Turkey, early horse domestication with Baked Ziti


Pam Crabtree
The kindhearted Prof. Pam Crabtree!

Prof. Pam Crabtree from New York University took time from her busy schedule to speak with us. Pam is a zooarchaeologist who has worked on archaeological sites from all over the world. Globally, she is recognized as a leading expert within zooarchaeology.  We talk about her ongoing project in Ireland at the Dun Ailinne site.  And her more recent involvement in the Kinik Hoyuk and Tepecik projects in Turkey. We go into great detail about these projects, the research to investigate early horse domestication from southern Cappadocia, and her Baked Ziti recipe that is fit to feed a small army of hungry archaeologists!

Pam at work in Turkey.

Baked Ziti recipe

Baked Ziti (using ingredients available in Ireland)


One large and one small jar of marinara sauce

One pound (or, 500 grams) penne pasta

One egg beaten

One container mascarpone cheese (ca 8 oz)

One large container (16 oz.) cottage cheese

Parsley, oregano, and basil to taste

One bag (ca. 500 grams) shredded mozzarella

Ca. 250 grams grated parmesan cheese


Cook penne for about 9-10 minutes until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking

Mix the egg, mascarpone cheese, and cottage cheese, and add about ½ tablespoon each of basil, oregano, and parsley

Spread a small amount of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a large (ca. 9 by 13 inch) pan

Cover with half the pasta, followed by half, the mascarpone mix, and half the remaining sauce, and half the mozzarella

Add a second layer of pasta, mascarpone, sauce, and mozzarella, and top with some grated parmesan

Bake in a 375 degree oven (about 200 Celsius) until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling

Let stand about 10 minutes before serving

This recipe will serve 7-8 hungry excavators when served with salad and garlic bread!

Here is a link to the Kinik Hoyuk Project!

Music by: Royalty Free Music from Bensound

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Submerged prehistoric landscapes, surfing, and grilling.

Jonathan Benjamin, Flinders University
Underwater archaeologists, Jonathan Benjamin!

Dr. Jonathan Benjamin from Flinders University in Austrailia joins us to speak about his work with submerged prehistoric landscapes. Jonathan is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the subject which is evident in our interview. We talk about his Ph.D. research in the Adriatic Sea and what are the current trends in underwater archaeology.

For those who have the interest to pursue a career in academia, Jonathan offers some candid advice based on his own experience.  This is a refreshing conversation about what it takes to become an academic.

We also talk about his joy for surfing. Jonathan, who grew up in California, is no stranger to the ocean or surfing.

Jonathan Benjamin
Der grillmeister, Jonathan Benjamin with his Weber!

And finally, Jonathan is a passionate cook and food lover! This is a real treat to get some great advice about grilling. Whether it be chicken or fish, Jonathan provides us with his own insights on how to grill properly.

Grilled chicken
Grilled chicken on the Weber!


Here’s a Ph.D. opportunity (due January 24th, 2017):


Bonus recipe for chicken stock!

Recipe for stock is dead easy. Take any bone, such as the back-bone from a chicken (and maybe the wing tips / any other bones you have that are not used during the main cooking process) and put them in water with salt, pepper and herbs from the garden. Chicken and thyme go well together — a Bay Leaf and an onion are always welcome! For other bone broths, such as Lamb, add rosemary and garlic. Bring to a boil and boil as long as you like. Cover and leave to rest for several hours. Re-boil for a good 15 minutes. Repeat as necessary until the broth is golden and rich in colour. Once it is boiled up for the last time, (and you can just boil it up once, and leave it boiling for a while, either on a very low heat or in a slow cooker), pour it into a clean mason jar through a sieve. I actually use two sieves, a coarse one with big holes to catch the bones, skin, etc. and a fine mesh one to catch the herbs and smaller bits. Use as a soup base, or gravy for a pie, or portion out in small freezer portions and add a little bit to any dish in the future.


Music by: Royalty Free Music from Bensound and DJ ASSASS1N- Frag out

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French Style Potato Soup and Bioarchaeology

Guro Rolandsen
Guro Rolandsen, soon-to-be-famous bioarchaeologist!

Guro Rolandsen comes to us from Oslo Norway to talk about her passion for bioarchaeology. She is a passionate scientist making her mark in Norwegian archaeology through the analysis of human skeletal remains. This is a really nice talk for anyone who has an interest in how skeletal remains aid archaeologists in their quest to better understand our past. It’s also an inspirational talk because Guro is 26 years old and has decided to take the initiative in her career and direct it the way she wishes. Hats off to that!!

Excavation overview at Kristiansand 2015


Test tubes ready for extracting stable-isotopes
BOOM! Extracted bone collagen!

Guro shares her French style potato soup recipe. We have yet to try this recipe but we plan to in the next couple of months while the cold winter lingers on here in cold New England!


Let us know what you think of the recipe by leaving a comment! We’d love to hear from you!

Recipe for French Style Potato Soup

8-10 sliced potatoes, sliced into small cubes
4 onions, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
200g mushrooms, sliced
2ts rosemary and oregano
1ts tumeric
1ts coriander
500ml vegetable stock
200ml almond milk
150g cashews, soaked in water for an hour
150ml water
2tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and fry onions until translucent. Add garlic and potatoes and fry for about 4 minutes. Stir well so nothing gets burned (from experience food burns easily!). Now add spices and herbs and fry for another 4 minutes- continue to stir!
Pour almond milk and vegetable stock into the pan and put a lid on. Let the soup cook on high heat until potatoes are soft.
Meanwhile, fry mushrooms with olive oil until golden.
In a high speed blender, add cashews and water, blend for 2-3 minutes until creamy.
Once the potatoes are soft, pour the cashew cream into the soup and stir for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and add more herbs and spices if you prefer a more intense flavor!
Add mushrooms to the soup and let cool for a few minutes before serving- enjoy!
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Ethnoarchaeology, pottery, communities of practice, and Baingan ka bharta in the Egyptian desert

Sonali Gupta Sahara Desert
Dr Sonali Gupta in the Sahara Desert.

Dr Sonali Gupta joins us today to speak about her research in Egypt. Sonali is a Lecturer and the Director of Public Programs at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at the University of California Los Angeles. She not only holds a PhD in archaeology from UCLA she also has a degree in law from the University of Delhi, India.  This is an extremely accomplished woman!

Sonali’s research brings together the ethnographic research of contemporary pottery making and archaeological pottery remains from a Greco-Roman site from Karanis, Egypt. This is a fascinating study of communities of practice. Anyone who wishes to learn more about the benefits and rigour of doing ethnographic fieldwork should have a listen to this podcast.

Sonali Gupta
Dr Sonali Gupta excavating in Egypt.


With Egyptian police as your escort, one is always right:-)

At the closing of our interview, Sonali shares with us her mother’s Baingan ka bharta (eggplant) recipe. This is a dish she made while doing her fieldwork in Egypt. With the Egyptian Revolution in full swing, Sonali made this dish with limited resources for her colleagues and some local nomads. It’s a real heart-warming story about people coming together and sharing a meal and some common ground while chaos is all around.

The night of the famous eggplant dish!
Too many cooks never spoil the broth!

Music by Royalty Free Music from Bensound

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