Wednesday, July 8, 2009

PBS Time Team America premieres with Fort Raleigh July 8th

Dust off the old VCR or your DVD recorder or Tivo. This is one you'll want to save!

Kris's Archaeology Blog

Time Team America: Fort Raleigh

Monday July 6, 2009

This week, the much-anticipated Time Team America begins its premiere season on PBS, five weeks over the summer during which public television viewers will get a first-hand look at high-tech archaeology in the United States.

The first program, airing the evening of Wednesday July 8th (8 pm EDT, check local listings), features ongoing investigations at Fort Raleigh, North Carolina, the site of the first English colony in the American continents. The site is perhaps more famously known as the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island, and its legend about Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the Americas, and the mysterious disappearance of the colony has inspired untold numbers of American children into learning about the past.

Time Team and Fort Raleigh

Time Team America's hour long video on Fort Raleigh documents three days of excavations, assisted by geophysical survey. The test area is located at an area of the island that had been identified as containing historic artifacts of the right age about 10 years ago. Two large trenches are excavated over the three days in this area, opened using a backhoe to strip off the wind-blown sand believed to have been deposited on the area after the American Revolution. Backhoe stripping is a perfectly legitimate technique, which I suspect will surprise some viewers; its good and bad points aren't described here, but someday I might get to that.

Time Team America excavating at Fort Raleigh, Roanoke Island
Time Team America digging team leader Chelsea Rose and digging team member Jeff Brown carefully sift through the soil as they excavate at Fort Raleigh National Park on Roanoke Island. In addition to searching for artifacts, they are looking for subtle differences in soil texture that would indicate decayed wooden structures built by Roanoke’s legendary lost colonists. Photo by Crystal Street

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