:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the university library also has a copy of the protocols of the elders of zion - a book on the same intellectual level as 1421. shall we have an exhibition inspired by that one? since 1421 is a racist book based on slander and falsification of historical records it plays no role in academic debate. hence, the question of academic freedom is irrelevant. it should be available for study, in the same way the protocols are, as an example of a sick ideology. but palagi who defend the book that insults pasifika peoples and maori are no better than anti-semites who defend the protocols. you have a double standard - if it's pasifika people being abused, you cry 'keep an open mind'.

5:31 pm  
Blogger Paul said...

1421 is nothing like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It is rubbish but its purpose is not to denigrate and slander a people. Nothing said or implied about Polynesian peoples in 1421 comes anywhere close to what is said about Jewry in the Protocols.

And why do you single out palagi who defend the book, rather than people of any other race?

6:33 pm  
Anonymous Keri Hulme said...

Paul, while obviously not in the same vicious class as "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", part of Menzie's "1421" agenda *is* to denigrate & slander a people - to wit, ANZ Maori...reported comments make this much more obvious, but it's there in his despicable book also.

I cannot speak for the latest Anonymous comment, but I would rather suspect it's only Pakeha who are seizing upon the crap that Menzies(Doutre, Brailsford. Wiseman et dreary al) purvey-

6:48 pm  
Blogger Paul said...

His claim about Maori origins is preposterous but I doubt it is malicious. And it is not much use to white racists, unlike the Celtic origin stories. If the Chinese got here first, white folk are no more entitled to be here than Maori.

Not surprisingly, quite a few Chinese people warm to Menzies.

8:49 pm  
Anonymous keri h said...

O, I think Menzie's being *totally* malicious - we (Maori) are *not* Maori we're the offspring of Melanesian-raped 'Chinese' concubines...

and *anything* that proves to sad ignorant souls that Maori werent here first, Paul, assists racist shits-

10:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course Menzies is mainlining racist discourses.
His 'theory' that Maori are the descendants of violent slaves is an adaption of the 'Maori/Polynesians are genetically violent' meme that has been popular in the palagi for a long time.
Maybe palagi should study their own history?

9:32 am  
Blogger Paul said...

" ...that has been popular in the palagi for a long time." Maybe you should examine your own racial attitudes.

Besides the absence of any such 'meme,' Menzies is doing no such thing. He is not making any claims about Polynesians or Maori; he is merely speculating to support his claim that the Chinese got here and everywhere else first. His claim is ludicrous but it is not racist in intent.

It would probably help you and others if you were to read Menzies before commenting. For a start, he is not claiming that anyone is the descendant of slaves.

9:59 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A RETIRED English naval captain, who claims in an international best-selling book that China discovered the world in the 15th century, says Maori don't exist as a race.

They were the product of Melanesian slaves raping Chinese prostitutes, writer Gavin Menzies said."

12:06 pm  
Anonymous keri h said...

Menzies does not make the 'Melanesian slaves+ Chinese concubines = Maori who are therefore not a people at all" in the 1st edition of "1421" (I havent read the 2nd enhanced ed.)He has made that claim in interviews in ANZ, and at a public meeting here, and the claim appeared several times on the former website devoted to "1421."

12:07 pm  
Blogger Paul said...

This is the only comment by Menzies I have found:

What might have happened is that a small number of Melanesians settled in New Zealand about two thousand years ago; it was they who brought the rats whose bones have been carbon dated. Zhou Man`s fleet arrived from the Antarctic (Campbell Island) in 1422/23. They landed in substantial numbers in South Island and some ships were wrecked on North Island (Ruapuke Beach). The fleets carried Chinese Tanka concubines. The Melanesians murdered the Chinese men and took the concubines as their wives.

12:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to dingbats Brill and Young for embarrassing Auckland.

Here are some examples of reviews of Gavin Menzies's new book, 1434: not a history book in any meaningful sense of the term"

‘1434′ is as much junk as ‘1421′

"his assumption that the Chinese fleet landed a delegation in Florence is highly speculative, and hardly substantiated by any facts"

"There were times I thought I was eavesdropping on a dotty academic"

“It's not strong on historical method,"

"It's as if there had been some mass outbreak of cribbing and fibbing"

"Fact, fiction or whatever. The publishers don't care what people think about such books so long as they buy them"

"Those readers unconvinced by 1421... might want to consider having a little salt nearby as they read".

For the full reviews see

3:43 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Students could erect signs around the building with the word "Fake" in large red letters for the edification of those unaware of Menzies problems with evidence and research!

8:15 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott Congratulations on reaching pHD lEVEL. Thankyou for all your comments re Young and Brill. Many viewers arrived to give their positive thoughts and there were a number of items sold. Look forward to further unresearched material on your blog site

3:40 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I try to keep an open mind re human settlement in NZ . However it always cracks me up when human remains are found and handed back to local iwi without any DNA testing or carbon dating, even if we KNOW that the iwi was not in that area till 1830 and the site has been dated at 1650. To much money involved in the gravy train !!! Some would say that's maori bashing. The powers that be should put their money where their mouth is and permit testing to shut up those who think that we did have pre maori settlement.... or do they have something to hide ?

7:11 pm  
Blogger Gary Cook said...

Well well. The narrow, and focused views of academics and biased researchers once again comes to the fore.
Whilst all may not agree with Menzies, there is merit in his research, and it is beholden on all who wish to criticize, to carry out their own research. If Menzies is accurately quoted on his comments re the concubines, this is regrettable. If he has been misquoted, or his words taken out of context, this should be put right. Perhaps another case of the tall poppy syndrome. Now, let me place another cat among the academic pigeons. Read the reports on the findings of Prof. Haikai Tane re the Ruataniwha rock shelter drawings on the Opihi River in the South Island. He claims that Daoist Chinese, a Proto-polynesian people, visited the South Island more than 4000 years ago. his web site is Healthy debate serves a greater purpose than character assassination.

10:31 am  
Blogger Paul said...

"Whilst all may not agree with Menzies, there is merit in his research, and it is beholden on all who wish to criticize, to carry out their own research."

Based on the authority of Isaiah 40:6, I hold the belief that all flesh is grass, literally. If you wish to critise my findings, it is beholden on you to do your own research.

I look forward to hearing from you.

2:10 pm  
Anonymous Dr Moon said...

What are you afraid of? We need to explore art as much as science and new, yet challenging, ideas deserve exploration. I disagree with your dismissal of Menzies theories, they do have relevance. Ancient maps exist, were faithfully 'traded' and shared by an earlier mariner culture. Prof. Charles Hapgood of Keane State Uni has documented many, many pre-history cartographic maps, charting the ancient world pre LGM, including geographical features only identified in the past 100 years. You are challenged and your attack is an obvious, but inappropriate, response mechanism. Many cultures explored the world before the ‘new world’ and yes there is substantial evidence of pre-Maori cultures, look and yee shall see… The journals of the Polynesian Society record eye witness accounts of non-Maori. Your hissy fit at the art exhibition can be likened to Book Burning- scared, afraid, intimidated Get over your insecurities its just ART!

Dr Moon

2:25 pm  
Blogger maps said...

I do hope that the person signing himself 'Dr Moon' is not attempting to impersonate Dr Paul Moon, as we've had enough of that silliness already:

9:15 pm  
Blogger Edward said...

'Gary Cook' and this 'Dr Moon' imposter appear to be nothing more than the same tiresome egocentric nuts who always rear their ugly heads everytime someone argues against the bullshit that passes for "archaeology" in conspiracy/racist circles these days.
For all of Gary Cook's smug attitude about academics and archaeological research, really, what underlies his assumptions is ignorance. I wonder, has Cook and 'Dr Moon' any training in archaeology? Have they conducted their own research? An archaeological degree? Or, are they yet more 'self-taught' "researchers"? It seems from thier comments that the latter is true whereby their astonishingly insightful "research" consists of reading tabloids produced by other untrained nutjobs.
Apparently though, archaeology is a scientific discipline unlike any other, where anyone can suddenly become an expert over night thus skipping the years of training the rest of us undergo.
All I can really say to both is: you're full of it. If you really do think you're as "special" as it appears you do, why don't you get off your high horse and go and aquire a BA follwed by post-grad training in archaeology? Oh, but that's right, an actual archaeologist isn't allowed to criticise your views because they're just as "valid". Pfft. I've just spent two weeks straight surveying sites up in Northland and what do I come back to? You're bullshit rhetoric and pseudo-revisionist history. Thanks.

10:11 am  
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6:32 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this talk of pre-Maori settlers makes me hungry... or would do if I was Maori.

4:08 am  

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