|Professor shines on Discovery's Travel Channel
Centre's Phyllis Passariello most featured commentator on "World's Best" program
RELEASED: July 11, 2002
DANVILLE, KYPhyllis Passariello, associate professor of anthropology at Centre College, was featured more than any other commentator on a show that discussed historic locations around the globe. "World's Best Places to Go Back in Time" premiered on Discovery's Travel Channel Wednesday night. It re-aired Sunday night.
The program examined sites that genuinely represent their time period in history and that best reveal civilization from the beginnings of recorded history to the 20th Century. The 10 destinations on the list attempt to reflect the most preserved, visually stunning, culturally revealing places of the past. The show started in the present and worked its way back through time.
Passariello spoke on four of the 10 time-specific destinations, covering more ground than any other commentator on the show. She has traveled in three of the four locations.
Wales in the 1300's was ranked as the No. 7 best place to go back in time. Wales boasted more than 400 castles during that time, most built during the reign of William the Conqueror.
The castles were constructed for protection and also to guard the holdings William had gathered along the way, Passariello said on the program, part of the "World's Best" series.
Bath, England circa 973 A.D. was No. 6.
"Bath was, I would say, the pearl of Roman-Britain," she said. "The Romans had nearly an obsession with baths. The bathhouses in Roman-Britain are an analogue to the pubs in Britain today. The bathhouse, at that time, was a place where men could network, a place where men could gossip, actually a place where men ate and drank. Everywhere the Romans lived there were always extensive public bathhouses."
Cambodia's Angkor Wat and the nearby temples in the 9th Century came in at No. 5 on the list.
"In Southeast Asia, a place we rarely think about, there was a magnificent civilization going on centuries ago," Passariello said.
The final destination the professor spoke on was Pompeii, Italy in 79 A.D. It was selected as the No. 4 destination.
Pompeii was practically frozen in time after a catastrophic eruption from Mt. Vesuvius buried the city. Thousands died instantly as the volcano erupted. It's the world's oldest excavation site, according to the program.
"We are able to see, in detail, exactly how the Romans constructed a city," Passariello said. "We see people at that moment of death and we can imagine how they felt. It just happened instantaneously."
Cairo, Egypt was selected as the No. 1 destination to back in time to visit.
The Travel Channel's Web site is at http://travel.discovery.com/. To learn more about the "World's Best" series, visit http://travel.discovery.com/fansites/worldsbest/worldsbest.html.
A veteran of extensive fieldwork with the Maya and other peoples of Mexico as well as with indigenous peoples of Ecuador, Passariello has developed a strong interest in the anthropology of tourism. She has studied tourism as the basis for sustainable development for indigenous cultures, as well as related topics, including the impact of tourism on native people, the re-creation of ethnicity as a marketing strategy, and the religious pilgrimage as a factor in regional tourism.
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