Lost Civilizations of North America

The Lost Civilizations of North America
a documentary

Released in 2010 | Touted by Glen Beck on his now defunct Fox News TV Show
Directed by Rick Stout



1. In the course of the documentary do all the talking heads’ comments support the contentions of the voice-over narrator?

2. At the beginning of the documentary what does the narrator say about its use of artifacts?

3. Does the documentary define the term “advanced civilization?” If so, what is the definition?

4. Who is Roger Kennedy?  What does he claim about ancient civilizations of North America?

5. Who is Wayne N. May?  What does he claim about ancient civilizations of North America?

6. According to the documentary, how and why did the knowledge of the ancient civilizations come to be suppressed?

7. Who is Sonya Atalay?  What is her view of ancient American civilizations?

8. What does the documentary claim about the ancient American civilizations and contacts with the ancient Near East and the Hebrews?

9. Who is Robert Fox?

10. What were the anthropological theories of Henry Lewis Morgan and how do they relate to ancient American civilizations?

11. What does the documentary claim about the conflict between science and religion and its impact on the study of ancient American civilizations?

12. What role did the Book of Mormon play in the study of ancient American civilizations?

13. Who was John Wesley Powell?  What does the documentary accuse him of regarding his approaches to anthropology and the study of ancient American civilizations?


14. What is the Lost Race Theory?  Does the documentary spend much time describing it?

15. Who is Bradley Lepper?  What does he have to say about the Newark Mounds?

16. The documentary draws parallels between American mounds and Egyptian pyramids. What are these parallels and are they convincing?  Why or why not?

17. What is diffusionism?

18. What does the documentary claim about the Newark Holy Stones?

19. What was the Bat Creek Stone?

20. Who was Cyrus Gordon?

21. Who is Deborah A. Bolnick?  What does she say about DNA research and human prehistory?

22. What does the narrator and Donald N. Yates claim about DNA evidence and human origins in North America?


Critical Review of The Lost Civilizations of North America

After you have viewed the documentary, you will need to read the three articles from Skeptical Inquirer that debunk its content. There is a three-part article titled "Civilization Lost and Found: Fabricating History."  It was published in Skeptical Inquirer vol. 35: nos. 5 and 6 (Sept./Oct.  and Nov./Dec. 2011) and vol. 36: no. 1 (Jan./Feb. 2012).  The library has a subscription.  You can also access an electronic copy at the links listed below.  Or you can go to www.csicop.org/si/ . Once you get there: first, click on "publications", then click on "Skeptical Inquirer" in blue letters toward the top of the page.  On the "Skeptical Inquirer" page, scroll to the bottom.  Go to pages 5 and 6 and you can click on the articles there and read them.

Then take a look at: http://lostcivilizationdvd.com/   This address goes to the website for the documentary.  Also see this document on the website for the Ohio Historical Society and the reader comments. You should have also watched the Myth of the Moundbuilders video.

You will write a critical review of the documentary. It should be 7-8 pages long.  In writing your critique you need to address several issues.

Summarize the content and theory presented in The Lost Civilizations of North America. (1 page)

Discuss the various talking heads in the documentary.  Do they seem reliable — why or why not? (1 page)

How does The Lost Civilizations of North America compare in its approach and authority with The Myth of the Moundbuilders documentary? Does one seem more reliable than the other and why? (2 pages)

What are the criticisms by the authors of the Skeptical Inquirer articles?  Do they seem authoritative? (2 ½ to 3 ½ pages)

What are your conclusions about the documentary? In particular evaluate the intellectual honesty of the documentary. (½ page)


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