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Video Resources

America's Stone Age Explorers, from the Nova Series, explores the controversy surrounding the populating of the Americas. Questions like, "Who were these people and where did they come from?" are addressed. Also, the "Clovis First" theory is challenged from two different perspectives. DVD. (2004) 60 min. Grade: 7th and up. Cost: $19.95 Purchase at: 

Earthworks of Southern Ohio: Ancient Monuments of the Eastern Woodlands. DVD.  This video takes viewers on a tour of 9 different mounds in southern Ohio, including Adena Mound.  These Hopewell sites are relevant to Kentucky’s Native Americans.  There is also an accompanying website with great info about the Earthworks of the Eastern Woodlands and a trailer of the DVD:  You can order the DVD at: for $18.95.

Kentucky Archaeology Series.  DVD and VHS format. Developed by the Kentucky Heritage Council and the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, and produced by Voyageur Media Group, Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio (2000-2009). Each episode examines a unique aspect of the Commonwealth's archaeology with a blend of interviews, artifacts, rare archival images and video of ancient American Indian sites in Kentucky.  Each volume in the Series can be purchased from the Kentucky Heritage Council. Companion guides for teachers are available to teachers for free on the KAS website.  They consist of eight classroom-tested, cross-curricular activities, have been developed for each episode by Judy Sizemore. Grade level varies from middle school to high school, depending on the video's subject matter. Here is a brief look at each video:

Volume I

Episode 1: Ancient Fires at Cliff Palace Pond (10:30 min.) (2000) examines landmark research on Kentucky's first forest managers. Archaeologist Cecil Ison takes viewers to a spectacular site in Daniel Boone National Forest where soil core studies show how American Indians have been using fire to manage the environment for over 3,000 years. Number Four in the Kentucky Archaeological Survey's Education Series is a companion booklet to this program (see the Books, Magazines, and Other Publications section).

Episode 2: The Adena People: Moundbuilders of Kentucky (6:00 min..) (2000) examines the legacies of the Adena people whose ancient culture is renowned for massive burial mounds. Dr. Berle Clay examines the search for rare Adena settlements, which could tell archaeologists much about the lifeways of these prehistoric American Indians who lived over 2,000 years ago.

Episode 3: Saving a Kentucky Time Capsule (9:00 min.) (2000) documents efforts to preserve dozens of ancient American Indian mud glyphs (drawings) discovered deep inside a Kentucky cave. Archaeologists Valerie Haskins and Dan Davis lead viewers on an unforgettable journey to see rare legacies from Kentucky's early occupants.

Volume II

Episode Four: WPA Archaeology: Legacy of an Era (24 min.) (2002). During the Depression, hundreds of Kentuckians found employment excavating prehistoric mounds and village sites as part of Kentucky's WPA (Works Progress Administration) program. Join Dr. Lathel F. Duffield, former University of Kentucky Anthropology professor and member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and Mr. John B. Elliott, former WPA archaeologist, as they explore the diverse legacies of Kentucky's WPA archaeology program, which was much more than the jobs it created.
Check out the web page to read detailed summaries of the episodes and download the companion guides. 

You may also visit The Archaeology Channel's streaming media website  to preview the episodes in Volumes I and II of the Kentucky Archaeology Series on your own computer.

Volume III

Historic Archaeology: Beneath Kentucky’s Fields and Streets” (58 minutes; 2009) examines what archaeologists are learning about the daily lives Euro-American settlers, slaves, laborers and immigrants during the 1800s. This one-hour documentary travels to historic sites across the Commonwealth, blending interviews with video, artifacts, archival photographs and original animation. The documentary is presented in four segments based on archaeological periods: Frontier, Antebellum, Civil War and Industrialization. Each segment features key scientific discoveries made by some of the state’s top archaeologists over the past decade

Kentucky GeoQuest (30 min.) DVD and VHS.  KET, The Kentucky Network (1993).  A series of four half-hour programs created especially for 4th graders learning about Kentucky geography.  Program 3: The Human Factor explores Kentucky prehistory and history.  Free downloadable Teacher's Guide  are available.  They include video summary, vocabulary, and in class projects.  Video available from KET Grade: 4.

Kentucky Life Series (7-12 min.) KET, The Kentucky Network.  Two segments on this popular television series treat Kentucky archaeology subjects.  DVD copies of both episodes are available from KET.

Program 503 (12 min.)  Aired on Oct. 17, 1998. Stone mounds and alignments in Menifee County and a large earthen Adena burial mound in Montgomery County are described in the first segment of this program. The importance of preserving these vestiges of the past is also discussed.

Program 609 (7 min.) Aired on Jan. 31, 2000. This program profiles the award-winning Building Blocks of History program at Riverside, The Farnsley-Moremen Landing in Louisville. School children experience historical archaeology first-hand, as they work side-by-side with Kentucky Archaeological Survey archaeologists who are researching early 1800s farm life. 

The Legacy of the Moundbuilders by Camera One Productions (1994) DVD (17mins.) The Ohio Historical Society had this to say about the video. "In the ancient heartland of America of 2,000 years ago, trade networks spanned a continent. While the Greeks built temples, the Hopewell people of the Ohio River valley were building elaborate earthworks and working with copper". Winner of three awards and the official film for Hopewell Culture National Historic Park. Cost: $15.00   (or preview the video on The Archaeology Channel )
Myths and Moundbuilders. From the Odyssey series on Public Television. This video examines the culture that surrounded early Native American moundbuilders.  The video examines many myths and the research that sets the record straight about mounding building culture in America’s interior.  A teacher's guide may still be available.  Grade: 7 and up.  Cost: 19.95 
A Native Presence (60 min.) VHS.  KET, The Kentucky Network (1995).  Good program of interviews with American Indians, archaeologists, and historians concerning Kentucky's native people.  Available from KET Tape Duplication, Cost: $25.00 (but check cost to teachers).

Other People's Garbage (59 min.)  (1980)  From the Odyssey series on Public Television.  Describes the purposes and methods of historical archaeology using three archaeological projects conducted in the United States, including an excavation in downtown Boston.  The program discusses what the project findings reveal about daily life in the recent past  Grade: 7 and up.  Cost: $19.95 

In The Prehistoric Mounds of Uruguay: Linking the Past and the Future/ Los Constructores de Cerritos de Uruguay: Uniendo el Pasado y el Futuro (English 24-min./Spanish 26-min.,video feed), viewers discover the rich 11,000-year history of Uruguay.  Follow along as students from a public school in Rocha Province collect scientific data during excavation at a mound.  Then join a visit the to school to see how the students used their archaeological field experience to explore topics in social studies and language learning. The video is designed as a teaching tool, and educators will find it useful for raising students' awareness of the importance of preserving our fragile and non-renewable cultural heritage. For copies of both versions of the video, contact KET, The Kentucky Network  (or check out the video online )

Rubbish: The Archaeology of Modern Garbage (1995).  This edited version of a lecture given by William Rathje in Lexington at the Singletary Center for the Arts is a lively introduction to archaeology.  Rathje shows how archaeology is everywhere, as he examines the problems in interpreting human behavior from the material culture of us (i.e., modern landfills).  Available from the Kentucky Humanities Council. 

Searching for the Great Hopewell Road by Pangea Productions, Ltd. (1998) (60 min.) DVD. PBS.  This award-winning documentary explores aspects of the prehistoric mound-building Hopewell people, who lived in the Ohio Valley 2,000 years ago.  Information is presented from recent archaeological projects as well as from interviews with American Indians concerning the possibility that some of the earthworks form sacred roads across the landscape.  The documentary also presents how archaeologists go about studying the past.  Available on request are color slides and a Viewers Guide with information about the sites, archives, and museums shown in the documentary, as well as resource lists for further reading, research, and curriculum development.  To order, go to the Ohio Historical Society's online store at   Cost: $24.95.

Silent Witness: Protecting American Indian Archaeological Heritage by Kathryn Sherlock.  Parks As Classrooms/National Park Foundation (1994).  Teaching Guidebook and accompanying video designed to raise awareness of the value and endangered status of archaeological resources.  Contains handouts and activities.  Also has a resource directory, a bibliography of educational materials, and copies of U.S. archaeological resources preservation laws.  Video has a heavy Southwestern focus, but activities can be used in a Kentucky Unit


Last Updated 2/20/2010