Dr. Duncan McKinnon
With an interest in history and the dynamics of human and environment interactions across the landscape, Duncan began a career as an anthropological archaeologist studying under Dr. F. Kent Reilly, III at Texas State University. While there, Dr. Reilly introduced him to the captivating world of the art and culture of southeastern archaeology and the use of archaeological remote sensing. He pursued geospatial studies at the University of Arkansas under Dr. Kenneth L. Kvamme where he received his Ph.D. He is also interested in Scottish history and ancestry and has continued the genealogical research first begun by his great uncle Archibald many years ago.
When did you first know you wanted to be an archaeologist?
Although, I spent ten years in Fortune 500 high-tech hardware and software sales I always had a passion for the past. It wasn’t until I left the monotonous world of high-tech sales to pursue my interest in history that I “discovered” archaeology and the gratification that comes with being an archaeologist.
Who inspires you?
This is a difficult question. Over the years, I have met so many people throughout the world that are a part of my life and influence my perspective on my position in this world. One person that continues to inspire me is my grandmother. Her stories of memorable events in her active life always captured my interest as I listened intently and visualized the past. Her old house was like an antique store filled with heavy furniture, steam heat radiators that made bizarre sounds in the night, and large chest drawers packed with newspapers, tintypes, and trinkets collected over many years. Numerous hours were spent going through those old musty drawers and finding fascination with the past.
What does it take to do what you do?
Passion, planning, and perseverance. A little luck with the weather helps.
There is no “casual Friday” in your work, so do you dress up on the weekends?
Not usually, I dress down even more. Throwing on a wrinkled sport coat for a conference is about as dressed up as this archaeologist gets.
What is your favorite thing about working on Time Team America?
It has been a great experience working with very talented people – the Time Team archaeologists, the local archaeologists at each of the sites, volunteers and students, and the always-energized production crew. Working with this diverse group of people from varied perspectives and backgrounds has been a pleasure. Meeting and interacting with new people is always a favorite thing of mine. It’s also been great working with ongoing programs in different communities to contribute to research endeavors while at the same time learning about the rich history and archaeology at each one of these sites.