Cooking with Archaeologists: Food, fieldwork, and stories.

The purpose of this podcast is to share the stories and food recipes of the people who uncover our shared past-the field archaeologist. The field archaeologists is a unique individual. Their work is to excavate, recover, and survey our human past. In some sense they are modern-day nomads following the seasonal cycle of available work across the globe. Like all nomads they have few personal possessions and only live at one location for a short period of time. This non-traditional life is challenging in terms of having a “normal life” but with it comes unique experiences that few people get to enjoy. For the field archaeologist one of the most important experiences of their day is the shared evening meal. The evening meal is probably the most important part of the day. This is when everyone comes together and shares food. Like traditional family meals this is when the day is discussed, stories are shared, and food is enjoyed. Food is culture. It defines who we are and it is one of the cultural artifacts that brings people together. For the field archaeologist there are memories involved in the making and eating food that we the editors of this blog believe that are important to share with the world. What better way to learn and experience archaeology then from the women and men doing the hard work- the field archaeologist!
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Cooking with Archaeologists: Food, fieldwork, and stories.


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Nov 16, 2017

We have a double dose of stimulating discussion in this week's podcast. Well, a triple dose-actually. Dr. Colleen Morgan, a Lecture at the University of York, and Daniel Eddisford, the Field Director for "The Origins of Qatar and Doha Project," join us to discuss digital archaeology and fieldwork. Accompanying them is their 16-month-year-old daughter, Tamsin.  There is cuteness explosion at the end of the interview that is worth the wait! 

We could spend hours talking with these two. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience that gets you thinking about where archaeology is heading and the issues that archaeologist face with the ever-changing and expanding technology we all face on a daily basis. 

The interview ends with a delicious kebab recipe presented by Daniel.  He adds a couple of other recipes into the mix to cultivate a fascinating and authentic meal. Enjoy!

Nov 1, 2017

Massimiliano Ditta may not be the Holy Diver, but we think he is pretty close and pretty awesome. Max works at the Stavanger Maritime Museum as one of their talented and hardworking underwater archaeologists. We are lucky to chat with him and hear about his passion for everything under the sea!  Max provides us with a detailed account of his work and the work that takes place below sea-level out of sight from us terrestrial dwellers.  It's a fascinating talk, and he gives us a real clear picture of the challenges of their world and work.  


As a Sicilian, Max is no stranger to good food and cooking. We talk a little bit about his food culture in Sicily and the influences on Sicilian food. Max adds a new dynamic to our knowledge or lack of knowledge about Sicilian culture.  Finally, he shares with us a straightforward but delicious fish soup recipe. This dish is perfectly timed for those of us heading into the darkness of winter! 


Sep 13, 2017

What do canine evolution and an Aperol aperitif have in common? Absolutely nothing and we don't care! Join us for today's exciting guest, Dr. Bridgett von Holdt. Bridgett is an evolutionary biologist at Princeton University and an expert in canine evolution. 

Whether you are a dog lover or not this is a fascinating interview with someone who breaks down a complex topic like evolution for the layperson. You'll feel smarter after our interview with Bridgett! 

Finally, Bridgett shares with us her introduction to Aperol after a trip to Germany. Summer is still here so take her advice and try some Aperol before it's too late! Winter is coming!! (Sorry, I'm a GoT fan)

Aug 26, 2017

Community archaeology is the topic of today's podcast. We chat with Madison Dapcevich, a journalist and TV reporter/producer out of KECI Montana, who wrote her MA thesis about a community archaeology project in her home state of Alaska. If you want to understand the power and benefits of getting a community involved in archaeology this is a great interview to begin with! 

Next, we chat about her father's  deliciously simple salmon recipe. If you can get your hands on some wild salmon you need to give this recipe a go!

I've also been curious about Alaskan life. On today's program, Madison provides us with her personal stories of growing up Alaskan. Apparently, all those TV programs about Alaska are accurate! 


Aug 19, 2017

Today, it is a cat episode! So, for all of you cat lovers out there, please tune into hear CUNY Ph.D. student Brenda Prehal talk about her fascinating research about cats in Iceland. 

We talk about her research and other work in Iceland. And, we also talk a little about life as a graduate student. 

Brenda shares with us her new adventures into cooking. Dominos and Subway were no longer an option for her. She found the courage to face her cooking avoidance and decided to jump in the deep end of the pool. Today, she shares with us her dish of Arroz con Pollo! 

Aug 12, 2017

Today, we have a variety of topics to discuss. Dr. Kristin Ilves joins us to talk about a very large and comprehensive archaeological project underway on the west-coast of Norway. The Sotra Project, lead by Leif Inge Astveit from the University of Bergen Museum, is currently recovering and recording archaeological remains from the early mesolithic to the late neolithic. This project, like many across Norway,  is part of a road expansion project taking place just outside of Bergen. 

Kristin's role on the project is to develop, execute, and coordinate public outreach. She's using social media as one platform to reach out to the public with a lot of success. Kristin's been making and publishing videos documenting the excavation but also interviewing the archaeologists working on the project. It's a great way for the general public to find out more about what archaeologists do. On a side note, this is an exciting time in archaeology because of all the new technology and social media platforms archaeologists have at our disposal to reach to the public. You should have a listen and check out the Sotra project on the link provided below!  

Finally, Kristin shares with us a popular Finnish fish soup recipe. She discovered when doing fieldwork in Finland. For Kristin, this dish is not only easy and delicious it's filled with fond memories! Awww...the beauty of food! 


Aug 2, 2017

Dr. Elizabeth Pierce takes time from her hectic summer schedule to talk with us about her research into the Medieval period of the North Atlantic and her work as a lecturer. 

In the first part of the interview, she takes us to Greenland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands as we discuss her dissertation research. Elizabeth was examining the differences of Norse culture at the periphery. It is a fascinating talk about the cultural diversity across the North Atlantic.  

Next, she talks about her work as a lecturer aboard cruise ships. We've all heard about this excellent job. I always thought it was a fairy tale told to us in graduate school, but it's true. Unlike unicorns, this position does exist, and Elizabeth has one! All kidding aside, Elizabeth works hard at bringing history alive for the folks aboard these ships. It's a great story as she talks about her visit to Greenland.

Finally, Elizbeth parts with her treasured spinach and artichoke dip. Apparently, this dip has made its way across most of the North Atlantic. I'll be sure to make here in Norway! 

Jun 27, 2017

Here is the episode to get your drink on! Stanford University Ph.D. student Jiajing Wang speaks with us today about her research into beer making and fermentation practices during the Neolithic in China. We spoke with her in China as she was finishing up some research. This is a great talk about the earliest evidence of beer making. Or, should we call it the earliest evidence of craft beer making?! Regardless, she has a lot of information for us to digest!  

We also chat about what is going on within Chinese archaeology. There seems to be an explosion of archaeological work being done within China and outside China. For those of you who have an interest in Chinese archaeology, this is the episode for you!    

Finally, Jiajing shares with us a very simple and effective way to make rice wine. This is a perfect little science experiment you can do from home! Hope you all enjoy it!

Jun 21, 2017

Today we have a packed episode full of the intricacies of being an archaeologist and how broad the field really is. We are thankful to speak with Dr. Burcu Tung from Stanford University about her work in archaeology, her contribution to the field through her research and Burcu shares with us her Grandma's lentil ball recipe.

Burcu is a site supervisor at the famous archaeological site of Catal Hoyuk in Turkey. For those who don't know this, Catal Hoyuk is a Neolithic site located in Turkey that dates back to 7500 B.C. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site which means it is pretty damn important to global heritage. No this isn't a new world order conspiracy it's totally true! One thing I'd like to point out is Burcu began her field experience on this site back in 1998 so it's safe to say she has a real connection and interesting perspective about Catal Hoyuk.   

We also have a conversation about her latest book project. She and a colleague (Flora Keshgegian) are looking into how people construct their past through their memories and heritage. They are specifically looking at Turkish and Armenian identities. This is a really fascinating talk. Archaeology isn't always about literally digging up stuff from the past. We do spend a lot of time thinking about real world issues as well.  

Finally, I forgot to tell Burcu that this was a cooking podcast so I made no mention about the recipe exchange at the end of the podcast. To her credit, Burcu pulled out her Grandmother's Anatolian lentil ball recipe. It simple and sounds delicious! I had a great time chatting with Burcu about this recipe and food culture from the region. Hope you enjoy it! 



Jun 13, 2017

Jenny Holly is a public historian and proud Kentuckian,  who chats with us today about her interesting project into the medical history of Lexington, Kentucky. The healthcare industry in Lexington goes back to the late 1700s and is still an important part of the local economy. We learn about this history and about the various individuals who over the years created this medical landscape of Lexington. By the way, she is doing this all in her spare time!  

What is a public historian you ask?  Jenny answers that question by enlightening us about the important function and the role public historians have in our communities. Public historians are the individuals bringing their love and passion for history straight to the public. They educate and connect us to the places we know and call home. 

How does this relate to archaeology? Well, archaeologists aren't always digging in the ground. A lot of the time we are excavating through archives and dusty old documents searching for clues. And a lot of the time we will do this in collaboration with historians. It makes sense since we both like old things and we like to tell stories of those who's stories have yet to be told! 

Finally, Jenny introduces us to her Kentucky bourbon balls. This sound absolutely amazing! Even though it's summer for some of us winter is coming so it is best to be prepared! 



Jun 5, 2017

Dr. Lauren Ristvet from the University of Pennsylvania joined us today to speak about her research and collaborative projects. Lauren is a Near Eastern archaeologist who has worked in Syria and Iraq for close to 20 years. Her work began at the site of Tell Leilan in Syria. She is currently working in Azerbaijan in the southern Caucasus. It's here Lauren is co-directing an excavation of the fortress site of Oglangala (Iron Age 1200 - 300 BCE) in Naxcivan. 

In the interview, we also discussed the exhibition at the University of Pennsylvania that she is involved with. The exhibit called, "Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq" showcases the material culture from these countries while taking patrons through the devastating impact that years of conflict have had on both country's cultural heritage.  This is a serious topic of an ever changing situation that the public needs to be made aware. Lauren and her colleagues are doing important work bringing attention to an underreported global issue. 

Finally, we have a light hearted talk about the life of an archaeologist. One of the most memorable aspects of this job is when you actually become part of the local community where you are working. As Lauren mentions it's truly one of the unspoken perks of the job. The recipe she shares with us is inspired by her work in Azerbaijan. Hope you enjoy it! 

May 31, 2017

Are you kept up a night trying to tackle the problems of early hominid evolution? Like, what's the significance of language to the production of stone tools? Or, what's going on in a person's brain while they are knapping away on some stones? Well, grab some popcorn and hold on to your seats and brace yourself for some hardcore knowledge! We had the privilege to chat with Dr. Shelby Putt from the Stone Age Institute in Indiana who is doing some really exceptional and intriguing research. 

Shelby has been working hard on a study to understand what's going on in the human brain during stone tool production. Using imaging technology of modern human brains her research focuses on the Oldowan and Acheulian stone tool industries to find some answers.   Through her hard work and passion,  Shelby has revealed a lot about our early ancestors and the stone tools they produced. I could write more but I'll leave it to the expert to explain it so you need to download and listen to the podcast!

In the closing moments of the interview. The food portion of the program. Shelby admits she is a picky eater. I think this is code for, "I don't cook." Anyway, she does share with us her experience abroad. We've all been there. We've had food put in front of us that confronts our long-held food phobia or avoidance. I have a friend who gags at the sight of strawberries. That's extreme.  Shelby's isn't so extreme. She just didn't like seafood. This all changed when she did fieldwork in Indonesia. It's a great story about being human, letting go, and trying something new! Enjoy!



May 14, 2017

Nathalie Brusgaard is a P.h.D. candidate from Leiden University. Nathalie speaks with us about her research with rock art from the Black Desert in Jordan. This is the first time anyone has ever documented the rock art left behind by nomadic groups that traveled this region of Jordan during the late first millennium BC/  early first millennium AD. We are really fortunate that Nathalie made time for us and we are grateful that she shared with us her groundbreaking work! 

We chat with her about what it is like to work in the desert. Nathalie shares with us her experiences from seeing beautiful sunrises over the desert to living in an old miner's station powered only by solar energy. These are charming stories about the unique life of an archaeologist that should not be missed!  

Finally, Nathalie shares with us a simple and delicious stuffed pepper recipe! 

May 7, 2017

Self-starter and scholar Amanda Brainard has done what few of us do-she's taken the initiative to follow her passion. No, her passion isn't base jumping from a high mountain cliff in a wing suit. It's something deeper and more selfless. Amanda's passion is to protect our cemeteries from neglect and decay. 

Join us as we talk to Amanda about her community-based project, the Northeastern Coalition for Cemetery Studies. Its goal is to preserve the cemeteries of our local communities for future generations. Amanda has an ongoing pilot project in Leon, New York with plans to expand the work of NCCS throughout the State and beyond. 

Although she doesn't share any ghost stories with us (damn!) she did present to us a lemon curd recipe that sounds scary delicious! 

May 1, 2017

Monique Arntz is a Ph.D. student at Cambridge University working with clay figurines from the Neolithic period. She began her research journey at the University of Leiden analyzing and writing about figurines from Tell Sabi Abyad in Syria. She since has expanded her research to include figurines from the famous site of Catal Huyuk in Turkey.

In this podcast, Monique discusses the background of her research, what she is looking for and the significance of her work. She drops some theory on us that makes you really think. Towards the end of our talk, Monique spontaneously turned into motivational speaker Tony Robbins.  Monique throws out some sage advice for all us when we are second guessing ourselves or feeling overwhelmed by life's obstacles. Did I say obstacles? I meant challenges! See, now I have to listen to her again to get my head screwed on straight! 

Finally, Monique shares with us a tortilla recipe she learned when working in the field in Turkey. It's a good one! 

Apr 26, 2017

Alisha Gauvreau chats with us about her exciting excavation of a 14,000-year-old habitation site from a remote island in British Columbia, Canada. You heard that correctly-14,000 years ago! She is a Ph.D. student at the University of Victoria and a scholar at the Hakai Institute.

The site is located on the Triquet Island several hundred kilometers north of Victoria. Alisha talks about working in a remote location and about the results they have so far from the excavation. They are currently doing the laboratory work so more results are sure to follow! 

Alisha shares with us about the locally foraged mollusks (chiton) and seaweed that they used to make an outstanding meal in the bush! You made do when you are in the field! For all of you adventure seekers have a listen to Alisha's story. It's a great sneak peek into the life of an archaeologist!

Apr 19, 2017

We have always been blown away and inspired by the people we get to chat with on this podcast. In today's podcast, we get to share our interview with tribal archaeologist for the Cocopah Indian Tribe, Jill McCormick!

We are still trying to wrap our minds around how Jill accomplishes so much! Not only is she the Tribe's award-winning archaeologist she is also their cultural resource manager.  Her work goes beyond this too. Jill is an Associate Professor at Arizona Western College and for the last 20 years, she has been the regional coordinator for the Arizona Site Steward program in Yuma. We aren't finished... Jill is also an avid runner, a mother of seven and a proud grandmother! There is more in the podcast about Jill and her excellent work in the podcast but you'll need to listen to it to find out more!

Despite her busy schedule, she took time out from visiting her new grandchild to talk with us and to share a secret about the importance of the meal prep for those in the field, or out, that are confronted with a time crunch! She also threw us a recipe for a protein cookie! 


Apr 11, 2017

Zooarchaeologists Albina Hulda Palsdottir is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Oslo researching the origins of Icelandic horses and sheep. Albina's research is staggering in size and scope. She is trying to trace the origins of the horses and sheep that were brought to Iceland during the 9th century. Anyone who has an interest in ancient DNA should have a listen to this podcast!


For a recipe, Albina shares with us her Grandmother's lame saddle recipe. If you like dill you'll enjoy this dish!  

Apr 5, 2017

Dr. Mikkel Sorensen joins us today at Cooking with Archaeologists! Mikkel is a Professor of Archaeology at the University of Copenhagen where he is an educator and researcher in Arctic prehistory, hunter-gatherer archaeology, and lithic technology. When he is not enjoying himself in Copenhagen you can find him working in Greenland! No, he doesn't excavate Norse sites so stop asking!! That's someone else's job.  


In today's podcast, we talk about Mikkel's work with prehistoric sites and finds on Greenland. We also get into the effects that climate change is having on the archaeology of Greenland. From what Mikkel has told us this is a very serious issue right now in the arctic and it needs our full attention! 


Finally, Mikkel talks about some of the foods they eat in Greenland from whale to foraged shellfish. He doesn't drop a whale recipe on us but he does share a blue mussel recipe. There is something special about foraging for your own food while in the field. What a great experience! 

Mar 29, 2017

Dr. Joe Flatman is the Head of Listing Programmes at Historic England. He was formerly the County Archaeologists of Surrey in southeast England and a Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at University College London. You can follow him on Twitter @joeflatman. 

In today's podcast, Joe Flatman speaks with us about the work of Historic England and his deep passion for archaeology. We learned a lot today about the fascinating projects at Historic England. Archaeologists do more than just dig up the past. We connect the present to the past! Find out more from Joe in this interview!  

Also, be sure to check out Joe's book, "Archaeology: A Beginner's Guide." Actually, the link below will take you to several of Joe's published books. We aren't sure when this guy sleeps.... 

Finally, there is no evidence to suggest that Joe is a big fan of James Bond or not but we do discover that he loves gin. In fact, he can't stop talking about gin. Seriously. Joe offers up a fantastic recipe for roast pork with junipers and gin and tonic cake! 

Hope you all enjoy it! 

Mar 23, 2017

Dr. Chloe Duckworth from Newcastle University pops by to discuss glass analysis and the Muslim and Christian Period (711 to 1492 AD) from the Iberian Peninsula. Chloe really knows her stuff when it comes to glass and we really learned a lot today! This makes sense since Chloe is a Lecturer in Archaeological Material Sciences at Newcastle University so she really knows how to present this complex and fascinating topic to the public. 

Chloe is currently running several projects the Madinat al-Zahra Project and the Alhambra Royal Workshops Project. Did we mention her video-blog Archaeo Duck on YouTube?!?! You should check it out! What a great production and she really explains archaeology so well! Below will be the links to her work! 

Finally, Chloe shares with us her bangers and mash recipe! 

Mar 15, 2017

Did you ever ask yourself that question, Why does the United States Forest Service need archaeologists? Well, in today's podcast you will find out! Archaeologist Neil Weintraub sits down with us to talk about his work at the United States Forest Service and Kaibab National Forest. Neil has been working at the USFS and in Kaibab National Forest since the late 1980s. This is an exciting talk about archaeology, the life of an archaeologist working for the USFS, and some of the interesting and important projects the USFS undertakes. But wait!!! It gets even better....Neil shares with us his Southwest style pancakes! WE are not kidding! Pancakes! After you hear Neil's interview you are going to want two things: pancakes and a road trip to Kaibab National Forest. 



Mar 8, 2017

We chat with Dr. David Starbuck, who is a Professor of Archaeology at Plymouth State University (New Hampshire) and is an adjunct professor at the State University of New York Adirondack, about his archaeology projects and what it means to be an archaeologist. David has two projects taking place in two different states.  In the state of New Hampshire he is excavating Shaker Villages and in New York State he excavates military sites. This summer he will be returning to the Fort Edward site where he has been working for years excavating the remains from the French and Indian War (1754-1763) and the American Revolution (1775-1783).   Saying David is busy would be an understatement!

We have a great chat about what is archaeology and what it means to be an archaeologist. David's years of experience and insight offer up some thoughtful and motivating responses for those within archaeology and for those who just love the past.  Finally, he talks about his love term love of paella! 


Mar 1, 2017

Shannon Landry is an archaeologist and zooarchaeologist working in Colorado for Alpine Archaeological Consultants. She talks about her experience working within cultural resource management (CRM) and the different avenues archaeologists just starting their careers can take within the field.  We also talk about her experience as a female archaeologist, the need for more females to work within CRM and where she believes archaeology is headed. 


Shannon is also a talented artist, see the drawing posted! She discusses how she uses archaeology and working with material culture as an influence on creating her art. This is something we never thought about and it was really inspiring to hear Shannon talk about how her two passions fuse into something meaningful. 


Finally, if it could not get any better, Shannon shares her burger recipe! Not just any burger but a spicy chickpea burger made with love on a hot plate in a hotel room. That's truly burger-devotion! 

Feb 15, 2017

Gail Golec is a fascinating and multi-faceted archaeologist based in New Hampshire which is part of New England in the United States. She was kind enough to take a break from writing to join us on the air and tell us her story. Which all began in forensic anthropology class where as an undergraduate she helped local police with their investigations.  Very cool!

When Gail is not working at a local cultural resource management (CRM) firm she is working on her own projects. She has several ongoing projects at the moment. We talk about her work with several Paleoindian sites from the Connecticut River Valley. This has been a continuous project for several years investigating the earliest human inhabitants of this part of New England dating back 14,000 to 12,500 years ago. 

We also talk about her work with local historic cemeteries.  This project is an investigative project into the lives of everyday people. Gail is in the early stages of developing this project into a podcast called, "The Secret Life of Death." In each episode, she will uncover and discuss the biography of an individual.  Like we said, Gail is multi-faceted.

Finally, if there wasn't enough, Gail hits us with two awesome recipes! A chocolate chip cookie recipe and a dish she calls, "pulled pork chicken." You have to listen to find out how she turns a chocolate chip cookie on its head!


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