About

I write about archaeology, science, and culture (loosely defined). As an archaeologist, I use animal bones and other artifacts to investigate past human behavior and the interrelationships between people and animals. As a writer, I’m interested in discovering forgotten stories, little oddities, lost histories, and missing links. I like thinking about material culture, whether an ancient stone tool, a historic building, or a modern piece of technology.

Blog

Paleo-Indian Science Cafe in Albany, New York

From the NYSM: Coming in to the Country: The First New Yorkers and the Ice Age Landscapes of New York Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 6:00-7:00 PM @ The Hollow Bar + Kitchen New Yorkers today live, work and travel in a built environment, superimposed on the region’s natural landscapes. The first New Yorkers – Native …

“I published everything I ever dug up”

Beginning in the early 1920s, William Augustus Ritchie dedicated his career to digging archaeological sites in New York state, but he did make a few exceptions, venturing south into New Jersey and north into Ontario. Late in his career, he also traveled east to Massachusetts to investigate several sites on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. …

Jazz Age Adventurers

Adventurers for Science, that is. The Jazz Age was more than just flappers, bootleggers, and gin rickeys. It was also the time when archaeology came of age. King Tut’s tomb, the Royal Cemetery of Ur, Great Zimbabwe, Skara Brae, Zhoukoudian, Folsom, and Lamoka Lake were all discovered or excavated in the 1920s.

Marion and Matthew Stirling
Marion and Matthew Stirling at Boca San Miguel, Veracruz, Mexico, 15 April 1939. Source: Alexander Wetmore, Smithsonian Archives.

In the Roaring Twenties, some antiquarians, like Gerard Fowke, were nearing the end of their careers, anthropologists like Henry Field were in their prime, and others, like Carlyle Smith, were just getting interested in archaeology but would make their mark digging in the Dirty Thirties and beyond.

Here you’ll soon find the goods on the major and minor characters of the Jazz Age. We cover adventurers of all kinds, explorers scientific and cultural, and well as some characters with more dubious motives and sketchy accomplishments.

Check back later as more are added.