Aloha El-REB and Mahalo. I'll take a kind word from an exile island renegade and time rustler.
I'm also flattered to be endowed with a "cognitive understanding of the unknown", even if I have no idea what that is!! Perhaps it is having a feel for what we don't know, or how likely it is that things are badly screwed up. The assumptions that the present academic model of the ancient world is based on are so long-standing that they are no longer seriously questioned. Most may not even know what those assumptions are.
Academics are eager for their work to be accepted, so of course they make sure that all findings are compatible with the accepted framework. Not that I am against having a framework. It is necessary if many people are going to cooperate on any endeavor. However, people who claim to be experts or scientists cannot afford to treat any framework as "sacred", much less be ignorant of its limitations and how that framework was established. And they should not treat any hypothesis as proven that can't be independently tested.
I would also say, how can anyone trust a basic framework that was established when archaeology was in its infancy and has never gone through a major overhaul.
Question of the Day: What's the difference between an archaeologist and a cowboy? An archaeologist only needs to sound convincing, a cowboy has to be right! Usually lawyers are the butt of this joke, but today we'll pick on archaeologists. "Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys. Let 'em be lawyers and archaeologists, and such."
O.K. pardner, it's off the slippery rock and back on the trail.
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