One big reason for the resistance to change in the tenets of mainstream Archeology is that it's a scientific discipline in which many have maintained
long careers based on those very tenets. Some are engaged in lengthy grant- or privately-funded research, all of which could come to a screeching
halt with a large enough change in the paradigm(s) upon which such research is based.
For many of these people, we're talking about a life's work (not to mention the financial support) coming to zilch if it was found to be based on
flawed beliefs about an area of our past. Scientists being human, this inspires a resistance to new ideas, even if there is proof, at least, that an
idea merits further research, based on what's been found.
There's also a lot of power in the concept "Don't be silly, everyone knows it happened this way!"
One of the problems with Archeology, IMO, is that there seems to be no room for an interdisciplinary approach, to the point that archeologists will
scoff at contrary evidence which their own training & experience leaves them ill-prepared to evaluate. Off the top of my head, Linguistics &
Epigraphy (the study of stone inscriptions) are 2 such areas.
One aspect of this issue that I've found to be endlessly fascinating is the theory that the Americas were visited periodically, & possibly colonized
to a limited extent, by various groups of people from parts of Europe, Africa, & the Middle East, over a period of several thousand years before
Columbus was even born.
This idea is based on the mounting evidence presented by the combination of inscriptions left in stone, remaining stone structures, origins of some
words & phrases in Native American languages, and collected narratives of Native American lore, all of which seem to indicate prolonged visits from
various foreign sources.
If you add up the info from Archaeology, Epigraphy, Linguistics, & Anthropology, you get a very different picture of the past history of the North
American continent. Some very good reading for anyone who might be interested in learning more:
Search For Lost America by Salvatore Michael Trento (1978)
America B.C. by Barry Fell
In Plain Sight (1998) by Gloria Farley
Columbus Was Last (1992) by
Trento's book may be hard to find these days, but is totally fascinating, & the one that got me started following this subject. Barry Fell & Gloria
Farley also wrote of their own research, while Huyghe's book is an excellent, highly detailed summary of various avenues of research & findings in
edit on 12/12/10 by BuzzCory because: Fixed spelling