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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Episode 38 - What Spake Zarathustra?

It's almost officially springtime in the Northern Hemisphere, and the vernal equinox brings with it another reason to celebrate: Nowruz! Commonly known as Persian New Year, Nowruz has its roots in a millennia-old religion founded by a man named Zartosht whose ideas had a profound impact on the world. Anna introduces fire temples and what ancient writers had to say about Zoroastrianism, while Amber hypes the Bronze Age in Central Asia and suggests some ways in which Zoroastrian ideas have affected other religions.

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Deep Cuts 8 - Piltdown and Out

It's been hectic over at The Dirt HQ! Rather than leaving your feeds dark for a month, here's a Patreon-exclusive episode from earlier this year: We present to you the Piltdown Man, the most contentious human ancestor there never was.

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Episode 37 - Lady Statues and Prehistoric Matriarchy

Kick off Women's History Month with a show all about some of the earliest representations of women in art! Anna introduces us to the Venus of Willendorf and her curvy comrades, and shares a research study with very modern take on ancient art. Meanwhile Amber bursts our bubble about the matriarchy and goddess religions in Old Europe, and discusses goddess worshippers of past and present at Çatalhöyük in present-day Turkey.

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Episode 36 - The Unsettling Business of Curating Human Remains

Here at The Dirt, we talk a lot about the things that people leave behind, but we’ve not spent much time talking about what’s left behind of the people themselves. That changes this week, when Anna and Amber discuss excavating, storing, studying, and selling archaeological human remains, and take a look at some of the legal and ethical challenges involved.

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Episode 35 - Beyond Avocados: Megafauna Fruit

It's another sponsored episode! This week, we bring you the fascinating (and sometimes delicious) topic of evolutionary anachronisms. What happens when two species co-evolve to support one another, but one goes extinct? What's up with that obscure, hipster fruit, the paw-paw, and why is Amber mad at NPR? What can blue jays tell us about human impulsivity? All this and more!

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Episode 34 - A Dating Show

Valentine's Day is upon us, and love is in the air-- love for relative and absolute dating methods, that is! Anna brings the science with C14 dating and its gang of radiometric friends, boggles minds with flipped magnetic poles and the last time archaeological material saw the sun, while, Amber makes a lot of jokes that even she hates, embraces the nihilism of climate change, and attempts to explain the law of superposition via cake. So, the usual— but that’s why you love us!

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Episode 33 - The Big Game!

Every year, the American football season ends with the Big Game, but this week, Anna and Amber are superfans of a much bigger game: the 3500-year-old Mesoamerican ballgame. From its Olmec origins to the athletes keeping it alive today, learn all about how to play, why you might not want to (ouch), and what makes it so significant to past and present communities.

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Episode 32 - [Poop Joke Here]: Coprolites and the Value of Fossilized Feces

We all do it. We've done it for millions of years. It's the Poopisode, a Very Special Sponsor pick! Anna and Amber discuss coprolites (archaeological poo), and some of the surprising things we've learned from it. Anna's pun game has rarely been stronger, and Amber...well, Amber survived this episode.

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This is Anthropology Miniseries (with American Anthropological Association)

At the 117th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Anna and Amber sat down with six anthropologists and learned about the history of anthropology, the future of anthropology, and what the discipline looks like both in the classroom and out in the world.

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Dirt After Dark 6 - Ancient Aliens Are Neither Ancient Nor Alien: Discuss

Were the pyramids the work of extraterrestrials? No, of course they weren't, but why do some people and internet memes seem to think otherwise? Turns out there's a simple answer and a more complex answer, and Anna and Amber get into all of it in this special bonus excerpt from Dirt After Dark.

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Episode 30 - The Human Family Tree (Shrub? Crabgrass? Tumbleweed?), Part 2: Branches and Bipedalism

Part 2 of 3. Anna heads further up the family tree (as Amber lags behind, gasping), and introduces us to our Australopith and Paranthropus relatives. You can always rely on us for our australo-pithiness: Anna gives us the scoop on Lucy's new neighbor Selam and tells us about why babies have such grabby little hands, while Amber grapples with the prospect of a world before people and realizes she might have met an extinct hominin at a party once.

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Episode 29 - The Human Family Tree (Shrub? Crabgrass? Tumbleweed?), Part 1: Roots

Part 1 of 3. Anna and Amber work their way up the trunk of our shared evolutionary tree, tackling the thorny issues of identifying our earliest mammal, primate, and hominin ancestors. We learn about the early development of bipedal walking, and really struggle (as usual) with the question of deep time, but this week it escalates to wondering how anybody knows anything. All we know is, we didn’t come from no monkey.

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Episode 28 - A Wine and Cheese Pairing

Anna and Amber have prepared a decadent a wine and cheese platter for your ears. Learn about the world's oldest wine gunk and the many (many!) sizes of wine bottles, and then we'll discuss the difference between wine and "wine," and nibble on some stories about very, very aged cheese.

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Episode 27 - Merry Mithras!

Grab a cup of cocoa (or something stronger) and join Anna and Amber as they don their coziest jammies and tell the story of Mithras, the lesser-known Reason For The Season from the ancient world. Learn how religions shift through time and place, and why you might want to feast on bull meat in a cave with some Romans this holiday season.

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Episode 26 - It's Made of People!

Never heard of anthropodermic bibliopegy? That's about to change, friends! This week, Anna and Amber look at some unexpected objects made out of people, and discuss some effects of such objects on the living.

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Episode 25 - (Flu) Season's Greetings: Medicines

Anna and Amber can’t help you with your real medical complaints, but they’re here with a whole batch of knowledge about what people used to do for their sniffles (and worse), as well as ways in which diseases have been diagnosed and treated over the millennia.

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Episode 24 - Happy Chrono-kah!

This week, Anna and Amber are in the holiday spirit and ready to celebrate Chrono-kah! A holiday that we just made up where we try to fathom the immensity of time! What's the difference between the Stone Age and the Paleolithic? When is North America finally going to enter the Bronze Age? Why do we call this year 2018? Were the early Middle Ages faked? Some of these questions are easier to answer than others.

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