WMU News

'Real-life Indiana Jones' to talk about ancient Egypt

Oct. 14, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- An expert on archaeological geology and ancient Egypt will speak on the Western Michigan University campus Friday, Oct. 18, about discovery of the first paved road, oil wells, the oldest geologic map and new attempts to affix a date to one of antiquity's most recognizable symbols-the Sphinx.

Dr. James Harrell, professor of geology at the University of Toledo, will help WMU commemorate National Earth Science Week, Oct. 13-19, with a talk on "Archaeological Geology in Egypt: Ancient Oil Wells and Mummy Bitumen, Earliest Geological Map, First Paved Road, Pyramid Temple Pavements, and the Sphinx Age Controversy." He will speak at 4 p.m. in Room 1104 of Rood Hall.

"Dr. Harrell has had some fascinating experiences and adventures in Egypt," says Dr. Alan Kehew, WMU chairperson of the Department of geosciences. "In some ways, he is a real-life Indiana Jones."

Harrell has spent more than 13 years in Egypt and Northern Sudan examining how geologic concepts influence archaeological objects and sites.

"His research shows how earth science was as important to the ancient Egyptians as it is to modern societies," says Kehew.

Media contact: Matt Gerard, 269 387-8400, matthew.gerard@wmich.edu

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