Ole Miss scientist to appear in TV series

OXFORD – A University of Mississippi scientist has a role in the PBS archaeology series “Time Team America,” which premieres Wednesday on Mississippi Public Broadcasting television.
Bryan Haley, coordinator of remote sensing applications in the UM Center for Archaeological Research, is among nine experts on the series.
The series opens on North Carolina’s Roanoke Island, where in 1587 England sent a group of colonists to the site. But when a supply ship arrived three years later, the settlers – including Virginia Dare, the first white child born in the Americas – were gone.
“It’s a really good mystery story,” said Haley, a Kentucky native who earned his master’s degree in anthropology at Ole Miss. “Lots of folks have looked for this (colony), but we were called in to use some of the new toys we have in our archaeological toolbox now.”
Haley said the team found new but not utterly conclusive evidence at the site. Because the colony was so short-lived, he said, “What we were looking for is kind of like a needle in a haystack.”
Archaeology, he added, is intriguing, but “it’s not necessarily ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark.’ We learn about the past through fairly ordinary things, such as trash dumps.”
On the show, archaeologists use new technologies to try to answer historical questions within a span of three days. Haley’s camera time in the premiere is limited, but he has a larger role in subsequent episodes.
“As an experienced geophysicist, Bryan is a very important member of the team,” Graham Dixon, senior producer. “He brings a vast amount of experience carrying out geophysical surveys.”
Other sites to be featured on the show include the Topper site in South Carolina, which may provide evidence of people living in America 50,000 years ago, and Ft. James, a South Dakota frontier outpost from the 1850s.

Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or errol.castens@djournal.com.

Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal