Encore: The Archaeology of Social Inequality, On the Eve of the Great Famine

November 11, 2015
Hosted by Dr. Joseph Schuldenrein

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Episode Description

The rise of archaeology as a profession has done much to enrich our understanding of prehistoric eras, which had been a long misunderstood chapter in the human story. But what can the pursuit of archaeology contribute to our knowledge of more recent historical time periods, which already provide textual clues about the way people lived? It turns out that archaeological research often reveals quite a different story than the one passed down to us by the written word. Join our guest Dr. Charles Orser, Jr., who will be discussing his research on the daily life of the rural Irish on the eve of and during the Great Famine of 1845-50. From 1994-2007, Dr. Orser excavated at 6 house sites in counties Roscommon, Sligo, and Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. This was the first sustained archaeological effort to investigate the lives of the common families who suffered through the Famine and who eventually came to the United States (as well as to Canada and Australia) as a result. His research there has documented that the people were not "peasants" but were tied into the British market as much as anyone else at the time.

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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