Slum Dwellers: The Real Story of New York’s Five Points Neighborhood

September 25, 2013
Hosted by Dr. Joseph Schuldenrein

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Episode Description

Are you upset about the cancellation of BBCAmerica’s TV drama “Copper”? Maybe you’re a fan of Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York” or Caleb Carr’s “The Alienist”? If so, then you’re undoubtedly familiar with New York’s most infamous slum, the Five Points neighborhood. But how dangerous and depraved was this historical intersection? Archaeological research by Dr. Rebecca Yamin has shown that despite its dark reputation, Five Points was a neighborhood where the American Dream could and did prosper. Who were the people that lived here? What conditions did they live in? Which ones succeeded, and which ones didn’t? What does an overcrowded, unsanitary tenement neighborhood from the 19th century tell us about our history and ourselves? Join us as we talk with Dr. Yamin, who will tell the stories of several residents in the 19th century neighborhood. How has she overcome the difficulties such a famous site poses and what has new work in the city told us about this key time in New York’s history? Tune in, and listen, as the dark and gritty streets of fiction are transformed into the bustling and vibrant streets of 18th century New York City.

Indiana Jones: Myth, Reality and 21st Century Archaeology

Indiana Jones: Myth, Reality and 21st Century Archaeology

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel

This show targets an audience interested in archaeology. It explores myths surrounding this exotic, often misunderstood field and acquaints listeners with the contemporary practice of unearthing the human past. Themes range from Dr. Schuldenrein’s own “Indiana Jones”-like adventures in the land of the Bible to his team’s archaeological forensics effort to unearth Kurdish mass graves in Iraq. That undertaking helped convict Saddam Hussein in 2006. Topical issues contribute to the evolution vs. creationism controversy based on updated fossil records and innovative DNA studies. An episode highlights the main funding source for archaeology in the U.S. (Hint: the oil and gas industry). Experts reveal the latest high-tech approaches to buried archaeological landscapes that provide clues to understanding climate change, past, present and future.

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Dr. Joseph Schuldenrein

Dr. Joseph Schuldenrein

Joseph Schuldenrein is president and senior scientist of Geoarcheology Research Associates (GRA) in Yonkers, New York. He has been a Visiting Scholar at New York University since 1996. His professional expertise is in geoarchaeology, a sub-discipline that introduces earth science techniques to traditional archaeological excavation. Joe has worked extensively across North America and the Old World. He received his doctorate in 1983 at the University of Chicago. Recent research in North America has concentrated on the urban archaeology of New York City and Native American landscapes of the Atlantic Coast. Joe’s projects in South Asia have ranged from Human Origins investigations to the beginnings of civilization of the Indus Valley. During the Iraq war Dr. Schuldenrein’s team helped direct a forensic archaeological mission in support of the Saddam Hussein prosecution. His newest venture is an assessment of Cultural Heritage Sites in war-torn Afghanistan (2011). Dr. Schuldenrein publishes widely in numerous archaeological and geological journals. He is a reviewer for American Antiquity, Geoarchaeology, and Quaternary Science Reviews. He has acted as Principal Investigator or Consulting Scientist for grants awarded by the National Science Foundation, Wenner-Gren, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute for Aegean Prehistory. Dr. Schuldenrein has been interviewed for PBS, as well as national and regional TV and radio outlets over the past 30 years.

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