WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – Research led by Baylor University faculty and students will be explored on the national stage.
The University said on Monday that faculty and students will be sharing their findings from the San Giuliano Archaeological Research Project during a Season 10 episode of the popular primetime Discovery adventure series “Expedition Unknown.” The episode premieres Wednesday, August 31 at 7 p.m. CST on Discovery.
“Expedition Unknown” is hosted by Josh Gates, and chronicles his global adventures as he investigates iconic unsolved events, lost cities and buried treasure. This episode, “Finding Italy’s Lost Empire,” was filmed in June and features Baylor Honors College professors Davide Zori, Ph.D., and Colleen Zori, Ph.D., leading Gates through their archeological dig site as they seek to understand the Etruscan occupation of the San Giuliano plateau in central Italy.
Baylor says its involvement with Discovery started when the project was awarded an Explorer’s Club Discovery grant – which allowed the team to purchase a drone and a LiDAR (laser imaging, detection and ranging) antenna used to make high-resolution maps. This equipment helps archaeologists detect things like underground tombs.
Since 2016, the Zoris – in partnership with Lori Baker, Ph.D., professor of anthropology, Deirdre Fulton, Ph.D., associate professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, James Fulton, Ph.D., assistant professor of geosciences, and Alden Smith, Ph.D., professor of classics – have investigated the Etruscan occupation of the plateau and the transitions that followed, including incorporation into the Roman Empire, transformations in the medieval settlement pattern and final abandonment of the site sometime before A.D. 1300.
Baylor says its students spent six weeks at the site as a part of Archaeology Research in Italy – a summer study abroad program. From morning until around 5 p.m., students are in the field collecting materials. They spend their evenings uploading photographs and analyzing ceramics, skeletal material and anything else they recover.
The Univeristy says this project is making its mark on Illuminate, which is Baylor’s strategic plan. Illuminate’s four pillars encompass Christian mission; transformational education; research marked by quality, impact and visibility; and excellence in arts and athletics.
The “Expedition Unknown” episode featuring Baylor also will be available to stream on Discovery+. For more information about the San Giuliano Archeological Research project, you can visit www.sgarp.org.