While many of us might associate archaeology with the pop culture adventure icon Indiana Jones, the truth of the field is just as fascinating and more accessible to all of us. Being an archaeologist is more akin to the common experience of discovering a found artifact in the woods and imagining how it was used in the past.
Or as, Mark McCoy puts it – it’s like time travel.
Archaeologist Mark McCoy, author of Maps for Time Travelers: How Archaeologists Use Technology to Bring Us Closer to the Past, joined UC Press Executive Director, Tim Sullivan in this virtual conversation to discuss the exciting technological advances in archaeology, why he calls archaeologists “time travelers,” and the story behind the evocative cover of his book.
As McCoy explains, archaeology is about us as modern figures, revisiting the past to reconstruct – in a careful and systematic way – how people from long ago lived their lives. With the advent of new technologies, such as geospatial imaging, and 3-d modeling, we’re now able to tell these nonfiction stories about past cultures in more sophisticated and exciting ways. Building on all of the material evidence archaeologists have found at a particular site, we can now see a more cumulative and complicated picture of past humans.
This is the real treasure trove that technology is helping us discover.
Read more about Mark McCoy’s book, Maps for Time Travelers.