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University archaeology researcher Jon Leader (right) working with PBS appraiser and historian Elyse Luray.
University archaeology researcher Jon Leader (right) working with PBS appraiser and historian Elyse Luray.

Continued: "History Detectives"

“Archives and overlays do not a proof make,” said Leader. “Science isn’t only about how well things fit, but how well they test.”

Leader and Elyse Luray of “The History Detectives” used high-tech equipment, including a Bartington gradient magnetometer and a Mala ground penetrating radar, to see what was hidden under the ground. Their findings will be revealed during the course of “The History Detectives” episode.

Complementing Leader’s research will be footage from the S.C. Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum and S.C. Department of Archives and History.

“One of the truly enjoyable parts of working with the PBS series ‘The History Detectives’ is the collaboration,” Leader said. “The questions they are asked to solve are never easy and also tie in many allied colleagues and experts.”

The bridge abutment isn’t Leader’s only Civil War-era project. He and fellow university archaeologist Christopher Amer are leading a team to locate, map, recover and conserve artifacts from the Confederate Mars Bluff Naval Yard, located alongside the Pee Dee River in Marion County, and three large cannon that were once aboard C.S.S. Pee Dee.

Leader and Amer are researchers in the S.C. Institute for Archaeology and Anthropology. SCIAA, part of the College of the Arts and Sciences, was established in 1963 as a University of South Carolina research institute and a cultural resource management agency for the state of South Carolina. To learn more about SCIAA, its research projects and outreach programs, visit the Web site – www.cas.sc.edu/sciaa/ -- or call 803-777-8170.

By Office of Media Relations

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Posted: 09/01/09 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 09/02/09 @ 1:57 PM | Permalink

"History Detectives"

  • What: Popular PBS program that explores the details of famous points in history
  • Who: Dr. Jonathan Leader, university researcher and state archaeologist, will discuss his work on a Civil War mystery.
  • When: 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7, on SC-ETV

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