OHIO ARCHAEOLOGY: A PUBLIC TELEVISION DOCUMENTARY SERIES

Thomas M. Law

Voyageur Media Group, Inc.

Ohio is one of the most important places for archaeology in North America. Ohio is often called the "birthplace" of American archaeology. Ohio's ancient mounds and earthworks are known throughout the world. Ohio's universities have some of the finest anthropology departments in America. And, over 1.5 million people visit Ohio's cultural sites and archaeological museums each year. Yet, despite this incredible wealth of archaeological sites, history, institutions and scholars, a comprehensive documentary has never been made about the magnificent American Indian cultures that flourished here for over 10,000 years. That's about to change.

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Voyageur Media Group, Inc. is pleased to announce the development of Ohio Archaeology, the first comprehensive documentary series about Ohio's ancient cultural heritage. Voyageur Media Group is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the production of documentaries about science, history and culture. Past works include Searching for the Great Hopewell Road and the Kentucky Archaeology series. Thanks to a planning grant from the George Gund Foundation, Voyageur has spent the past year conducting meetings and telephone interviews with dozens of archaeologists, scholars, educators and American Indian leaders. Tom Law, Project Director, Voyageur Media Group, says, "We gathered a wide range of ideas, comments and research in order to set project goals, draft script treatments and establish the structures needed to organize this incredibly complex, multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural subject." Here is a project summary.

Ohio Archaeology combines interviews with archival images, landscapes, artist's renderings, and computer animation for a compelling look at how archaeologists interpret the past. The documentary series will be presented in (6) ten to thirty-minute episodes from "The Paleoindian Period" to the "Late Prehistoric Period." More episodes may be added about Ohio's archaeological history, contemporary issues and historic archaeology. Ohio Archaeology is targeted for distribution to public television stations, schools, museums and libraries during Ohio's Bicentennial in 2003. The project also features a companion website with research papers, resource lists, images, maps and interactive curriculum materials for science, social studies and Ohio history (grades 4-12). These materials may also be turned into a Digital VideoDisk or CD-ROM.

The advisory panel includes: Dr. William Dancey, President, Ohio Archaeological Council; Dr. Bradley Lepper, Curator of Archaeology, Ohio Historical Society; Dr. Linda Wilson-Mirarchi, Director of Education and Technical Services, Ohio Educational Telecommunications; and Dr. David Snyder, Archaeology Reviews Manager, State Historic Preservation Office. Voyageur will also seek reviews from Ohio archaeologists and representatives from federally recognized American Indian tribes with historic ties to Ohio. Tom Law, Project Director, says, "Ohio Archaeology demands close collaboration to reach four primary goals: 1) to generate a greater appreciation for Ohio's ancient American Indian heritage, 2) to build a better understanding of diverse peoples and cultures, 3) to encourage visits to museums and cultural sites, and 4) to enhance cognitive thinking skills by presenting the multi-disciplinary nature of archaeological investigations."

Voyageur thanks everyone who participated in the project's planning phase. The script development phase begins in 2001. If you would like to participate or receive a project newsletter, please contact Tom Law, Voyageur Media Group, Inc., 3317 Lambert Place, Cincinnati, Ohio 45208. (513) 871-0590 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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