Deciphering ancient civilizations was once the job of archaeologists alone, but in this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge we'll find even kids with laptop computers are interpreting the past. Also - was he a brilliant archaeologist or a pathalogical liar? The strange case of Heinrich Schliemann and the excavation of Troy.
Sharman Apt Russell tells Steve Paulson that archaeologists, under pressure from new legislation and politically aware native peoples, are changing the way they handle artifacts from ancient cultures, and that this is good for the field. Russell teaches writing at Western New Mexico University and is the author of "When the Land Was Young."SEGMENT 2:
Writer Dan Buettner tells Judith Strasser about the second MayaQuest project: archaeologists and photographers communicated on line with academics, amateurs, and school children who directed - and debated - their work in the field. Buettner tells the story in "MayaQuest: The Interactive Expedition." You can visit the MayaQuest Web Site. Also, Alan Kolata directs the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Chicago and is the author of "Valley of the Spirits: A Journey to the Lost Realm of the Aymara." He tells Judith Strasser about this largely unknown Bolivian culture that rivals the glories of the Incas and Maya.SEGMENT 3:
David Traill has written a book de-bunking "the greatest archaeologist of all time." "Schliemann of Troy: Treasure and Deceit" exposes Hermann Schliemann as an unscrupulous individual and a pathological liar. Traill tells Jim Fleming why, after twenty years of research, he doubts the veracity of Schliemann's most famous discovery. Traill teaches classics at the University of California at Davis.
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