Augustana’s Hannus to Appear on ‘Time Team America’

Dr. Adrian Hannus

Dr. Adrien Hannus, professor of anthropology and director of the Archeology Laboratory at Augustana, will appear in an episode of "Time Team America," a science-reality series from PBS that sends archaeologists on a race against time to excavate historic sites around the nation airing at 8 p.m. Central on Tuesday, Aug. 19 & 26.

According to a story on sdpb.org, Hannus is participating in an episode titled “The Bones of Badger Hole.” PBS describes the episode as such: “In western Oklahoma, the bones of massive 10,000-year-old bison mingle with the remnants of early man-made weapons. What strategies did hunters use against these mammoth beasts before the advent of bows and arrows? What can these bison bones teach us about our ancient past?”

On each episode, a team of archeologists has just 72 hours to uncover the buried secrets of their assigned digs using the latest technology, decades of expertise and their own sharp wits. Host Justine Shapiro guides each expedition as viewers peer over the shoulders of diggers, scientists and historians at work.

“We are trying to pick the brains of people who are no longer there,” Hannus said in an interview with PBS.

Each of the four new episodes focuses on different regions and times in U.S. history.

“It’s definitely a difficult format,” Hannus told PBS. “The point isn’t that you’re absolutely going to find something or not going to find something, but to see what kind of thought process the scholars apply.”

PBS says part of “The Bones of Badger Hole” entailed using actual stone blades to butcher a bison.

Hannus recently returned to Sioux Falls from Mitchell, South Dakota, where he helped lead a summer-long excavation and field study at the Thomsen Center Archeodome. Hannus has been the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village’s chief archeologist since 1983 and helped to develop all the exhibits in the museum and raised funds for the Archeodome.

The son of a French chef, Hannus is a native of Wichita, Kansas. During the Vietnam War, he served as a lieutenant in military intelligence, where he worked with the CIA on counter-insurgency operations.

After receiving his M.A. in anthropology from Wichita State University and his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Utah, Hannus has spent 40-some years studying the Great Plains region and also conducting archeological field projects in Egypt and Mexico. He has been involved in excavations at the Neanderthal cave site of Coudoulous in southern France. His teaching and research interests include early human populations in the New World, historic Native American cultures of the Plains, and lithic analysis.