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  "Conversations with Harold Hudson Channer"

                          Upcoming Cable Television/Web Show:

   Conversations guest for: WEDNESDAY JANUARY 12

                                                (Originally Aired 9-08-03)















As an expert in emergency rescue archaeology as well as the use of advanced technology to enhance the logistical decision-making capabilities in difficult and often dangerous environments, Dr. Grossman begins the conversation with a review of the influences and opportunities that brought him to archaeology at a young age. After touching on his initial training at the University of California, and early research in the highlands in Andean Peru, he discusses how his field training in South America prepared him for his current focus on emergency work stoppages from unexpected discoveries, and the development of new strategies for detecting and recoding archeological information in dangerous or contaminated settings. He underscores his career long practice of involving young people and community members in the archaeological process, the importance of the oral history of elder community members and unwritten accounts to help fill in the gaps of the written record.

After tracing the origins of a range of modern applied technology solutions back to WWI, Dr. Grossman goes on to highlight the role of applied technology in a series of major large-scale emergency rescue excavations, from 1978 to the present. He discusses his role and experience in the peaceful transfer of new capabilities currently described as “capacity building” within other countries including Peru, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Russia.

Dr. Grossman explains how his career has been marked by the borrowing and adaptation of technology from other disciplines to enhance the detection and recording capabilities. Examples include the use of ground penetrating radar adapted from the Lunar Lander program in 1978 to make a multicolored underground radar map of the buried colonial port, and then to work with the engineers using it to redesign and jumpstart the multi-million dollar federal work stoppage, and his recent deployment of 3D laser radar scanners (LIDAR) to record a large archaeological site discovered at the last minute in a matter of days versus months using traditional techniques.

He discussed the role of secrecy and the pace of technology transfers between disciplines, as well as between the government and the public. He points out the long time lag, often 10- 15 years, between the initial invention of technology, the release to the public and scientific communities, and, finally, its application and adaptation.

He highlights the role of new advances in applied technology to offset the limitations of widely held scientific assumptions and approaches in method and theory, which often lay behind many of the work stoppages and “unexpected discoveries” which he was called upon to resolve, including the use of random sampling and the overdependence on statistical approaches, as well as the failure to obtain oral history from elder community members.

Finally Dr. Grossman touches on his current innovative work in using advanced 3D terrain modeling and geographic information technology on historic map sources to reconstruct ancient landscapes not for illustration purposes, but as targeting tools for the discovery and definition of buried or submerged archeological finds.



As an archaeologist, Dr. Grossman is internationally recognized as a pioneer in advanced technology solutions to expedite, streamline and enhance national and international multi-disciplinary cultural and environmental planning programs. He has spent more than twenty-five years directing large-scale emergency rescue excavations of unexpected discoveries found in the path of major development projects.  He has served as a scientific advisor to U.S. and international agencies on the implementation of innovative technology-based planning strategies in North America, Peru, Brazil, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Hungary, and the Chernobyl impact area of Russia.  Beginning in the late 1980’s, Dr. Grossman directed the first large-scale archaeological investigations of chemically and radioactively contaminated ”Superfund” sites in North America   


Dr. Grossman’s scientific accomplishments include the discovery of the earliest evidence of metal technology in the Americas, the excavation of the deeply buried remains of the 17th Century Dutch West India Company headquarters in Lower Manhattan, the discovery of New York’s original Colonial Almshouse in City Hall Park, and the excavation of a secret Civil War era military ”Super Gun” testing facility discovered under a cadmium-laced Federal Superfund site across the Hudson River from West Point.  In 1999, Dr. Grossman directed the first US archaeological use of new 3D laser-radar (LIDAR) scanner technology and single-camera photogrammetry to rapidly record two blocks of colonial shoreline dock structures discovered beneath modern Albany, New York.          

Dr. Grossman established and directed the Rutgers Archaeological Survey Office, trained scores of New Jersey archaeologists, and directed many of the major Federal and State cultural resource survey and planning studies. These strategies used GIS comparisons and georeferenced reprojections of historic maps to reconstruct ancient drainage and settlement patterns throughout New Jersey, including the Raritan, Hackensack, Passaic, Monmouth, Manasquan, Tom’s River and Delaware drainages.  His large scale emergency project direction experience in New Jersey includes the first use of Ground Penetrating Radar through three feet of rock fill.  This polychrome radar map guided the development of a high speed avoidance and deep winter excavation plan for New Jersey’s colonial Port of Raritan Landing near New Brunswick.

Dr. Grossman developed the multi-agency GIS-based SAMP master plan of the New Jersey Hackensack Meadowlands.  For this project, he deployed innovative uses of historic GIS and 3D environmental reconstruction as a Virtual Reality planning tool to target prehistoric archaeological resources within the now submerged Meadowlands.  This work has served as the environmental review framework for hundreds of NJDEP permitting evaluations. 

Between 2002 and 2004, Dr. Grossman directed the joint engineering redesign and deep winter archaeological mitigation of flood damaged and submerged historic dam components of the Morris Canal Historic District and associated Civil War era foundry remains in the highlands of New Jersey.  A preliminary sensitivity evaluation and mitigation plan used Historic GIS and air photo analysis to define and then avoid through redesign potential impacts to the site.

As part of a broad range of applied technology solutions for the high speed emergency site excavation of unavoidable impacts, Dr. Grossman deployed 3D laser-radar, air photo and map re-projection technology, high resolution GPS and digital photogrammetry. Carried out in sub-freezing conditions concurrent with ongoing construction and the overland diversion of the Musconetcong River, these technologies enabled the capture in six hours of the first high precision true-color 3D LIDAR record of an archaeological site

Dr. Grossman received his Ph.D. at the age of 27, as a Fulbright and Special Career Fellow, in the areas of Peruvian and New World archaeology from the University of California at Berkeley.  He has spoken before the United Nations, the Hungarian Academy of Science, the Society for Historical Archaeology and the Russian Institute of Archaeology. In 1999, he was elected a Resident Fellow of the Explorers Club.



Policy Advisor to senior U.S. Executive Branch Agencies on implementing innovative, state-of-the-art, applied technology strategies to streamline the integration of legal and policy goals with modern development time frames and fiscal constraints for the National Preservation Institute, the US Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the US Senate Office of Technology Assessment and the U.S. Army.

Advised international agencies on the use of applied technology planning strategies to efficiently investigate and avoid conflicts in logistically difficult regions in North America, Peru, Brazil, the Caribbean, Hungary and Russia.

Trained Russian Institute of Archaeology field directors in applied technology and the safe field investigation of contaminated prehistoric burial mounds in the Chernobyl impact area of southern Russia.

Consultant to the joint US Chevron-Russian Black Sea effort on all-weather, portable shelters for uninterrupted investigation of 300 endangered burial mounds for the Caspian oil routes.

Invited as UN-OAS Advisor by Peruvian Institute of Culture to train expedition directors in the use of cost effective geophysical survey strategies to locate and efficiently plan the investigation of buried Pre-Inca cities in Andean Peru.

Directed joint U.S. and Peruvian expeditions in highlands of southern Peru; discovered the earliest evidence of gold working in the New World.

Lead archaeological advisor for the development of a 3D, virtual reality, robotic, “time capsule” museum installation on the discovery of the 17th Century Dutch West India Company site for the New York Unearthed annex of the South Street Seaport Museum.

Edited annual review of new discoveries in New World archaeology for the Encyclopedia Britannica.


Directed and implemented first archaeological HAZMAT investigations of chemically and radioactively contaminated “Superfund” sites in North America for the US EPA. Discovered secret, Civil War 30,000 lb. cannon testing facilities preserved under cadmium-contaminated fill at West Point Foundry, New York.

Authored major US Army Planning Protocol (Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.) on applied technology procedures for target-specific, GIS and geophysical testing strategies to expedite environmental planning at US military facilities.

Directed primary, basin-wide, cultural and environmental planning studies using GIS comparisons of historic maps and modern digital map coverage to reconstruct ancient drainage patterns for Staten Island, and the Hackensack, Raritan, Monmouth, Manasquan, Tom’s and Hudson Rivers of New Jersey and New York.

Developed multi-agency (NJ Meadowlands Commission, the USEPA, US Army Corps, New Jersey DEP, and NOAA) environmental Master Plan based on the innovative use of historic GIS and 3D environmental reconstruction as a Virtual Reality planning tool to target prehistoric archaeological sensitivity within the now submerged and land filled New Jersey Hackensack Meadowlands.

Directed rapid response emergency rescue excavation of a 400,000 sq. ft., 13th century Pre-Iroquois village, the lost bastion of 18th century Fort Edward, and eight feet below it, a deeply buried, 4000-year-old, prehistoric village, all “discovered under construction” in the path of the last federal water treatment plant on the upper Hudson at Fort Edward, New York.

Coordinated and Directed urgent, federal and private sector, emergency archaeological and forensic investigations of unexpected discoveries of prehistoric and historic burial sites.

Negotiated and implemented new policies for the respectful, non-intrusive, in-situ documentation and ceremonial reburial protocols between the tribal leadership of the Iroquois League and government agencies.

Directed key, large-scale, excavation and planning studies in New York City: the original 17th Century Dutch West India Company settlement ten feet below Lower Manhattan, the 1730 colonial remains of New York’s first municipal Almshouse under City Hall Park, the GIS based study of Union Square Towers project, the Little Italy Zoning district, the Old Madison Square Garden and the South Ferry terminal sites.


 Internationally Recognized as authority on Applied Technology solutions to refine, target and expedite large-scale, multi-phase, Federal and State Archaeological and Environmental Compliance programs.

Innovated in the use of advanced terrestrial and marine geophysical remote sensing strategies, 3D computer terrain modeling, GIS scaled historic map analysis of past landscape and land use for the development of non-random testing and data recovery strategies and concurrent, all weather, on-site, HAZMAT decontamination and conservation laboratories.

Deployed the first use of high precision, digital computer transit systems in North American archaeology to provide real time data control in emergency rescue excavations.

Introduced NATO developed, single-camera, 3D Rolleimetric photogrammetry in archaeology to facilitate the safe and remote investigation of unexpected or contaminated archaeological sites.

Directed the first archaeological use of LIDAR (3D laser-radar) scanner technology to rapidly map two blocks of excavated colonial log dock structures discovered at the last minute 12 feet beneath modern Albany, New York. 

Deployed the first archaeological use of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to plan and map high speed avoidance and excavation strategy through three feet of rock fill over the “lost” 18th century port of Raritan Landing, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Implemented first archaeological use of advanced Cesium Magnetometer in high electromagnetic fields, together with GIS scaled, historic map comparisons, to pinpoint and direct the HAZMAT archaeological discovery of “lost”, buried and contaminated, 19th century, brick gas holders at the Niagara Mohawk Power Plant and Superfund site in Saratoga Springs, New York.


Channel 34 of the Time/Warner &Channel 107 of the RCN 
Cable Television Systems in Manhattan, New York

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 12,  2005  10:30 - 11:30 AM NYC TIME

The Program can now be viewed on the internet at the time of cable casting at: 


NOTE: You must adjust viewing to reflect NYC time & click on channel 34 at site

                                    241 West 36th StreetNew York,N.Y. 10018 Phone: 212-695-6351 E-Mail: HHC@NYC.RR.COM


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