The Longest Running Podcast about Professional Archaeology - 6 Years Old - CRMArch 157

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For the last six year's we've been podcasting about the field of CRM Archaeology. We've had our ups and downs, just like the industry, but through it all we've continued to bring you awesome topics, great interviews, and educated commentary. Thanks for the past six years and here's to another six!

Special thanks to Bill’s kids, Ruckus the Cat, and all the partners and families of the hosts that allow us to do this every two weeks!


Follow Our Panelists On Twitter

Bill @succinctbill; Doug @openaccessarch; Stephen @processarch; Bill A. @archaeothoughts; Chris W @Archeowebby, @DIGTECHLLC, and @ArchPodNet


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Zooarchaeology 101 - Animals 01

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Zooarchaeology is, as the word suggests, the study of animal remains from archaeological sites. It is a relatively new discipline that has been steadily  gaining popularity since the 1970s. Zooarchaeology can provide inference on past people’s economy, dietary habits, society and culture. 

Faunal remains recovered from archaeological sites are initially processed, identified to element and species whenever possible and finally used in quantitative and qualitative analyses to further our understanding of a given archaeological site. Zooarchaeologists will frequently attempt to gather information on the animals’ age, sex and season of death as well as looking out for bone modification (either pathological or taphonomical i.e. signs of disease and butchery/burning/gnawing). This data will then be analysed within the regional and historical context of the site.

When carrying out the analysis of a faunal assemblage, the first step is to identify as many bone fragments as possible to element and species. It is important for this process to be as accurate as possible, thus if in doubt it is best to label the specimen as unidentifiable rather than risking biasing your sample). As not all recovered fragments will not have retained enough diagnostic characteristic for confident ID, the whole sample is somewhat biased from the very beginning, hence it’d be best not to add to that with potential misidentifications. Identification of skeletal remains is largely carried out by morphological analysis, though species which present a similar anatomy may require additional tools such as biometry (which relies on measurements): this is the case for sheep/goat, to mention a few. Morphological ID is a skill that takes a lot of practice to refine, and reference collections represent an invaluable asset in order to learn and maintain your knowledge of comparative skeletal anatomy. These will be mostly comprised of modern specimens of known ID. It is important to bear in mind, however, that the morphology of a given species is unlikely to have remained static throughout time and your archaeological material may thus slightly differ to the modern reference specimen. Some species also present remarkable morphological and size variations (dogs, for instance), so these are all factors to be mindful of when analysing an archaeological assemblage.

The age at death of an animal is frequently determined based on epiphyseal fusion. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, most bone is comprised of two parts: the central diaphysis (commonly known as the shaft) and the two epiphysis, which stand at the periphery of the bone. In several bones, these three parts are not fused together at birth, and research has been carried out to determine fusion age stages for different elements and species. 

Another frequently used method for ageing is tooth eruption and wear. 
Assigning age at death is useful in order to determine kill off patterns, which ultimately provide inference on animal exploitation. For instance, a sample mostly comprised by adult/elderly cattle indicates that they may have been used as working animals. Similarly, if the sample is comprised by numerous juveniles as well as adults, dairy production is a likely candidate. 

Further inference on exploitation is provided by sexing the animals, which is usually carried out by looking for sexually dimorphic traits (i.e. morphological traits which will differ between males and female - e.g. antler in male cervids, with the exception of reindeer). 

Pathology is the study of disease. It can provide information on animal exploitation and sometimes pet keeping. The latter hypothesis is for instance argued when an individual presents numerous pathologies which required constant human care and that would render the animal economically unviable to keep, yet it was still looked after. 

A common marker of animal exploitation which is not uncommon in cattle remains is a bone growth within the metatarsal/tarsal articulation, known as spavin. The latter is caused by chronic inflammation, most likely induced by traction. 

Taphonomy is a huge subject and an academic discipline in its own right. Within zooarchaeology, the aspects of taphonomy which are mostly looked at are man/animal induced bone modification. This can take the form of butcher marks, scorching caused by cooking, and gnawing from domestic animals and scavengers alike. 

Further Reading

  • "Identifying and Interpreting Animal Bones: A Manual" - April M. Beisaw (2013)
  • "The Archaeology of Animal Bones" - Terry O'Connor (2000)
  • "On the Average Day of a Zooarchaeologist, or Like, So What Do You Even Do?" - Alex Fitzpatrick https://animalarchaeology.com/2017/11/09/


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Coffee With an Indian - TAS 48

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The Coffee With an Indian Podcast, hosted by Brian Melendez, is a raw look at growing up and living a tribal lifestyle. Brian weaves an emotional narrative of his life that is sometimes sad, sometimes funny, and always instructive. 


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Conferences 058 - AAA2017 - Shankar

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Conferences 057 - AAA2017 - Sacco

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Conferences 056 - AAA2017 - Sadeghsamimi

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Conferences 055 - AAA2017 - Collins and Gamwell

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Conferences 054 - AAA2017 - Webster

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Conferences 053 - AAA2017 - Arielle Milkman

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Papers presented at the 116th Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association on December 1, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

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The Go Dig A Hole Podcast - Arch365 078

Christopher Sims, creator and host of the Go Dig A Hole podcast and blog of the same name talks about what you can expect to hear on his show. GDAH is a great resource for archaeologists and people interested in archaeology. Go check out the links below, then, go dig a hole!


Contact the Host

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0039 - GBAC 2016 - Chris Webster - APN

35th Great Basin Anthropological Conference, Reno, Nevada, Oct. 6 - Oct. 8

Chris Webster (APN); Tristan Boyle (APN); Podcasting as a Way to Promote Archaeology and Engage the Public, or, Archaeology - Straight from the Trenches to Your Ears!

Podcasts have been around for over 10 years now and only in the last couple years, since the release of the popular This American Life spin-off, Serial, has the American public been interested. Until Serial, it seemed that you were either a podcast listener or you weren’t. Now, people are incorporating them into their lives as trusted sources of information and entertainment. The Archaeology Podcast Network was founded as the first season of Serial came to a close and our downloads quickly hit 20,000 a month. Podcasts on the APN range from niche shows about specific topics related to professional archaeologists to popular shows that can reach a wider audience. Every show, however, is free and accessible to anyone on the planet. It is clear that podcasting is a great way to engage the public and that more archaeological endeavors, from projects to field schools to contract projects, can use podcasting to present data, inform and educate the public, and start conversations. 

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QUB a Dun Dub 2 - David Bell And Jill Almond Episode 32

David Bell and I sit down to talk theory, being a mature student and most importantly of all, swords. We meander through the physical parts of archaeology and how an engineer became an archaeologist studying swords. And of course David explains the difference between a knife, a halberd and a rapier.


Jill Almond is studying architecture in asylums in both Ireland and Scotland and compairing the uses of space to create different environment. We discuss what archaeology is and the wide variety of archaeologists that exist within the research environment.








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Debunking Pseudo-Archaeology Episode 1

Join Sara and Ken as they introduce the Archaeological Fantasies podcast. This show will release every other week on Mondays. Please, subscribe, like, and comment below.


The Archaeology Fantasies Blog 
Dr. Kenneth Feder 
Ken`s books


Email us at ArchyFantasties@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter at @Archyfantsies and find us on FaceBook. 

Theme Music by ArcheopSoup Productions 

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Episode 10 : A Very Archaeological Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone! So today is a very special episode - I took a very traditional Christmas poem and have put my own twist on it. I hope you enjoy and share it with your friends and colleagues.

I also look back across my episodes and why I have even made this podcast. I also look forwards to new year and what shows I want to get made.


You can always send me an email or tweet me!

I am looking for guests for Archaeological Cross Section! 


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