PBS filming TV series at dig site near Crow Canyon

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PBS filming TV series at dig site near Crow Canyon

Meg Watters is filmed by Greg Bond with William Ward handling the audio Tuesday. Shanna Diederichs, Crow Canyon's supervisory archaeologist on the Dillard site dig, and Bruce Barrow, Time Team America producer, keep an eye on the production for the PBS archaeology show.
Meg Watters, Joe Watkins of Time Team America, and Shanna Diederichs, Crow Canyon’s supervisory archaeologist on the Dillard site dig, take core samples as Greg Bond videos the scene for a PBS show.
Time Team America remote sensing specialist Meg Watters gestures with a hammer she was using to pound stakes as the PBS crew films. Watters is in charge of the sensing and visualization mapping of the archaeological site.

PBS filming TV series at dig site near Crow Canyon

Meg Watters is filmed by Greg Bond with William Ward handling the audio Tuesday. Shanna Diederichs, Crow Canyon's supervisory archaeologist on the Dillard site dig, and Bruce Barrow, Time Team America producer, keep an eye on the production for the PBS archaeology show.
Meg Watters, Joe Watkins of Time Team America, and Shanna Diederichs, Crow Canyon’s supervisory archaeologist on the Dillard site dig, take core samples as Greg Bond videos the scene for a PBS show.
Time Team America remote sensing specialist Meg Watters gestures with a hammer she was using to pound stakes as the PBS crew films. Watters is in charge of the sensing and visualization mapping of the archaeological site.
Made for TV history

Team has three days to complete research

By Kimberly Benedict
Journal Staff Writer
As the wind whipped her hair surrounding her face and dust clouds formed and dissipated around her, Chelsea Rose was undeterred in her mission at the sifting screen at the Dillard archaeological site on Tuesday.
Vigorisly shaking the screen, Rose carefully ran her fingers through the red dirt, looking for remnants of the lives that lived on this isolated hill northwest of Cortez. Searching for clues, searching for answers.
Dressed in black and denim, her head covered appropriately by an Indiana Jones-style hat, multiple earrings hanging from her lobes and a snake tattoo winding up her arm, Rose has the look of a world adventurer, not the typical highly educated researcher. Yet, as a historical archaeologist and integral member of PBS' Time Team America, Rose is just that, and she is constantly searching for answers. The questions and mysteries that linger about ancient and early American civilizations motivate her. This week, that drive led Rose, and the rest of the Time Team crew to the dusty fields of Southwest Colorado and a project in partnership with Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.
“We are really about getting people interested in archaeology and science and technology,” Rose said, taking a break from shaking loose the dirt of the ancient Basketmaker III community. “We want people to know that anybody can do it and it is really relevant to today.”
Time Team America is a one-hour adventure show that features a team of archaeologists racing against time to solve mysteries related to historic sites around the United States. The show features host Justine Shapiro; archaeologists Rose, Allan Maca and Joe Watkins; remote sensing specialist Meg Watters and field school director Alexandra Jones.
The groups travels across the United States searching for clues at sites that vary in age and historical significance. At each site, the team utilizes technologically advanced methods to address one specific question about the site. It is a race against time as the team is only given three days to complete its research.
In the show's first season in 2009, the team searched for the first English colony in America in Fort Raleigh, N.C., sought evidence of North America's first human inhabitants in Topper, S.C., looked for a school in the first town founded by former slaves in New Philadelphia, Ill., investigated a canyon for clues to the lives of the Fremont people in Range Creek, Utah, and uncovered details of a cavalry fort in Fort James, S.D.
This year, the crew is filming its second season, set to air in 2013, and along with the project at Crow Canyon, the group will examine an 18th century slave plantation house in Maryland and search for the location of a long-lost Coronado camp in the New Mexican desert.
For Rose, the excitement of Time Team America lies in examining a variety of sites, each unique in its significance to history.
“All the projects are really different and that is just so exciting,” she said. “For a historical archaeologist like me it is great to see different sites and different types of archaeology.”
Along with the field work, Time Team American also includes a field school with its activities at any given site. The school is designed to serve youths from traditionally underserved communities and give them a taste of what archaeological research is like and how it contributes to society's understanding of itself and its history.
This week, 33 students descended on Crow Canyon as part of the field school. Three students are from Montezuma-Cortez High School, nine from the surrounding community and 21 from the Native American Charter Academy in Albuquerque, N.M.
The field school and the television show are all geared toward one overreaching goal, according to Rose.
“We want to get people excited about archaeology,” she said. “These sites are across America and in our backyards and there are so many important things to learn. We want to share that importance so we can all be better stewards of our shared history.”

On the Net: Time Team America, www.pbs/obs/timeteam/; Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, www.crowcanyon.org.

Reach Kimberly Benedict at [email protected]

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