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 2 “Change Up”


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Welcome Friends! It’s another exciting episode of “The Struggling Archaeologist’s Guide to Getting Dirty,” so get ready for episode 2 “Change up!”

In this episode I take you on a journey into the exciting world of mummies. Just your average, run of the mill, organ-less, mummified human beings. Well, at least that’s what they thought at the Redpath museum of Montreal, until recent images from a CT scan of three mummies from their collection revealed that one of them wore a fancy schmancy hairstyle to the afterlife. I heard it was all the rage in the Roman era, so I thought I’d try it out for myself (a little experimental archaeology never hurt anyone… unless you count flint knapping, which I believe is up there with shark attacks on the kill-o-meter). So here is a forensic artist’s reconstruction of the Redpath mummy (a woman around 20 from the Fayum)… and myself with a truly awful reconstruction of her hairdo!











Now, I remind you that I had to do this to myself while the Egyptian woman probably wasn’t very bothered during the whole process because she was dead… but I bet if she were still kickin she would have had help because this is actually quite a difficult look to pull off. I made the mistake of doing too many braids and then smushing the poof I had created in the back with the million bobby pins I had to use to secure the braid ends. So kudos to you Egyptian ladies, you’ve one upped me in the battle of the hair- although I will remind you that at least I have hair, which is more than I can say for many of you, so there. Here’s some shots from the front for you kids, just so I can say I didn’t get all dressed up for nothing.

mummyhairsmall IMGP0648

  So the Egyptian thing was fun      (especially when I went to Wal-Mart later  and everyone stared at me), but then we had to move on- so I was happy to bring you some cool CRM news out of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Researching this story kind of got away from me, I pretty much ended up giving a history of Danish royalty so…  yeah, that happened. But seriously, I have a cool scoop from the author of the article about the future of the project too.

Somewhere in there is a new segment I call shorty news. It’s a short news story that I find amusing. This one’s about soup. Enjoy.

So there you have it folks, the official episode wrap-up. Make sure to like “The Struggling Archaeologist’s Guide to Getting Dirty” on facebook, and send me some tweets at @strugglingarch. I realized when I said that I’d “tweet” you back on the podcast it sounded mildly dirty- so just to be clear- that’s when I write you back to tell you something insightful that changes your life. If you’re comment can’t be contained in 140 characters then send me an email at guidetogettingdirty@gmail.com

Enjoy the show. Oh yeah, and check out that braid action from the back! IMGP0634