The National Geographic series, The Great Human Race, represents an innovative approach to making television. By merging reality tv with the most up-to-date interpretations of human evolution and technological innovation over the past 2.5 million years interpreted through an experimental archaeology approach we attempted to create something different and significant. This presentation will highlight the goals, obstacles, and triumphs we faced in our struggle to accurately depict our shared ancestral past while simultaneously grappling to preserve the entertainment value necessary to catch and keep viewers. The result was the formation of a unique teaching and learning opportunity that reached millions of people in 171 countries and insightful letters.
Dr. Bill Schindler is the director of the Eastern Shore Food Lab, an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland and the co-star of the National Geographic series, The Great Human Race. As an experimental archaeologist, primitive technologist, and chef his research and teaching, both in and outside of the college revolve around a comprehensive understanding of prehistoric and traditional technologies especially as they relate to food acquisition, processing, storage, and consumption. He believes that the better understanding of prehistoric life made possible through the archaeological record and a practical understanding of the technologies that created it, can contextualize our place in the world and help provide answers to many of the issues facing us today. Bill is a strong advocate of traditional foodways and is constantly seeking new ways to incorporate lessons learned from his research into the diets of modern humans.
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