MCC speakers to explore archaeology in popular films

  • How authentic was the depiction of archaeology in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and other films? An upcoming program at McHenry County College will explore fact and fiction.

    How authentic was the depiction of archaeology in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and other films? An upcoming program at McHenry County College will explore fact and fiction. Courtesy of Paramount Studios

  • Judi Cameron and Jim Stockwell will present "Raiders of the Lost Arch(aeology): Deciphering Facts and Fiction" Thursday, Oct. 14 at McHenry County College.

    Judi Cameron and Jim Stockwell will present "Raiders of the Lost Arch(aeology): Deciphering Facts and Fiction" Thursday, Oct. 14 at McHenry County College. Courtesy of McHenry County College

 
 
Posted10/11/2021 1:56 PM

McHenry County College will explore the depiction of archaeology in popular films as part of its latest Experts and Insights educational speaker series. "Raiders of the Lost Arch(aeology): Deciphering Facts and Fiction" will be presented both virtually and in person at the college's Conference Center (rooms A211, 213, 215) at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14.

The session will be led by Judi Cameron, instructor of anthropology at MCC, and Jim Stockwell, instructor of film and broadcast journalism.

 

"From Indiana Jones to National Treasure to The Mummy, archaeology has been featured in movies for decades," said Stockwell. "Dr. Cameron and I thought it would be interesting to combine forces and really examine how accurately archaeology was being portrayed in some of our favorite films."

"This presentation will cover the basic methods that archaeologists use in order to collect the real treasure, knowledge of the past, and hence, ourselves," said Cameron. "Hollywood archaeologists, in their zeal to recover a single item, often overlook or even destroy information that is important for reconstructing and understanding the past."

Fictional films are the current generations' library into imagination, added Stockwell.

"These films allow us to experience activities and topics that cannot be physically accomplished. And while most filmmakers strive for an extreme level of accuracy, it is important for the audience to understand the difference between fact and fiction while viewing them. Films are fantasy ... but phenomenal and wonderful nonetheless."

Cameron teaches archaeology, cultural anthropology, and biological anthropology at MCC. She was named MCC's ICCTA Full-Time Faculty of the Year Awardee in 2020 and is also a NISOD Excellence in Teaching award recipient. Her research area of specialty is archaeology of the Southwestern United States, and she participated in many projects in that region as a field worker, lab specialist, project director, and faunal analyst.

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Stockwell has been teaching at MCC since January 2003, joining the full-time faculty in August 2014. He holds an associate degree from the College of Lake County and a bachelor's and master's in Communications from Eastern Illinois University.

The session is free and open to the public. Registration is required for viewing via Zoom. In-person attendees are encouraged to register as well, but walk-ins are welcome. Online registrants will receive a link to the webinar by 5 p.m. on the day of the event.

Upcoming Experts and Insights sessions include "American History Through Folk Music" Nov. 18 and "Introduction to Hydroponics" Jan. 20. Both sessions will be held at 6 p.m., both online and in the college's Luecht Auditorium.

The Experts and Insights series started in 2019 as an opportunity for the community to experience the high quality of education and expertise provided by MCC's faculty as they present topics in their fields of study.

Register and learn more at www.mchenry.edu/experts. If you need an accommodation or a sign language interpreter, please contact MCC's Access and Disability Services department at (815) 455-8766 or disabilityservices@mchenry.edu.

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