Archaeology: Magic caves in Illinois and other archaeological myths

Perhaps you have heard of Burrows Cave. I sort of hope you haven’t.

In the May 2012 issue of Public Archaeology, Joseph Wilson, a University of New Haven anthropologist, describes it as a phantasmagorical cave in southern Illinois that contains “life-sized solid-gold statues and a series of gigantic black stone statues in Egyptian and Carthaginian dress, solid gold sarcophagi and coffins containing mummies, stone sarcophagi, pagan idols, arsenals of bronze weapons, suits of armor …” It goes on, but you get the idea.

Why haven’t you read about this amazing discovery in National Geographic? Burrows Cave has been largely ignored by archaeologists because there is no evidence to back up any of the extravagant claims made about the site.

In fact, Wilson observes that “there is no geological evidence of any caves” in that part of Illinois. Not surprisingly, the guy who claims to have discovered Burrows Cave has never allowed anyone else to see it.

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