Message #172
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 

Date: Wed, 20 May 1998
Subject: Deconstructing Pirates and Vandals


[ SASIG Ed. Note -- How will revisionist historians
treat terrestrial site looters ("pot hunters")?? ]

Forbes June 1, 1998 p 39 Transparent Eyeball
"to see a world in a grain of sand..."
Edited bv Joshua Levine

Giving Captain Black the hook
By Ken Pappas

Revisionist historians have gone to work on
piracy. GILBERT & SULLIVAN missed the mark when
they considered it a glorious thing to be a
Pirate King. "The pirates elected their
captains," says University of Pittsburgh pundit
Marcus Rediker. "The pirate crew would meet as
a whole and instruct the captain what to do."
Revisionist historians have gone to work on
piracy: Maybe those fellows were not as bad as
they were painted. Professor Rediker says
pirates lived in democratic subcultures, and
their politics even influenced the American
Revolution. In the wake of his studies have
emerged Marxist, feminist and multicultural
interpretations of piracy. B.R. Burg, author of
Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition, says pirate
ships constituted a kind of gay navy. There may
be something to all this. Next year the
National Geographic Society will display
holdings recovered from pirate Sam Bellamy's
ship, the Whydah. The excavation of this, the
first authenticated pirate vessel, has yielded
jewelry chopped into even pieces. "That's a
pretty powerful statement that they were going
to that extent to make sure everybody got their
fair share," notes treasure hunter Barry Clifford.
The Whydah, however, has been a disappointment to
treasure hunters. "The notion that excavating a
pirate ship would make [someone] rich is kind of
funny," muses pirate authority Daniel Finamore,
curator of the Peabody Essex Museum. "If you got
gold, you didn't stay a pirate." So Long John
Silver was just a poor guy, probably gay, trying
to make a living.