Why We Dig Up the Past
Many of the mysteries of the past cannot be decoded by theorizing or lab work alone; they must be unearthed. At a panel organized for the University of Chicago's reunion weekend, leading scholars discuss what motivates them to dig for answers in deserts, lake beds, and foothills around the world. Susan Kidwell of the department of geophysical sciences explains why the idea of deep time--like the astronomer's concept of deep space--is crucial to understanding the world and our place in it. Paleontologist Paul Sereno discusses what drives him from Patagonia to the Sahara in search of dinosaur bones. And McGuire Gibson, professor of Mesopotamian archaeology, details the milestones in the search for the origins of civilization. Copyright 2002 The University of Chicago.