Episode 24 “The Mother of All Archaeology Podcasts”


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HEY! It’s me, Jenny, and I’m back baby! It’s time for episode 24 of The Struggling Archaeologist’s Guide to Getting Dirty, and this one is the MOTHER of all archaeology podcasts.

I can say that because I gave birth in the middle of this podcast. You’ll have to listen to it to find out exactly how that went down, but I promise you it was pretty exciting. SO, where have I been for the last oh, I don’t know, 6 months??? Really really pregnant for 3 of them and trying to clean spit-up out of my clothes and hair for the other 3. Having a baby is hard work, and so while my attention has been elsewhere for a while I have been continuing to keep up with the archaeology world at large and thinking of lots of great podcasts to bring you in 2016.

This podcast continues on the theme of pregnancy/childbirth that I started last episode. But this time I’m tackling pregnancy within the field, as a struggling and very pregnant rchaeologist. For those of you who wonder about whether you can start a family while working, or worry about how you will be treated as a big old preggo in the field- tune in to hear all about my personal experience during this past year.

Then it’s time to review two of the biggest news stories in archaeology during 2015: is there a hidden chamber in King Tut’s tomb? And what’s up with this new hominin Homo naledi?

To read more on the Homo naledi discovery click here and here! To read more on King Tut’s tomb click here! Also, don’t forget to check out this and other great archaeology podcasts on the Archaeology Podcast Network!

I would write more, but there’s a baby gnawing on my left hand and typing is kind of difficult. #mommyproblems

Here’s a picture of me in the field at 7 months pregnant, and the adorable archaeobaby that has stolen my heart… and time and energy.









Cheers, McNiven out!



Episode 23 “Wee Ones and Picts, Oh My!”


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Welcome to Episode 23 of The Struggling Archaeologist’s Guide to Getting Dirty!

I’m Jenny, a big old history nerd with a dramatic streak and a lack of creative outlets. Hence the podcast. The show has taken a little bit of a hiatus while I figure out some life things, and for that I am sorry. But, if it makes you feel any better, my “life things” turns out to be a pretty cool development. He’s about 7 months along right now and getting ready to pop this fall. That’s right! I’m expecting a little shovelbum and couldn’t be more excited for this most excellent adventure. But enough about me, let’s get back to the archaeology! So here’s what to expect in this episode:

  • We learn about Pictish forts being discovered by adventurous archaeologists in Scotland
  • I decide that somehow I’m vaguely connected to Pictish history because I’m from New York
  • Next it’s time to a new segment “Stories that Shaped the World” where we talk about how mythology influenced life in the past
  • Because I’m preggo I decided to look into childbirth in Egyptian mythology
  • I have an update for you on The Struggling Archaeologist Book Club!

So that’s it for now, here are some pictures of the Scottish forts mentioned in this episode. Enjoy and be sure to check out the other awesome archaeology podcasts on the Archaeology Podcast Network, new episodes out weekly!

McNiven OUT!

Twitter @strugglingarch




Episode 9 “Puppy Problems”


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Welcome to Episode 9 of The Struggling Archaeologist’s Guide to Getting Dirty: Puppy Problems!

Now first off, I’d like to apologize for the content of this episode. There’s no way around it… I’m talking about dead puppies here. I mean they’re mummified puppies which is what makes it interesting, but, yeah- still pretty sad. But since I’m a dog lover and an exasperated dog owner, I turned this one into a discussion on the history of dog/human evolution because that’s pretty cool and stuff.

If you listen to the episode you’ll notice I talk a lot about stray dogs that stalk me and try to sneak into my house, like I won’t notice I have this strange dog hanging around. Like since there’s so many in there I would, like a crazy cat lady, probably not even notice. I wasn’t lying, and here’s the evidence…

Field School 2009 012


Stray dog #1 “Sarah”





Lee's last day 010


Stray dog #2 “Little Guy”









Stray dog #3 “Roger” (that’s my rescue dog Lucy in the background)










Stray dog….oh, oops. That’s the mummy of Rex, complete with over 60 preserved ticks. At least he doesn’t look too bummed about it…



Alright, well that’s it for the puppy talk. In this week’s Shorty News we talk about this jerk from Canada who sparks another convo on relic hunting and the black market. And that’s it folks, make sure to listen to previous episodes here or on iTunes, and check out our new tumblr blog www.guidetogettingdirty.tumblr.com

McNiven OUT!