Paleo Muffins - Episode 22

In this episode we're going Paleo...Paleo diet that is! There's been a bit of controversy concerning this "lifestyle" from the anthropological community. So I thought we'd examine the concept of the diet and what it does and doesn't have to do with the lives of our paleolithic ancestors. Also, (to be read with your best Jerry Seinfeld impression) what, is the deal, with Paleo muffins?


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The Archaeology of Alcohol: The Ancient Ales Edition! - Episode 21

Welcome to Episode 21 of The Struggling Archaeologist's Guide to Getting Dirty "The Archaeology of Alcohol: Ancient Ales Edition!"

I suggest you sit back, pop open a cold one, get a little toasty, and enjoy this generally informative fun-times podcast.

So, our ancestors have been making alcoholic concoctions for thousands of years, and thanks to science and archaeology we now have the ability to reconstruct the recipes to some of these awesome drinks. I thought it would be interesting to find out about how alcohol has evolved from its early days to what we are familiar with today, so that’s what today’s podcast is about!

I had a lot of fun recording this episode because it also gave me an excuse to drink some delicious beer, so thanks Beer Gods! In the podcast you’ll learn about:

  • How Dogfish Head collaborated with biomolecular archaeologist Patrick McGovern, director of the archaeology project for cuisine, fermented beverages and health at the University of Pennsylvania museum, to create their line of ancient ales based on reconstructed recipes from archaeological discoveries around the world!
  • A background on the origins of drinking and producing alcohol, and how drinking helped civilizations develop around the world!
  • How some monks in the Middle Ages started changing the face of ale and created some of the first modern beers. Then, how Germany regulated the crap out of it!

Finally, on a non-alcohol related front, I decided to start a book club for people who enjoy books about history, like me! Our first read is a historical fiction novel called All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, a WWII story about a young blind French girl and a German boy whose lives intersect in the midst of the devastation of war. Get your hands on the book and give it a read, then we’ll discuss it on the social medias and youtubes! For more books I’m thinking about reading for the club, check out my goodreads bookshelf called struggling arch book club. Feel free to send me suggestions too, I’d love to hear them!

So that’s it, enjoy the episode and enjoy some great beer while listening. Here are some links from this podcast that you may want to visit-

Dogfish Head Ancient Ales

Pat McGovern’s Website

History of Trappist Monks and Beer Here and Here

Beer and the History of Civilization 

The Archaeology of Alcohol Here and Here

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What's Next - Episode 20

Artwork by Tristan Boyle (c)2014

Artwork by Tristan Boyle (c)2014

So, I thought I’d catch you up on recent events relating to grad school and my career (Spoiler: I’m graduating, yay me!). That turned into the perfect opportunity for me to dispense some sagely advice about going out into the job market and figuring out what to do after school. If you’re looking for some great sources to look for jobs or learn about how to get jobs, I suggest you check out some of the sources I listed in the podcast, such as-

There are lots of great resources out there if you need some guidance, and many great archaeology blogs that cover these types of topics. But remember to take advantage of the people you know (ooh, that sounded weirder than I meant), and ask for advice!

This episode also features another segment of “Back to Basics with Jenny!” This time, I wanted to do an Anthro 101 Introduction to Human Origins review. If you’ve taken a bioanthropology course you will have probably heard all of this, so if it’s repetitive I apologize, but I wanted to include it so that listeners who haven’t explored these kinds of topics could learn more about it. You’ll hear about primate evolution, scientific dating methods, paleoanthropology, and genetics. So, you know, totally easy to understand non-scientific type stuff  Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions, I’m not a bio or a paleo specialist, but I really enjoyed studying evolutionary theory so I love talking about it.

Don’t forget that the Archaeology Podcast Network is now up and running, so go on over to the website to check out all of the fun-times shows going up this month. And as always, follow me on twittertumblr, and facebook.

Peace Out my Nerds!


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Sexy Sex with Asian Dothrakis - Episode 10


Given, those of you who share my love of Medieval era earth-like fantasy novels will get more out of this one than others- it’s still a pretty great time. We talk about genome studies revealing how surprisingly horny our ancient ancestors were, which may or may not involve a detailed Game of Thrones analogy. Then I give some advice to the newb considering how to get started with academic conferences. Number 1 priority- ignore ANY and ALL impulses to dress like Indiana Jones. Do NOT do this thing. Repeat after me: I will NOT be that guy… breathe deep, it’s going to be okay.

Oh, and if you didn’t believe me that archaeology conferences are fun- check this out. Yeah, you try eating a pizza the size of a coffee table and not having fun.

Also, all that stuff about drinking was true. I’m not saying that some people are more successful than others at conferences because they drink delicious beers at the end of the day… but it helps.

Okay my nerds, always remember to drink responsibly, tip your waiters, and listen to more of The Struggling Archaeologist Podcast!

McNiven OUT! 

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