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A Life In Ruins

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A Life In Ruins

APN - Carlton Gover, Connor Johnen, and David Howe

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Carlton Gover, Connor Johnen and David Howe are three friends that went to graduate school together and decided to start a podcast. Join them once a month for witty conversation, amazing guests, and a bit of profanity - all in the name of science. Join them in their lives in ruins.
 
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First used to describe religious movements that emerged in Melanesia following contact with Allied military personnel in World War II, cargo cults are sects and ritualized behaviors intended to summon outsiders (and their stuff) back and bring about a new age. We’ll explore theories for why they come about, discuss some examples of cargo cults in t…
 
In this episode, Carlton interviews Dr. Anna Goldfield from The Dirt Podcast to talk about Dr. Goldfield's inspiration in becoming a zooarchaeologist, how the The Dirt Podcast started, and the importance of experimental archaeology. This a fun and interested one on one conversation between two seasoned podcast hosts. Definitely check out The Dirt P…
 
We’ve had plenty of instances on the show (in the main feed and especially in Old News) of archaeological research bearing out information that existed already in the historical and oral traditions of Indigenous groups. We’ll discuss some examples of this, and we’ll also examine the relationship of Indigenous science and knowledge with the Western …
 
On this episode, we recap our recent adventures in Colorado. We start out by going nowhere and continue doing that for the rest of the episode. Highlights of the episode include Carlton talks about his new true crime podcast, the intersection of family groups and experimental archaeology. Interested in learning about how to use X-Rays and similar t…
 
This week, Amber's under the weather, so Anna goes solo with special guest Dr. Naomi Martisius. Naomi tells us how she deciphers clues about human behavior by looking at tiny tiny VERY tiny portions of animal bone surfaces under a microscope. We’ll get into her undergraduate discovery that re-wrote a part of prehistory (no, really), and her work on…
 
BONUS Hello, friends! We’re moving our episode schedule slightly—episodes will now be coming out on Wednesdays!! But in the meantime—This is a shortened version of a much longer chat that's available to our Patreon members (link below to join and support the show)! Anna and Amber chat about some changes in their personal lives, plus some updates to…
 
On this episode of A Life In Ruins podcast, David interviews his former advisor Dr. Todd Surovell. Todd served as an advisor to David and was a committee member for David and Connor‘s MA theses. David begins interviewing Todd about what archaeology means to him, and a discussion of his early life. The conversation later turns into how Todd found hi…
 
Settle in for a HEFTY episode, folks! This week, Amber and Anna examine the world of the Neo-Assyrian empire. This means some substantial time spent context-setting, thanks to the complex nature of early Mesopotamian politics, religion, warfare, and state propaganda. Then we look further at that carefully crafted state propaganda and its influence …
 
For this week's episode, we are joined by a Ph.D. student in Anthropology at the University of Colorado Boulder, Georgia Butcher. Georgia is a cultural anthropologist who studies the impact of drone warfare on drone pilots. We dive into her formative years and the story that hooked her on anthropology. Carlton and Connor then really nerd out about …
 
On a listener-sponsored episode, Anna and Amber tackle the archaeology and historical context of maroon communities. These are societies formed by self-liberated Africans during the period when the slave trade was a huge part of the world economy. We discuss some archaeological case studies, and then really think long and hard about what it means t…
 
On this episode of A Life In Ruins Podcast, we have our good friend and frequent collaborator Stefan Milo on the podcast. Stefan is in the process of researching for a video on human brain size, and we talk about what he has found. Researchers have noted a decrease in brain size in humans within the last 30,000 years. We take a deep dive into how b…
 
In a SURPRISE THIRD INSTALLMENT of our discussion of sci fi and archaeology, we talk about two giants of world building, Octavia E Butler and Ursula K LeGuin. We also talk about a few fictional anthropologists of TV and cinema. Interested in learning about how to use X-Rays and similar technology in archaeology? Check out the linked PaleoImaging co…
 
In this episode, the three hosts reconvene after a month of not having recorded an episode. Carlton and Connor check in with David on how the bus refurbishing is coming along and the recent trip to Arkansas. Carlton talks about his dissertation data collection, recent environmental distress in Colorado, and his recent trip to Oklahoma City. The guy…
 
We're back! And we're continuing our exploration of science fiction in archaeology AND anthropology in science fiction. Last time, we talked to author Pat Edwards about world-building and storytelling--this time, we tell the stories. Amber gets speculative, Anna spins some yarns, and we investigate the Thousand and One Nights. Show notes coming soo…
 
On this special 4 segment episode of A Life in Ruins Podcast, we are lucky to be joined Trevor Creighton, a project archaeologist at Butser Ancient Farm. Butser Ancient Farm is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company with a focus on education and research, located just north of Portsmouth in the UK. They have a series of buildings at the farm, …
 
(ENCORE) This week, Anna and Amber decided to clean up their act and take a look at the history of bathing and hygiene. We’re dipping our toes into Roman baths, sweating through Finnish and Russian saunas, discussing the shrewd marketing behind the “Halitosis Effect,” and more. Plus, what even IS soap, anyway? Interested in learning about how to us…
 
In this episode, we are joined by Kay Mattena, a Ph.D. student in Archaeology and Indigenous Science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, a Descendent of the Citizen Band of Potawatomi, and first appeared on Episode 54: SAA 86th Annual Conference, and Indigneous Response. We talk about her earliest encounters with science, nature, and arc…
 
In this re-release of an EARLY classic, take a whirlwind tour of the Swahili coast and the economic and cultural exchanges over land and sea it has enjoyed for more than a thousand years, before zooming in on the very powerful, and very cool, medieval sultanate of Kilwa Kisawani. Interested in learning about how to use X-Rays and similar technology…
 
On this episode of A Life in Ruins Podcast, David and Connor talk to Dr. Angela Perri about her lengthy CV and her academic/professional career. Dr. Perri is currently the top researcher in the world in terms of understanding the relationship between humans and dogs in the ancient world. So clearly, David's ears perked up. As usual, we first dive i…
 
Pat Edwards is an author, game builder, and creator of all kinds of sci-fi and fantasy content. We all sit down and puzzle through some questions about the boundaries between archaeological interpretation and fiction, the use of anthropological tropes in pop culture, and strategies for drawing from the archaeological record for fictional world-buil…
 
For our first live show and in celebration of our 100th episode, we had originally planned for a dynamic and audience-interactive experience full of bits, challenges, and guest appearances. However, due to the recent invasion of Ukraine by Putin’s Russia, we wanted to use our platform to support the people of Ukraine. We were joined by Simon Radche…
 
In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Amanda Butler who is an Assistant Professor in the department of anthropology and earth science at Minnesota State University Moorhead. We start off the episode by exploring her educational experiences and background in archaeology. We then delve into Cahokian archaeology and Butler's research regarding the Cah…
 
We're bouncing back from some bumps in the road this week, and bring you a short and sweet episode about some of the history and archaeology of two sweet substances--maple syrup and sugarcane. Interested in learning about how to use X-Rays and similar technology in archaeology? Check out the linked PaleoImaging course from James Elliot! Contact Ema…
 
Dr. Shane Miller is back on the podcast to talk about a new paper that just came out. The Hopewell airbust event, published about in Nature Scientific Reports, is believed to be a series of near-Earth comets that are hypothesized to have had impacts on cultures living around 1600 years ago (252-383 CE). We dive into this paper and discuss its argum…
 
Hello, lovely listeners--a whole bunch of life stuff has smacked us right in the face recently. Thank you so much for your patience and continued support--we really love you. This week's classic episode is all about mounds and the people that built (and absolutely did not build) them. Links Cahokia: The Great Native American Metropolis (via WorldCa…
 
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