David West Reynolds earned his Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology at the University of Michigan, specializing in Imperial Rome and ancient Egypt. His field work has taken him to places as diverse as Anasazi cliff cities in Utah, Inca fortresses in the mountains of Peru, and Swahili ruins in the jungles of East Africa. In addition to his scholarly work, Dr. Reynolds taught college archaeology and guided international tours.
The archaeology of Star Wars
In 1995 Reynolds undertook an unusual quest to re-locate the filming sites in Tunisia where the desert scenes had been shot in 1976 for the movie Star Wars. Together with a Phaeton teammate, Reynolds successfully tracked down the remote locations and found 20-year-old movie props in the Sahara. The project led to official location scouting work for Lucasfilm, and then to a full-time job at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch in California, where Reynolds held a position on the marketing team behind the record-setting launch of Star Wars: Episode I. In addition to numerous popular magazine articles he penned seven Star Wars books. The last five of those titles became New York Times bestsellers, one reaching #1 on that list.
Having learned about media and popular communication from one of the best companies in the business, Reynolds returned to scientific work and non-fiction writing, founding Phaeton Group to support field science projects and bring them to the public.
A wide-ranging career
Reynolds has climbed mountains in Venezuela , Kenya, and Canada, excavated dinosaur eggshell, explored unmapped caves, discovered Ice Age fossils, and carried out archaeological research at the Vatican manuscript library. In the course of his consulting work he has sculpted a full-size dinosaur skeleton, created museum models of historic spacecraft designs, and acted as presenter for the television documentary series Omnibus for the BBC.
Phaeton Group and its diverse projects reflect David's wide-ranging interests. The organization embodies his belief in the value of multidisciplinary collaboration.