Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication
Douglas A. Vakoch
Science & Math
Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication
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The chapters in this volume combine incisive critique with hope that there is a response to the skepticism behind these critiques. Addressing a field that has been dominated by astronomers, physicists, engineers, and computer scientists, the contributors to this collection raise questions that may have been overlooked by physical scientists about the ease of establishing meaningful communication with an extraterrestrial intelligence. These scholars are grappling with some of the enormous challenges that will face humanity if an information-rich signal emanating from another world is detected. By drawing on issues at the core of contemporary archaeology and anthropology, we can be much better prepared for contact with an extraterrestrial civilization, should that day ever come.

List of Figures
Introduction: Reconstructing Distant Civilizations and Encountering Alien Cultures
Chapter One: SETI: The NASA Years
Chapter Two: A Political History of NASA’s SETI Program
Chapter Three: The Role of Anthropology in SETI
Chapter Four: A Tale of Two Analogues
Chapter Five: Beyond Linear B
Chapter Six: Learning To Read
Chapter Seven: Inferring Intelligence
Chapter Eight: Anthropology at a Distance
Chapter Nine: Contact Considerations
Chapter Ten: Culture and Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence
Chapter Eleven: Speaking for Earth
Chapter Twelve: The Evolution of Extraterrestrials
Chapter Thirteen: Biocultural Prerequisites for the Development of Interstellar Communication
Chapter Fourteen: Ethology, Ethnology, and Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence
Chapter Fifteen: Constraints on Message Construction for Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence
Epilogue: Mirrors of Our Assumptions
About the Authors
The NASA History Series
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