Approaches to “Disaster Archaeology”: Excavations at Contemporary Disaster Sites

Today in 1945, Hiroshima was devastated and 70,000 people were killed by the US atomic bomb “Little Boy.”  What is the role of archaeologists in large scale disasters?  Find out tonight at 6pm EST during our special encore presentation of “Approaches to ‘Disaster Archaeology’: Excavations at Contemporary Disaster Sites.

Our series on “Archaeology and Relevance” from 2012 has unique applications to the very real issues of contemporary conflict and war. The 21st Century was ushered in by the horrific events of 9/11 in New York City. Subsequent disasters including the tsunami in the South Pacific and the London bombings drew the attention of archaeologists whose traditional and not-so traditional approaches offer unique perspectives for optimizing data recovery at disaster sites. Initiatives to examine the archaeology of Holocaust era concentration camps and mass graves in Eastern Europe and Iraq underscore the unique contributions that our field has to make in adapting site formation (and destruction) studies to locations that highlight the darkest side of the human condition. Our special guest is Dr. Richard Gould, Professor Emeritus of Archaeology at Brown University, who had the perspicacity to mobilize the first and only systematic excavations at the World Trade Center site immediately after the tragedy.

gouldOur guest, Dr. Richard Gould is a Professor Emeritus of Archaeology at Brown University and a forensic anthropologist with the federal Disaster Mortuary Operations Recovery Team (DMORT). Since completing his PhD. in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkley in 1965, Dr. Gould studied human cultural and behavioral adaptations to stress, risk, and uncertainty. He came to Brown University as Professor of Anthropology in 1981. After the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, he led trial forensic recoveries at the WTC and full recoveries at “The Station” Nightclub Fire scene in West Warwick, RI, in 2003. Most recently, he assisted with victim identifications and recoveries as a forensic anthropologist with DMORT in Gulfport, MS, and in New Orleans/St. Bernard Parish, LA, immediately following hurricane Katrina. Dr. Gould has published 12 books and monographs as well as numerous papers and articles in peer-reviewed journals.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s