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Summer 2003 web sites of interest

USGS Offers Geology Lesson Plans
Landslides, earthquakes, floods—run for your lives! Visit the web site for the Geology Section of the United States Geological Survey (www.enc.org/resources/records/1,1240,027039,00.shtm). Find a collection of links to the various science programs of the Survey, including real-data sets, background information, lesson plans, and activities. In addition to hazards, topics covered include mineral resources, landscapes, and regional USGS programs.

Take a Virtual Tour of an Impressive Cave in France
Located in southern France, the Cave of Chauvet-Pont-D’arc has a remarkable collection of cave art, featuring among the animals rhinos, bears, lions, and mammoth. A virtual walk-through tour allows stops along the way to view the art in its locations. Visit the site at www.culture.fr/culture/arcnat/chauvet/en/.

Field Museum Offers New Online Archaeology Program
Check out the new online program run by the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois. The expeditions@fieldmuseum program allows participants to follow scientists as they conduct groundbreaking scientific research around the world. Email dispatches and a companion web site feature research details, interactive site maps, expedition photographs, and video reports. The project web site is www.fieldmuseum.org/expeditions/introduction.html. Four expeditions are planned for 2003. The current expedition, which continues until July 1, features Field Museum archaeologist Gary Feinman whose research focuses on prehispanic life in the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Fun for Kids Found on Catalhoyuk Web Site
The Science Museum of Minnesota has mastered the trick of grabbing the attention of young people, and this exploration of Catalhoyuk is done in a colorful comic-book style. Puzzling artifacts have been found at this site in Turkey—thousands of clay balls, a goddess-like figurine in a grain storage area, burials beneath living quarters, bear paws, and murals. The archaeologists offer their interpretations, and invite input from kids, who can type in their thoughts. Mystery cards are designed to allow further investigation of a body found with owl pellets scattered about, and that of a baby buried with beads. Games, a virtual exhibit, animations, and slide shows add to a fresh, engaging look at what might have been the very first city. Visit the web site at www.smm.org/catal/home.html.

Web Site Links to the Plains
The Tour the Plains web site (www.ou.edu/cas/archsur/plainsanth/plainstour/index.html) provides links to archaeological work in the Plains states, including Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and several Canadian provinces.

Court TV Offers Lesson Plans on Forensic Science
Forensic science is an increasingly popular subject to teach in today’s science classrooms. Some experts, however, worry that showing students how to collect evidence from a crime scene or to analyze DNA is pandering to pupils’ fascination with guts and gore and serving as a catalyst to promote violence in the nation’s schools. Many science educators, however, are teaching their students lessons in forensic science. Teachers in Illinois and Maine, for example, recently had their students investigate mock crime scenes. Court TV has developed, as part of a continuing educational partnership with the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the web site Forensics in the Classroom. Download this free standards-based curriculum supplement at www.courttv.com/forensics_curriculum.

Query a Scholar at ASOR Web Site
Got a question about archaeology in the Middle East? Want to find out more about a subject that interests you? Feel free to ask one of the participating archaeologists and scholars on the web site of the American Schools of Oriental Research at www.asor.org/outreach/default.htm. Scholars are listed by geographic area, time period, or subject speciality. The web site also includes lesson plans for teachers and information on workshops and digs.

Mount Vernon Distills the Past
Follow archaeologists in action as they discover the site of George Washington’s 18th-century Whiskey Distillery. From May through November, ongoing excavations of the Distillery site will be featured as an interactive dig on Archaeology Magazine’s website (www.archaeology.org). The website will feature weekly Dig Diaries chronicling the dig as it happens, Ask an Archaeologist message board where Mount Vernon’s archaeologists will answer all your questions, staff and intern profiles so you can meet the people working at the site, and a historical documents section that highlights the primary sources used in interpreting the distillery.

The Archaeology Channel Continues to Grow
New additions to The Archaeology Channel, the streaming video web site are now available at www.archaeologychannel.org, as follows:

  • The Prehistoric Mounds of Uruguay: Linking the Past and the Future—Uruguay’s rich history spans more than 11,000 years. On the wetlands of Rocha, declared by UNESCO as one of the most diverse environments on Earth, mound-building people thrived 4,000 years ago. They built planned villages, made pottery and other tools, grew corn, squash, beans, and tubers, and developed an elaborate belief system. Produced by the Kentucky-Uruguay Cultural Heritage Education Project, this video shows Uruguayan archaeologists leading teachers and students from Rocha in archaeological exploration of the prehispanic past of their province, inspiring them to bring archaeology into their classroom.

  • SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park—Long before the arrival of Europeans, the Miami Valley of Ohio was home to native peoples. Archaeological excavations at a site near the Great Miami River uncovered evidence of an 800-year-old village built by the Fort Ancient Indians. SunWatch Indian Village, a National Historic Landmark, is a reconstruction of that settlement of long ago. This video takes you back to that time to experience how a group of Ohio’s early farmers lived. You will see why the place where they once lived is called "SunWatch."

  • Etnias—The Amazonian peoples of the eastern Peruvian rainforest, 300,000 people in 60 ethnic groups, have rich cultural traditions many centuries old. Although often considered by outsiders to be an untapped wilderness, this region for millennia has been ably managed by its indigenous populations, who are actively adapting to the larger society while maintaining their ancient traditions. This video briefly tells their story from their perspective and offers hope for indigenous groups building a place for themselves in the modern world. Providing a forum for indigenous groups is an important part of what The Archaeology Channel does. The potential of the Internet to give voice to native peoples is exemplified by this video. Tragically, Victor Churay, the narrator of this film, was murdered by robbers in Lima, Peru, in 2002. Our presentation of Etnias is dedicated to Victor’s memory, to his family and to the Bora people of the Peruvian Amazon.

  • Poverty Point Earthworks: Evolutionary Milestones of the Americas—Perhaps surprisingly, complex human cultures have been known to develop in non-agricultural economies. An excellent example of this phenomenon is the famous prehistoric North American site of Poverty Point. The discovery of this site in northeastern Louisiana opened a new window on ancient America and eventually led scientists to uncover new evidence of a highly developed ancient American culture in the lower Mississippi delta between 1730 and 1350 B.C. At the heart of the site is one of the largest native constructions in eastern North America, earthworks that are the oldest of their size in the Western Hemisphere. This video tells the story of the ancient American hunter-gatherers who lived in a sophisticated and highly organized community we now call Poverty Point.

  • The Anglo-American Project in Pompeii—Pompeii is well known for its rich archaeological record sealed by volcanic deposits in A.D. 79. But what was the history of the city and its inhabitants before this date? The Anglo-American Project in Pompeii (AAPP), sponsored by the University of Bradford in England, is answering this question through scholarly research and at the same time is training future archaeologists and historians in the latest scientific field techniques. This video introduces the viewer to Pompeii and the goals of the AAPP by telling the story of the 2002 field excavation focusing on the details of one city block.

  • Ancient Mound Builders: The Marksville State Historic Site—Two thousand years ago, people in central Louisiana developed a sophisticated culture represented today by a group of earthworks and mounds protected today at the site of Marksville. The Marksville Culture, a southeastern variant of the Hopewell culture centered in Ohio and Illinois, embraced elaborate mortuary rituals, constructed conical burial mounds and other earthworks, and had complex trade networks and decorative pottery. The rise of the Marksville Culture in central Louisiana represented the spread of cultural influences all the way from Ohio and Illinois and the continuing development of complex culture even before the advent of a fully agricultural economy. This video describes the Marksville site and the remarkable prehistoric American society that built it.