SMILE WHEN YOU SAY THAT—II
Here are a few other matters you should consider and look for (or hope to avoid, though you should ignore it.)
• Learn code words used in articles that give you facts that you should not trust. An examples are “a new discovery that changes history” and “what has been ignored until this discovery.”
• Do not even believe an artefact that has a single meaning, since archaeologists will often be guessing themselves.
• If something is just too pat—such as the “baby with the bath water myth”—it is undoubtedly false.
• Never assume that only one piece of information is needed to be trusted. Two is better, but at least three may well be trusted as long as one piece of information is not based on another that you are using as one fact.
• How does your source of information source that information. How are they determining the validity of their statements or interpretations. But remember that they—and you—must state the sources used!
• Is the attribution as clear and detailed as possible? Does attribution provide clear enough information, or is more needed?
• Even accounts from the time cannot always be trusted, since sometimes they are written by political or religious adversaries. Always be on an outlook for biases!
This only deals with the beginning of what you need for a valid source, but it should not ignored, and altered. What sources do you use? What do you suggest as additional concerns?
And now Happy Old Year on your trek into the Past!