Podcasts at the State Historical Society of North Dakota
I am bit behind on this one, but the State Historical Society of North Dakota has been releasing a series of podcasts focusing on aspects of the archaeology and history of North Dakota. The most recent two look focus on work at the “Scattered Village” site in downtown Mandan and at recent geophysical work in the Heart Valley Region of North Dakota. The later considers the massive geophysical programs being carried out by the Professor Kenneth Kvamme from the University of Arkansas’s Archeo-Imagine Lab at the sites of Menoken, Huff, Double Ditch, and Fort Clark State Historic Site. The podcast, Geophysics and Archaeology in the Heart River Region of ND, is particularly nice introduction to geophysical techniques in general and their application in North Dakota. At PKAP we have used resistivity extensively and have not had access to magnetometry, Kvamme’s arguments form using multiple methods on a site, something that is still relatively rare in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The predecessor to podcasts, radio broadcasts on historical topics, have a particularly interesting history in North Dakota. In 1947, 1948, and 1949, Elwyn Robinson, a professor of History at the University of North Dakota (for more on Elwyn Robinson’s career and the History Department at the University of North Dakota), broadcast a series of 15 minute radio sketches called “Heroes of Dakota” which focused on the history of the state of North Dakota. These radio broadcast were unexpectedly popular and requests poured into the University radio station, KFJM, for copies of transcripts. Robinson quickly began to distribute copies of his talks charging only the cost of printing and binding. This reflected the tremendous interest among North Dakotans in their state’s history. The radio was a particularly suitable technique for engaging this interest in that the low population density of the state made traditional techniques for disseminating the history of the state and region — such as museums or public lectures — less viable. Ultimately the work Robinson put into the radio broadcasts formed the basis for his History of North Dakota, which remains today the authoritative work on the history of the state.
PKAP is just beginning to experiment with the potential of podcasts for getting information on our project out in an accessible form. We have some nice interviews (or better conversations) conducted in 2005 which lay out the basic premises of both survey archaeology as a method and our research plan at Pyla-Koutsopetria.
Check out the SHSND and PKAP podcasts for new perspectives on archaeological fieldwork and how much the archaeological methods in North Dakota and Mediterranean share.