Episode 54 - An Arctic Expedition

Amber's too cold, Anna's too hot, and we've both lost our dang minds! In an effort to think about something other than the summer heat, this week we're offering you a sampler platter of some of the amazing archaeology from the Arctic regions up north! Learn how people got to the Arctic, what some of them did when they got there, and what's happening to Arctic sites now in light of global warming. Also hyenas. Refreshing!

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Episode 53 - The Color Episode

It's time to put on your smocks and grab your brushes, listeners--we're talking colors! Anna and Amber bring you colorful content from your friend and ours, ROY G BIV. Why were squished snails so valuable in the ancient Mediterranean? What was the first synthetic color? IS BLUE EVEN REAL? All this and much more!

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Episode 52 - The Climes, They Are a-Changin'

This week, it's a topic that's incredibly relevant and important, and... not the least bit fun. It's climate change! We're here to combat misinformation and to tell you what we know about past global climate change, how we know it, and what that means for our future!

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Episode 51 - African Empires: Part Two

We wrap up our whirlwind tour of African Empires this week with the later part of the timeline. Anna and Amber travel to Timbuktu, the Solomonid Empire, the Fatimid Caliphate and more! We also cover the Scramble for Africa, which sounds fun and madcap, but is... the opposite of that.

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Episode 50 - African Empires: Part One

Amber and Anna dip their toes into the vast history of the African continent. In this first installment of a two-episode series, we look at some pre-Classical civilizations. Learn about foreign queens and imported baboons, and why camels are great for business AND religion. And remember! It's never a collapse.

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Episode 49 - It's Never a Collapse: Angkor Wat

This week, Amber and Anna explore Angkor Wat, the legendary Cambodian temple complex. Who built it? What happened? Did the civilization collapse? (Spoiler: no.) Was it rediscovered after being forgotten for centuries? (Spoiler: also no.) Come for the history, stay for the alien spider beings!

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Episode 48 - Where Do Babies Come From? The Archaeology of Childbirth

Join Amber and Anna for a brief frolic through some ancient birthing wisdom and evidence of pregnancy and childbirth in the archaeological record. We're also joined by the brilliant Dr. Natalie Laudicina, who takes us on a fascinating and slightly terrifying journey through the surprisingly complicated landscape of the primate birth canal.

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Episode 47 - Prehistoric Beasts and Where to Find Them

It's another Very Special Sponsored Episode this week! We're talking prehistoric animals of all shapes and sizes (and by all sizes we mean mostly TOO BIG). Learn about giant birds hunted by the first people on New Zealand, the giant sea scorpion that will haunt Amber's dreams, and...probably more than you ever wanted to know about wooly mammoth butts.

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Episode 46 - Dogtectives on the Case!

This week, we bring you a fascinating, poignant, and thoroughly delightful interview with Lynne Engelbert, a handler with the Institute for Canine Forensics. Learn what the talented pups at the ICF do for a living and prepare to be amazed!

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Episode 45 - What Is Going on with Those Denisovans?!

This week, Anna and Amber sit down to chat about the Denisovans, the human ancestors we didn't know we had until recently. Learn about what evidence we have for Denisovans, the traits for which we can thank them, and some of the mysteries that remain. Come for big reveals about what's in human DNA, stay for ample use of phrases like "bouts of interbreeding."

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Episode 44 - The Episode Is Revolting

It's another Very Special Sponsored Episode this week, about the archaeology of protest, revolt, and rebellion. Join Anna and Amber alongside coal miners in West Virginia, Jewish rebels in the first century CE, enslaved Africans in the Dutch Virgin Islands, and more stories of human defiance and resilience in the face of oppression.

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Episode 43 - Spilling the Antiqui-Tea: Artifact Trafficking and the Antiquities Black Market

Psst. Do you want to buy some archaeology? WELL WE DON'T HAVE ANY TO SELL YOU, BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE WRONG. But that hasn't stopped other people from doing it! Join us this week for a Very Special Sponsored Episode on the antiquities black market, the harm it does to archaeology and to real living people all over the world, and some of the folks doing extremely cool things to protect cultural heritage.

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Episode 42 - Here Be Unicorns: The Ancient Indus Valley

Join Anna and Amber on an excursion to the Indus Valley, and an exploration of some of the ancient societies therein. Learn about the thrills of city planning and indoor toilets, experience the mystery and absurdity of the Indus "unicorn," and enjoy a surprising number of Anna's best seal impersonations.

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Episode 41 - Let's Talk About (Inter)sex

This week's episode was inspired by news coverage of Revolutionary War hero Casimir Pulaski, who, according to his skeleton, may have been intersex. But what does it mean to be intersex, and how do we incorporate this very real form of existence into our understanding of the archaeological record? Learn along with Anna and Amber from forensic archaeology, American history, Indigenous American culture, and a truly heart-wrenching tale from Iran.

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Episode 40 - Ur Never Going to Believe This

Join Anna and Amber on a tour of third millennium BCE Mesopotamia, where they explore the Royal Tombs of Ur. It has everything: musical instruments, very extra jewelry looks, a Great Death Pit (!), a famous excavator with a flair for the dramatic, even a surprise find nearly a century later in a museum basement.

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Archaeologists Dig Dinosaurs... April Fools!

Hello, and welcome to The Dirt, a podcast all about dinosaurs! Since we’re archaeologists (and thus don’t study dinosaurs, ahem) we know nothing about them, so for this special April Fools’ Day episode, Anna sits down with paleontologist Chris Capobianco from Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology. Learn about how quickly a fossil forms, the process of preparing fossils for research or exhibition, what dinosaurs really looked like, how exactly one goes about becoming a paleontologist, and what the future may hold for the discipline (and humanity).

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LIVE! Helen Hunt Jackson: Woman with a Hobby

Our very first LIVE SHOW, from Cosumnes River College in Sacramento! In honor of Women's History Month, we celebrate the life and career of Helen Hunt Jackson, the raddest lady activist and author you've never heard of. In her lifetime, Jackson was a vocal and tireless advocate for Native American rights during the federal land grabs of the 1800s.

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Episode 39 - These Boots Were Made for Talking: A Very Brief History of Footwear

Anna and Amber rummage around on the floor of history's closet to bring you a brief history of shoes from around the world! Learn why caves in the southwestern USA are full of shoes. Find a shoe museum near you for some sole-searching. Enjoy a description of Anna's favorite goofy historical fashion statement. All this and more!

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