Tuesday, May 08, 2007

TV Review: Nova - "Pocahontas Revealed"
Archaeology is not a hard science. It is speculation melded with myth, legend, wishes, hopes, and a few facts tossed in for good measure. Nothing makes this more clear than Nova’s latest episode, “Pocahontas Revealed.”


It is not that the uncovering of these two sites isn’t interesting. It is not that hearing that the truth about Pocahontas’s life might be more mundane than novels, films, songs, and other forms of communication might lead us to believe is uninteresting. But, the fact of the matter is that this episode does not reveal anything about Pocahontas that was unknown (save that we may now know the exact site of two towns she lived in).

Actually, the defining quote seems to be: It does not however, as one might have hoped, reveal terribly much new information, but rather dispels clearly incorrect mythology that has sprung up around her story.

Which will probably turn out to be correct. In the absence of extensive documentation, it's tough to get anything really definitive. But dispelling some myths is productive anyway.

The NOVA site has more. The Images page has a bunch of representations of Pocahontas.

But who needs that anyway, I met her: