archaeology podcast

I See Dead People - Episode 5

Welcome to Episode 5 of The Struggling Archaeologist’s Guide to Getting Dirty, “I See Dead People!”

And boy do I ever, well, at least while researching for this episode! I tried but I just couldn’t avoid more mention of mummies, but I think after our discussion of archaeological execution sites and bog bodies you won’t mind a boring old mummy or two!

The discovery of a pit full of 14th century German execution victims is why today is all about death, so I felt it necessary to delve into the world of bog bodies as well- since who doesn’t love those, am I right?! Don’t worry, in today’s shorty news I figured I should talk about something full of sunshine and rainbows to make up for the macabre first act of the podcast- so I briefly consider the merits of space archaeology…. yes, space archaeology.

Oh yeah, and if you were planning on doing a field school this summer you should get your booty on it asap! Check out shovelbums.com, archaeologyfieldwork.com, about.com, archaeological.org, digs.bib-arch.org and other similar such sites for field work opportunities around the world for this summer!

Peace of my Nerds!

McNiven OUT! 

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Not More Mummies! - Episode 3

Welcome to Episode 3 of The Struggling Archaeologist’s Guide to Getting Dirty: Not More Mummies!

In this episode we get transported back to 15th century England to explore the exciting (and terrifying) world of the Plantagenets and the Tudors, kind of like the Montagues and Capulets without the teen love gone wrong. It’s a brutal world where if you’re not too careful you could end up looking like this….

Seriously, this is the newly discovered and identified skull of King Richard III, the infamous “Hunchback of York.” I’m proud to say that my kinda sorta alma mater, the University of Leicester, led excavations that uncovered the Medieval Greyfriars friary along with the internment of the King earlier this year. I am taking total credit, of course, because they really couldn’t have done it without me… joking aside, I’m really excited for all of the Richard talk that has been going on and so I couldn’t resist boring you with a short history of the Medieval monarchy and an analysis of Richard’s remains. And yes, I did resist the urge to sing something from the Hunchback of Notre Dame, thank you. If you were paying attention then you might have heard me mention something about a ginormous hole in his head and a really bad case of the “scolies” (that’s hood talk for scoliosis), and I promised pictures- so here you go!

Photos Courtesy of the University of Leicester

Anyway, enjoy the episode folks, and leave your comments below or email them to guidetogettingdirty@gmail.com!

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Change Up - Episode 2

Welcome Friends! It’s another exciting episode of “The Struggling Archaeologist’s Guide to Getting Dirty,” so get ready for episode 2 “Change up!”

N THIS EPISODE I TAKE YOU ON A JOURNEY INTO THE EXCITING WORLD OF MUMMIES. JUST YOUR AVERAGE, RUN OF THE MILL, ORGAN-LESS, MUMMIFIED HUMAN BEINGS. WELL, AT LEAST THAT’S WHAT THEY THOUGHT AT THE REDPATH MUSEUM OF MONTREAL, UNTIL RECENT IMAGES FROM A CT SCAN OF THREE MUMMIES FROM THEIR COLLECTION REVEALED THAT ONE OF THEM WORE A FANCY SCHMANCY HAIRSTYLE TO THE AFTERLIFE. I HEARD IT WAS ALL THE RAGE IN THE ROMAN ERA, SO I THOUGHT I’D TRY IT OUT FOR MYSELF (A LITTLE EXPERIMENTAL ARCHAEOLOGY NEVER HURT ANYONE… UNLESS YOU COUNT FLINT KNAPPING, WHICH I BELIEVE IS UP THERE WITH SHARK ATTACKS ON THE KILL-O-METER). SO HERE IS A FORENSIC ARTIST’S RECONSTRUCTION OF THE REDPATH MUMMY (A WOMAN AROUND 20 FROM THE FAYUM)… AND MYSELF WITH A TRULY AWFUL RECONSTRUCTION OF HER HAIRDO!

mummy-reconstructions-2.jpg

I\d like to REMIND YOU THAT I HAD TO DO THIS TO MYSELF WHILE THE EGYPTIAN WOMAN PROBABLY WASN’T VERY BOTHERED DURING THE WHOLE PROCESS BECAUSE SHE WAS DEAD… BUT I BET IF SHE WERE STILL KICKIN SHE WOULD HAVE HAD HELP BECAUSE THIS IS ACTUALLY QUITE A DIFFICULT LOOK TO PULL OFF. I MADE THE MISTAKE OF DOING TOO MANY BRAIDS AND THEN SMUSHING THE POOF I HAD CREATED IN THE BACK WITH THE MILLION BOBBY PINS I HAD TO USE TO SECURE THE BRAID ENDS. SO KUDOS TO YOU EGYPTIAN LADIES, YOU’VE ONE UPPED ME IN THE BATTLE OF THE HAIR- ALTHOUGH I WILL REMIND YOU THAT AT LEAST I HAVE HAIR, WHICH IS MORE THAN I CAN SAY FOR MANY OF YOU, SO THERE.

  SO THE EGYPTIAN THING WAS FUN (ESPECIALLY WHEN I WENT TO WAL-MART LATER  AND EVERYONE STARED AT ME), BUT THEN WE HAD TO MOVE ON- SO I WAS HAPPY TO BRING YOU SOME COOL CRM NEWS OUT OF THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS. RESEARCHING THIS STORY KIND OF GOT AWAY FROM ME, I PRETTY MUCH ENDED UP GIVING A HISTORY OF DANISH ROYALTY SO…  YEAH, THAT HAPPENED. BUT SERIOUSLY, I HAVE A COOL SCOOP FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE ARTICLE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE PROJECT TOO.

SOMEWHERE IN THERE IS A NEW SEGMENT I CALL SHORTY NEWS. IT’S A SHORT NEWS STORY THAT I FIND AMUSING. THIS ONE’S ABOUT SOUP. ENJOY.

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT FOLKS, THE OFFICIAL EPISODE WRAP-UP. MAKE SURE TO LIKE “THE STRUGGLING ARCHAEOLOGIST’S GUIDE TO GETTING DIRTY” ON FACEBOOK, AND SEND ME SOME TWEETS AT @STRUGGLINGARCH. I REALIZED WHEN I SAID THAT I’D “TWEET” YOU BACK ON THE PODCAST IT SOUNDED MILDLY DIRTY- SO JUST TO BE CLEAR- THAT’S WHEN I WRITE YOU BACK TO TELL YOU SOMETHING INSIGHTFUL THAT CHANGES YOUR LIFE. IF YOU’RE COMMENT CAN’T BE CONTAINED IN 140 CHARACTERS THEN SEND ME AN EMAIL AT GUIDETOGETTINGDIRTY@GMAIL.COM

MCNIVEN OUT! 

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BOOM! - Episode 1

Greetings and welcome to the first ever episode of “The Struggling Archaeologist’s Guide to Getting Dirty!”

Hey there, I’m Jenny, and I’m pretty excited to introduce people to the world of archaeology. In fact, I’m so excited that I have decided to bring joy and knowledge into the lives of people everywhere by providing them with this podcast. My podcast. Sure, you’re thinking- who is this girl and why does she think she’s so special? Well folks, I’m not really that special, I’m just a regular girl with a love of the past and a microphone. I’ve also noticed that there aren’t a lot of places that people like me can go for advice and information on getting somewhere in the field while we’re still developing our academic muscles. News programs like existing podcasts and websites can often offer a great variety of news stories from around the world, but where’s the debate behind them? And where are the stories about what students and shovelbums are doing out there right now? I think I can help provide a place where anyone can get in on the story, can get their questions about how things work out there answered, and can enjoy in not only the grandeur of the greatest finds but the overlooked ones as well. I’ll have help from friends and professionals out there, and together we should start talking about getting ahead in academia- on a thesis- on a job application- or just ahead in general. I’m pretty funny, and I sing too. So there’s that.

In this introductory episode entitled “BOOM!” I introduce myself and explain why my podcast is awesome. There’s also a discussion on several news stories making waves in the archaeology world, such as the question of neanderthal cloning (I have some major doubts on this venture, though it’s not like a decade from now there will be a new sitcom called “The Neanderthals next door” or anything, come on people- it’s not happening any time soon!). There’s also something about a Roman skeleton with a calcified ovarian tumor which I promise you is NOT gross or anything (lying), and for the history and literature lovers out there (like me!) there’s a tribute to the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. Also, from the world of CRM there’s a bit about shovelbumming and my latest job down in the incredibly stinky and prickly hills of Southern New Mexico. Then I talk about other stuff and lecture you on proper tipping. So, you know, lots of really earth shattering stuff in this episode, so I recommend you check it out! I would love to hear feedback, questions, and comments atguidetogettingdirty@gmail.com

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