Archaeological data demands a big change of paradigms

Published July 21, 2014 by amaic

Dr. Hans-Ulrich Niemitz’s comments below, as expressed in his radical revision of AD time,

Did the Early Middle Ages Really Exist?

regarding the difficulties associated with bringing to the academic community an entirely different-from-conventional chronological paradigm (and the AMAIC does not necessarily accept all of the Phantom Time Hypothesis theories or explanations), are highly applicable as well to the efforts by many to introduce a much-needed revision of ancient history.

Taken from: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/volatile/Niemitz-1997.pdf

…. How is it possible to do research work of this kind inside the scientific community? Is it perhaps necessary to research outside the scientific community, because it would demand a big change of paradigms, which means the end of certainty with regard to chronology. Usually a program of research relies on given research problems, which the general public defines. What will happen when the new research program in regard with its thesis or approach is too far from general public interest or too far from the academic society?

(Who shall give financial support?) Then we don’t have the capability of joining ‘normal science’. I am aware of standing on the shoulders of our predecessors and that we work using

their results, I can only emphasize again and again my respect for archaeologists and other

scientists who are able to uncover artifacts and construct theories on them.

I would like to repeat that our method consists in questioning specific research problems of

archaeology and historiography. I must emphasize that the thesis of the phantom years is one

proposal for solving those problems. It works surprisingly well and yields amazing results. It

seems that scientists today do not see the common pattern in all the problems, which repeatedly appear, because there exists an unexpressed and unconscious prohibition against questioning the chronology as if it were unimpeachable. My request therefore is: where and

how could our research work possibly join? What could we do together? Until today our research work was done marginally, but from now on it enters an important stage. The project

has become so big that it cannot be worked out by a few people with small resources. Support

from official institutions has become necessary so that we can continue our work at the edge

of specialty (“im Rand des Faches”) as suggests Krohn and Küppers; papers in their book “The self-organization of science(-society)”: “It is only through activities in the margin of scientific institutions that outsiders can amplify the disturbances, so that instabilities will appear, which in the end will restructure existing research.” (Krohn, Küppers 1989,95).

If some colleagues accuse us of unrealistic or even fantastic behavior, I wish to express that it

could not be a mortal sin in the business of science to question paradigms and slaughter holy

cows. In case we are forced to turn to the general public in order to raise funds, this strategy

will do as well. But: “One of the strongest but unwritten rules of scientific life is the interdiction against appealing to statesmen or to the general public in matters of science” (Kuhn 1970). Kuhn supposes: “As the unity of the scientific performance is a solved problem

and as the group knows well which problems are already solved, only few scientists would be

willing to take up a standpoint that reopens research on many already solved problems.”

(Kuhn 1970). Our thesis produces new problems and questions – especially seemingly solved

ones. But it promises to solve more problems than ever before in the historiography of the early Middle Ages.

What can I request from the historian, the archaeologist of the Middle Ages, the philologist

and the philosopher? What would I do in their place? Important is the need for discussion and

sponsorship. There exist two attitudes toward research: One of them is direct professional approach (history, archaeology, and philology); the other is discussing the theory of knowledge and science. Obviously our project is one of interdisciplinary research. Only in this way we can produce the expected change of paradigms with the necessary emotional distance. …

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