The University Record, September 25, 1995

Video sheds light on mysteries of archaeology

By Joanne Nesbit
News and Information Services

A trio of U-M archaeologists have dug through the technical aspects of the video medium to give a new view to some old stuff. While their eyes are set on PBS, cable or the educational video market, the end product of their labors premiered on Ann Arbor’s Community Television Network in August.

“The Archaeologist” features as its first episode “Trader, Traveler, Soldier, Scholar,” a half-hour documentary on the changes in archaeology from antiquity to the present, set to music by local composer Mark Kmit.

The show features objects, photos and film footage from the Kelsey Museum that were gathered from exploration and excavation in Egypt and the Mediterranean early this century.

The documentary was produced by Pedar W. Foss, visiting assistant professor of art history; directed by Alan Hogg, a conservation technician; and hosted by David Reynolds, a doctoral candidate in classical archaeology.

The trio drew upon their years of experience in excavation, museums and teaching to set the popular image of the archaeologist as a roving, treasure-seeking adventurer in its actual historical context.

Intended for general audiences, “The Archaeologist” marks the contribution of the traders, travelers, soldiers and scholars who have dug lost histories of whole peoples out of the remote past while informing, entertaining and demonstrating that discoveries of facts are more compelling than fantasies of fiction.