Friends and colleagues: We are pleased to present an audio interview with Dr. Fred Wendorf, a principal figure in the history of American archaeology and for decades the leading researcher in the prehistory of northeastern Africa. This interview, titled Desert Days after the title of his recently published memoir, is the latest feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel (http://www.archaeologychannel.org).
Dr. Wendorf came of age and began his career during a formative period in American archaeology. But after leaving his permanent mark on the development of archaeology in the American Southwest and the United States, he essentially founded the study of the prehistoric eastern Sahara, beginning with the Aswan Dam Project in the Nile River Valley. His life, nearly ended by a bullet on a WWII battlefield in Italy, has included an archaeological research career spanning six decades and an unsurpassed record of seminal contributions. His recently published book, Desert Days: My life as a Field Archaeologist, is a record not only of a life, but of an epoch in the history of archaeology on two continents.
Guided by Dr. Wendorf’s book, this interview covers a wide array of topics, including his role in the creation of the first truly large contract archaeology projects in the United States, his momentous and very fruitful decision to launch a field expedition in the Nile River Valley against the wishes and advice of others, and the contributions of his research toward the understanding of human cultural development. Personal anecdotes combine with long considered assessments to paint a genuine picture of his life and career and the era they have spanned.
This and other programs are available on TAC for your use and enjoyment. We urge you to support this public service by participating in our Membership (http://www.archaeologychannel.org/member.html) and Underwriting (http://www.archaeologychannel.org/sponsor.shtml) programs. Only with your help can we continue and enhance our nonprofit public-education and visitor-supported programming. We also welcome new content partners as we reach out to the world community.