As I start to think about what specific claims to focus on, I'm struck (again) by the overall staleness of the fringe world. There's plenty of "new" material out there, but much of it mixes around the same basket of stupid garbage that's been circulating since the mid-1800s. While there is still great value in going through these ideas and understanding (1) where they come from, (2) how they can be shown to be wrong, and (3) why people still cling to them, it would also be nice to explore something that's not essentially a re-casting of Victorian baloney. If you know of anything that really strikes you as a new claim based on new evidence that fits within the theme of the course, please let me know with a comment.
My wife thinks that finding a new nemesis would help to energize me. She may be right. It would fun to engage in a focused, prolonged analysis/debate of a specific claim or set of claims that revolve around material evidence. The key term here is "material evidence:" in order to have a meaningful back-and-forth, there has to be some kind of "thing" about which a claim/interpretation is made. One good artifact in archaeological context is all you really need to make a claim that actually has some teeth . . . so what have you got? What's the artifact that should change everything? (Note: discredited Roman sword advocates and rune stone apologists need not apply.)