“Indy’s Home”: Near Eastern Archaeology and the Oriental Institute

August 7, 2013
Hosted by Dr. Joseph Schuldenrein

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Episode Description

This episode goes right to the heart of the show’s beginnings with the emergence of the mythical figure of Indiana Jones and his character’s connections to the Oriental Institute (OI) at the University of Chicago. Today’s program begins with a discussion of the Indiana Jones character, his connections to the OI and the impacts of the world’s most famous archaeologist. The Oriental Institute is probably the most venerated research institute for Near Eastern archaeology. Both a museum and research facility, the OI was founded in 1919 and focuses on the ancient Near East, which includes modern day Egypt, Israel, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. In recent years the OI has modernized its exhibits, established major public outreach programs both to the profession and the local (Chicago) community while expanding its research venues across the greater Near East. Join our special guest, Dr. Jack Green, chief curator at the Oriental Institute, as we discuss Indiana Jones, the Oriental Institute, and the intersection of the archaeology as portrayed on the big screen and ‘real’ archaeology.

Indiana Jones: Myth, Reality and 21st Century Archaeology

Indiana Jones: Myth, Reality and 21st Century Archaeology

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel

This show targets an audience interested in archaeology. It explores myths surrounding this exotic, often misunderstood field and acquaints listeners with the contemporary practice of unearthing the human past. Themes range from Dr. Schuldenrein’s own “Indiana Jones”-like adventures in the land of the Bible to his team’s archaeological forensics effort to unearth Kurdish mass graves in Iraq. That undertaking helped convict Saddam Hussein in 2006. Topical issues contribute to the evolution vs. creationism controversy based on updated fossil records and innovative DNA studies. An episode highlights the main funding source for archaeology in the U.S. (Hint: the oil and gas industry). Experts reveal the latest high-tech approaches to buried archaeological landscapes that provide clues to understanding climate change, past, present and future.

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Dr. Joseph Schuldenrein

Dr. Joseph Schuldenrein

Joseph Schuldenrein is president and senior scientist of Geoarcheology Research Associates (GRA) in Yonkers, New York. He has been a Visiting Scholar at New York University since 1996. His professional expertise is in geoarchaeology, a sub-discipline that introduces earth science techniques to traditional archaeological excavation. Joe has worked extensively across North America and the Old World. He received his doctorate in 1983 at the University of Chicago. Recent research in North America has concentrated on the urban archaeology of New York City and Native American landscapes of the Atlantic Coast. Joe’s projects in South Asia have ranged from Human Origins investigations to the beginnings of civilization of the Indus Valley. During the Iraq war Dr. Schuldenrein’s team helped direct a forensic archaeological mission in support of the Saddam Hussein prosecution. His newest venture is an assessment of Cultural Heritage Sites in war-torn Afghanistan (2011). Dr. Schuldenrein publishes widely in numerous archaeological and geological journals. He is a reviewer for American Antiquity, Geoarchaeology, and Quaternary Science Reviews. He has acted as Principal Investigator or Consulting Scientist for grants awarded by the National Science Foundation, Wenner-Gren, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute for Aegean Prehistory. Dr. Schuldenrein has been interviewed for PBS, as well as national and regional TV and radio outlets over the past 30 years.

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