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Archaeology can be glorious or completely fruitless. Glorious archaeological excavations have completely changed the way we think of the past or what it means to be human. Finds like the Rosetta Stone, the Dead Sea Scrolls, “Lucy” the 3.2 million-year-old hominid, and Pompeii are just a few examples of archaeology’s glory.

Nazi archaeology is a good example of fruitlessness. To promote German nationalism and prove that the Germanic people were descendants of a “master race,” Hitler sent archaeologists all over the world to excavate sites in Bulgaria, Greece, Russia, and North Africa. They even looked for the site of Thule in Iceland, where they hypothesized that the Aryan race originated. After years of excavations, Hitler’s archaeological teams came up with squat to prove his propaganda machine. Then their faces melted off when they tried to open the Ark of the Covenant despite Indy’s warnings.