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W&M faculty, students featured on PBS show

Work of William and Mary students and faculty figure prominently in “Pocahontas Revealed,” an episode of the PBS program NOVA, to be broadcast Tuesday, May 8.Randy Turner (left) of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources talks with William and Mary archaeologist Martin Gallivan in the Kimball Theater before the premier screening of the NOVA episode “Pocahontas Revealed.”

The program was premiered locally on May 1 in Williamsburg’s Kimball Theater to an enthusiastic audience of archaeologists, scholars and others involved in the production of the show, notably members of the Virginia Indian tribes with lineal connections to the Powhatan people.

“The Virginia Indian community were completely indispensable to the project,” said Evan Hadingham, NOVA’s senior science editor. Among the attendees were Anne Richardson, chief of the Rappahannock, and her granddaughter Ashlee Harless, who portrayed Pocahontas in the reenactment segments of the show.

Producer-directors Kirk Wolfinger and Lisa Quijano Wolfinger singled out the contributions of Buck Woodard, a graduate student in William and Mary’s anthropology department, who “built an entire Indian village in a day.”

“Pocahontas Revealed” focuses on discoveries and revelations that have come to light since the 2003 discovery of Werowocomoco, home of Pocahontas and the capital town of her father, Powhatan. Excavation of the York River Werowocomoco site, on the farm of Bob and Lynn Ripley, continues to yield new information about Powhatan, his people, and their relationship with the Jamestown colonists.

William and Mary archaeologist Martin Gallivan is the lead investigator in the Werowocomoco excavation; he and his students are prominent in the show.

Audience questions at the premiere were fielded by informal panel of archaeologists, filmmakers and Indians, moderated by Danielle Moretti-Langholtz , director of the William and Mary American Indian Resource Center.