Articles Comments

Space Archaeology » Entries tagged with "Orson Scott Card"

Xenoarchaeology and the Hierarchy of Exclusion

Xenoarchaeology is the study of past alien cultures from their physical remains.  The prefix xeno- is from the Greek xenos, ‘stranger’. Alien, in this instance, refers to members of any species other than that of the hypothetical xenoarchaeologist.  A human studying martian ruins is a xenoarchaeologist, as is a martian studying human ruins. The term ‘alien’ always sounds a little pejorative to me (how about non-human person?), but I use it here instead of ‘extraterrestrial’ which could be taken as a spatial designation, and because in the future there could conceivably be terrestrial nonhuman cultures (say, from uplifted animals or artificial intelligences). Despite its connotations, the word ‘alien’ conveys the otherness of the culture to be studied. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Theory