Texas A&M University
Department of Anthropology
College Station, Texas 77843-4352
C. Wayne Smith is an associate professor of anthropology and director of the Archaeological Preservation Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University. He specializes in the preservation of organic artifacts using silicone oils, resins, and other polymers. He has participated in survey and shipwreck assessment in the Great Lakes and participated as a student and research assistant in excavations at Port Royal, Jamaica.
Archaeological conservators have made great strides in the preservation of organic materials recovered from archaeological sites. This presentation discusses the development of scientific principles and preservation methods that have spilled over from the world of archaeology into the realms of structural engineering, medicine, and a host of industrial applications. It also includes fascinating aspects of archaeology that the public never sees when they visit a museum.
Pablo Picasso stated that everything you can imagine is real. In ways that he could not imagine, this is a true statement concerning new technologies developed and used in the Wilder 3-Dimensional Imaging Laboratory at Texas A&M University. This presentation will discuss long-distance virtual excavations, non-intrusive artifact assessment in conservation, and the “magic” to be found in modern-day archaeology.
For many, the mention of archaeology conjures up images of George Lucas’s mythical archaeological adventurer Indiana Jones. While these and countless other movies allow us to share in the thrill of epic adventures, perhaps the iconic figure of Indiana Jane is more appropriate. This presentation will discuss the role of women in archaeology. While discussing some fascinating archaeological investigations, we will also examine how, as Mark Twain observed, “truth is often stranger than fiction.”