I receive numerous emails which essentially state and re-state the following, with some variations:
“Your Archeo-astronomy work is great (or ok) but we can not accept the conclusions derived from it unless we have some ‘SOLID’ evidence from Archeology.”
We certainly want evidence of any and all kinds that we can find, not just Archeology.
Those who understand how logic of scientific discovery works, and are looking at evidence (of past in case of Historical Sciences or new outcome from specially designed experiments in case of testing of new theory in science) know that any specific evidence may allow one to either ‘FALSIFY‘ a given theory or ‘CORRBORATE‘ a given theory, but NEVER to ‘PROVE‘ a specific theory.
So, do we NEED archeological evidence before we accept conclusions derived from archeo-astronomy evidence?
NOT AT ALL.
Remember, all conclusions, derived based on any evidence – archeology, archeo-astronomy, genetics, geology, etc., are always TENTATIVE and can be FALSFIED in the future.
But there is additional issue of what evidence is truly telling us. This is often misunderstood and the reason for confusion expressed in emails I receive.
For example, If say ‘iron’ artifacts are found at some archeological dig which were dated to say 1000 BCE, all it simply imply is that whoever living at that place around 1000 BCE appear to have used ‘iron’ tools.
It does not say anything if prior to 1000 BCE, if these same communities or others occupying that area, ever used ‘iron’ tools prior to 1000 BCE or not!
There may not be any people living there prior to 1000 BCE or after 1000 BCE. And if someone lived there prior to 1000 BCE, say in 2000 BCE, 5000 BCE, 10,000 BCE, 20,000 BCE, they may or may not have used ‘iron’ tools.
We want to find as much evidence as we can find and from as many diverse and independent fields as possible (e.g. Astronomy, Archeology, Geology, Climatology, Genetics, Inscriptions, ancient literature). There is no one field (e.g. Archeology) that holds sway for ‘HIGHER CORRBORATION’.
In addition, it is very critical for researchers and also laypeople to comprehend what a given piece of evidence is truly implying.
We should neither extract ‘less’ (that would be very inefficient use of evidence) nor extract ‘more’ (this is dangerous and misleading, and also illogical) than what a given piece of evidence is telling us.
Thus, any evidence (even Archeological) is welcome in understanding our past history, however, it is neither a MUST nor is NECESSARY.
Reader may find it useful to ask the question the other way…
“Is astronomy evidence must (or necessary) before one accepts the conclusions of Archeology?”
In fact this question can be asked by replacing ‘Archeology’ and ‘Arecho-astronomy’ with any other two independent fields of evidence and still answer would not change.
For example, evidence from two independent fields (say Archeology and Astronomy, or Astronomy and Genetics) leading to contradictory conclusions would simply force us to go back to background assumptions (validity of astronomy simulations and their background assumptions/formule, genetic interpretations for ad-mixture or timing of ad-mixture, etc.)and question them.
This would be indeed a welcome development (although depressing and unsettling to those who are always looking for secure theories and insist of justifying their own creations – theories and proposals, for rest of their lives). And resolution of such conflicts, if it could be found, would lead to further progress/growth in our knowledge of our history (or new laws of science).
Thus, one must understand and appreciate, desire (and even insistence) for corroborative evidence to come from independent fields of research. However one must recognize that this has nothing to do with blind insistence on evidence from a specific field of research to be more reliable than others.
In fact one can make a case for such a claim, but then it won’t be for ‘Archeology‘.