Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Multimedia Volume 53 Number 3, May/June 2000

Time-Traveling Family
by Christine Finn

[image] Joyce and Paul Bowler pose in the living room of their turn-of-the-century London house. Their family spent three months recreating late Victorian life. (Chris Ridley)

It's a little disconcerting, interviewing Joyce Bowler. First I reach her voice mail, then I'm directed to her mobile phone, and all the while the image I match to her disembodied voice is of a woman born before the telephone was invented. Over the past year, Joyce, her husband Paul, and four of their five children have become familiar to British television viewers as a time-traveling family, transported to a Victorian house in the shadow of London's Millennium Dome. The screening of the series on PBS in June will enable millions more to share the trials and tribulations of this warts-and-all attempt to live a century in the past. The program's Victorian specialist Daru Rooke explains: "It's a period that's within living memory, but will seem as strange to a modern family as a Roman encampment would."

The 1900 House
A Wall to Wall Television production for
Channel 4 (UK) in association with
Thirteen/WNET New York
Four one-hour episodes premiering
nationally Mondays 9PM starting
June 12 on PBS (check local listings)
To order, call 1-800-336-1917.

Christine Finn lectures at Oxford and is writing a biography of the archaeologist Jacquetta Hawkes.

No Dirt on This Dig
by Steven B. Mertens

[image] "Real-life" excavations at the Middle Palaeolithic site of Combe-Capelle in southwestern France. (Harold Dibble) [LARGER IMAGE]

No more sunburn, mosquito bites, and sore muscles; archaeology students can now excavate using real archaeological data at a "virtual field school." Mayfield Publishing Company's Virtual Dig, a combination workbook and CD-ROM, is based on an actual excavation that took place between 1987 and 1991 at the Middle Palaeolithic (ca. 55,000 years ago) site of Combe-Capelle in southwestern France. This excavation, conducted by Harold Dibble of the University of Pennsylvania and his French colleague, Michel Lenoir of the Université de Bordeaux, employed modern excavation techniques including laser theodolites, electronic distance meters, and on-site computers. While the workbook-CD package functions primarily as a teaching tool for undergraduate anthropology majors, it is appropriate for nearly everyone with an interest in the field.

Virtual Dig: A Simulated
Archaeological Excavation of a
Middle Palaeolothic Site in France

H.L. Dibble, S.P McPherron, B.J. Roth
Simsbury, CT: Mayfield Publishing
Company, 1999. $29.95
(Pentium processor, 16 MB RAM,
Windows 95/98)

Steven B. Mertens is a senior research scientist at the University of Illinois' Center for Prevention Research and Development.

© 2000 by the Archaeological Institute of America