When I came out of the water after my morning dive yesterday, we had a visitor I hadn't expected on board. After shaking of the salt water and preparing to give a full report of the excavations progress on my end of the site to Director of Excavations Franck Goddio, Franck said "Let me introduce you to Bill Weir, He's from America too".
Bill and his crew create a very popular hour-long show called 'The Wonder List". You might have seen or heard of it playing on CNN on Sunday nights. They tell the stories of extraordinary people, places, cultures and creatures at the crossroads. Exciting stuff. They also go way out of their way to capture beautiful imagery. I love that. And the underlying point of the show, if I got Bill's message correctly, is in "wondering" what the world will be like in the not too distant future, and what will be left that we will recognize from today.. On hearing that, they had me hook, line, and sinker.
Franck asked me to take Bill for a tour of the site we are working on during the current archaeological excavation on the sunken city of Heracleion (or Thonis, in ancient Egyptian), I was enthusiastic to share the process of exploration under the sea.
Before the dive, Bill and his film crew toured the ship and filmed conservation of artifacts, the 3-D photogrammetry process, our Ceramologue Catherine at work, and the many disciplines involved in an underwater archaeological excavation on a city that's been under the sea for over a thousand years. When the time came, we jumped in ( With Roland and Yoann shooting video, and Christof shooting stills) and took a leisurely stroll through the ancient city, taking in the ruins and landscape that very few people have seen since they disappeared beneath the sea.
It was a very pleasant dive, but what I enjoyed the most was Bills excitement in describing what he had seen to his crew, and the cameras. He seemed genuinely surprised at what the site held in store.
And for most of us, the archaeological divers on Francks team, that is what this job is really about; sharing the fascinating things that we are privileged to uncover with the world, and hoping that they will be as amazed as we are.
Later in the afternoon The Wonder List Filmmakers caught the last felucca going back to the fishermen's port in Abu Kir, in order to continue shooting in Alexandria and the Nile River Delta. It will be a while before the show completes the process of creation. Months for sure.
But in the meantime, as soon as I get a reasonable internet connection or return home, I look forward to checking out "The Wonder List" to see what other stories they have covered, and find out if we will likely be classified extraordinary as a places, or as creatures.
All the best,
inary people, places, cultures and creatures at a crossroads.CNN's Bill Weir and filmmaker Philip Bloom tell the stories of extraordinary people, places, cultures and creatures at a crossroads.