Meet an archeologist who is helping to rewrite the history of the Old West.
Traces of the Donner Party
In this audio slide show, Julie Schablitsky describes what she and colleagues discovered at the Donner family campsite.
Ask the Expert
Julie Schablitsky answers questions about her life and work.
Watch the Segment NOVA scienceNOW
Julie Schablitsky is an archeologist with the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, University of Oregon. Her work on the Donner Party in northern California revealed new details about a well-known historical event, yet much of her research focuses on the lives of people largely forgotten in the annals of written history, such as the European immigrant communities of Nevada, Chinese immigrants in Oregon, and enslaved African-Americans in Maryland. Collaborating with other scientific specialists, she incorporates recent technologies like ground-penetrating radar, DNA analysis, and various tools of forensic science in her investigations. In the fall of 2008, she will travel to Scotland to excavate the boyhood home of John Paul Jones, an 18th-century American naval hero.