Episode 15 “SAA Time 2014!”


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Hello friends! It's time for episode 15 of The Struggling Archaeologist's Guide to Getting Dirty "SAA Time 2014!"

That's right, this is my reaction podcast to the Society for American Archaeology Conference in Austin, Texas. Pretty exciting stuff right?!


Well, it's informative and entertaining at least (I hope!). This is a shorter episode because I have stuck only to topics falling under the banner of conferences, career advice, my fabu 4 days in Austin, and summer plans. I would definitely listen if you are a young archaeologist interested in figuring out the academic world and planning for your future. If you're an expert in the ways of the conference, then this podcast may be a bit basic for you. Not that I'm not as delightful and thought provoking as always (you know you love it), but I won't feel bad if my more experienced listeners skip this one ;)

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Enjoy folks, I also hope you will check back on the website more often- as I am posting more regular blog entries now (and the crowd goes wild!) Be sure to follow The Struggling Archaeologist on twitter, tumblr, and facebook


Episode 10 “Sexy Sex with Asian Dothrakis”


It’s episode 10 of The Struggling Archaeologist’s Guide to Getting Dirty– “Sexy Sex with Asian Dothrakis!”

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.

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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.

pizza challenge









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.









McNiven OUT!

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Episode 7 “Holy Crackpot Theory Batman”


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Episode 7 already? Wow. It’s time for The Struggling Archaeologist’s Guide to Getting Dirty to introduce its newest treasure- “Holy Crackpot Theory Batman!”

I hope you’re ready, because this amount of awesome-ness couldn’t be contained in a mere half hour. This is going to be a 58 minute episode folks! That’s right, once you get me started on Ancient Egypt I just do not shut up. Of course, when I don’t shut up I don’t always think straight- as was clearly the case when I stated that Thutmose III was Queen Hatshepsut’s son (what an idiot right?). So DISCLAIMER: I do really know that he was only a step-son, born to one of Hatshepsut’s husband’s (Thutmose II) secondary wives Iset. I mean, like DUH, right?

So I’ll leave the jabbering for the podcast. If you have any cool insight into anything Ancient Egypt send me an email at guidetogettingdirty@gmail.com, or leave a comment on our facebook page! And don’t forget you can listen to or download the podcast on iTunes, Podbean, or Stitcher, huzzah!

And for your viewing pleasure, here are some pictures of mummies from the royal family of everybody’s favorite Technicolor coat wearing vizier, Yuya! They’re like the English monarchy of Ancient history (if Nefertiti is Diana, does that make Tut and Ankhesenamun like William and Kate?) As you can probably tell, this episode was most likely just another excuse for me to talk about mummies. mwahahahahaha (evil laugh)!


The mummies of Yuya (left) and Tuya (right), I mean is it me or does he not look like Charlton Heston?


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 King Amenhotep III’s statue and mummy. I think it looks like his mummy is giggling about something…

tiye1Discovery Of The Mummy Of Egyptian Queen

Queen Tiye, daughter of Yuya and Tuya and wife of King Amenhotep III. Girl, you work that hurr!

akhnatontall KV55_scull12830c2167735ed0372a5126206683c5

King Akhenaten (aka Amenhotep IV) and Queen Nefertiti. They were most likely both children of Amenhotep III and Tiye. Identifying their mummies is still a challenge, though the mummy from Valley of the Kings tomb KV55 seen above has been cautiously identified as Akhenaten- though there are objections stemming from geneticists. Some argue that a mummy known as the “Younger Lady” is none other than Nefertiti, but that has yet to be confirmed either. Here’s a happy inscription of Akhenaten and either Nefertiti or one of their daughters worshipping the sun God Aten!

aten_ankh_hands2Notice in this and the two sculptures above the more realistic style of art. This was a huge departure from the way pharaohs and Queens had been depicted in the past. Even though we see it as a more realistic style, it’s still theorized that Akhenaten (who appears to have quite the hourglass figure and very distinctive facial features in these depictions), may have been instructing his artists to imbue him with these features because he thought they made him appear more like the human form of the Sun God Aten- the God he had elevated above all others in the Egyptian pantheon and declared the only true God.


Finally, we have King Tutankhamun (aka Tutankhaten) and his lovely wife Ankhesenamun (aka Ankhesenpaaten). Tut was the son of Akhenaten and either Nefertiti or another of Akhenaten’s wives, possibly a woman named Kiya. Ankhesenamun was the 3rd of 6 daughters born to Akhenaten and Nefertiti. As royal husband and wife/brother and sister the pair were depicted happily on many reliefs, but their marriage was probably not the picnic it’s made out to be. When Tut died at 19 yrs old he was buried with the mummified bodies of two still-born daughters, believed to be his and Ankhesenamun’s children. After he died she may have been married to his successor, the (by this time quite older) Pharoah and former vizier Aye. But knowing that Tut’s lineage had made many enemies in Egypt she wrote to a Hittite king asking for help, and a ticket out of Egypt. Sadly, the prince sent by the King never made it and Ankhesenamun was never heard from again… There are several mummies suspected of being the young Queen, but none have been positively identified. This is where the royal lineage of Yuya and Tuya stops, and the age of the Ramessids begins…

Enjoy the episode folks, McNiven OUT!