The credibility of archaeoastronomy : A suggestion from pharmacology?Part of : Mediterranean archaeology & archaeometry : international journal ; Vol.16, No.4, 2016, pages 1-5
Mankind has been observing the sky since ever and also intentional human activity of interpreting what is seen in the sky is very old. The usefulness of studies aimed at analyzing the possible astronomical content of ancient structures and artifacts is thus not in doubt. However, many archaeologists still do not acknowledge Archaeoastronomy as a useful subsidiary science for Archaeology. This situation is mainly due to two factors. On the one hand, many archaeoastronomical works devoid of any scientific content continue to discredit even the most serious researches in the field. On the other hand, the purely humanistic formation of most archaeologists does not incline them to accept the evidence that archaeoastronomers present in support of their arguments. While the first problem can hopefully find a solution with a strict self-control of the archaeoastronomical community, the solution of the latter is more complex. Actually, the difficulty of proving the presence of astronomical contents in an ancient artifact is, in large measure, real and certainly not ascribable only to the lack of scientific expertise. However, the problem of the credibility of a scientific study is indeed becoming more and more serious in all disciplines. In fact, the pressure in the whole scientific community to increase one's output, for a positive assessment of the activities of a researcher, is causing numerous cases of poor scientific ethics. Obviously this situation has very negative consequences especially in those disciplines, such as clinical trials, which have a strong social impact. For this reason, the community of Pharmacology scholars is considering to introduce a standard procedure, which is to be explicated in the evaluation of the credibility of the results of a research. We will show how a similar standard procedure can be adapted to increase also the credibility of the archaeoastronomical studies.
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