August 28, 2001

Ancient Encounters: Kennewick Man and the First Americans

Guest: James Chatters.

One of the oldest human skeletons found to date is referred to as "Kennewick Man." This skeleton was discovered by two young men along the Columbia River in 1996 and brought to the attention of James Chatters, a forensic anthropologist and our guest today on Focus. Controversy arose when the U.S. government reclaimed Kennewick Man and placed him in storage—but Chatters had done enough tests to reveal the skeleton to be nearly 9,500 years old. Today on Focus, Chatters will explain how, armed with this information, he set out on a multicontinental quest to understand the origins of Kennewick Man.

August 27, 2001

The Riddle of the Compass: The Invention that Changed the World

Guest: Amir D. Aczel.

Most historians agree that the compass has its origins in ancient Chinese lodestones. It was not utilized for sea travel, however, until the Italians unleashed its formidable powers in the twelfth century. Amir D. Aczel, author of The Riddle of the Compass, joins us today on Focus to share the story of navigation through the ages and the impact that the rise of the compass made on history.

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