Western Canada with foraged local fauna and 14,000 years of occupation.

Alisha Gauvreau
Alisha Gauvreau everyone!

Alisha Gauvreau chats with us about her exciting excavation of a 14,000-year-old habitation site from a remote island in British Columbia, Canada. You heard that correctly-14,000 years ago! She is a Ph.D. student at the University of Victoria and a scholar at the Hakai Institute.

Beautiful British Columbia!

The site is located on the Triquet Island several hundred kilometers north of Victoria. Alisha talks about working in a remote location and about the results they have so far from the excavation. They are currently doing the laboratory work so more results are sure to follow!

That’s a big hole!
It’s a dirty job for sure!
To an archaeologist those profile walls are beautiful!!

Alisha shares with us about the locally foraged mollusks (chiton) and seaweed that they used to make an outstanding meal in the bush! You made do when you are in the field! For all of you adventure seekers have a listen to Alisha’s story. It’s a great sneak peek into the life of an archaeologist!

Locally foraged chiton.
The cooking process.


Music by: Royalty Free Music from Bensound

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The life and lessons from a Cocopah tribal archaeologist and a secret cookie recipe!

Jill McCormick
Tribal archaeologist Jill McCormick!

We have always been blown away and inspired by the people we get to chat with on this podcast. In today’s podcast, we get to share our interview with tribal archaeologist for the Cocopah Indian Tribe, Jill McCormick!

Cocopah Indian Tribe
Cocopah Indian Tribe

We are still trying to wrap our minds around how Jill accomplishes so much! Not only is she the Tribe’s award-winning archaeologist she is also their cultural resource manager.  Her work goes beyond this too. Jill is an Associate Professor at Arizona Western College and for the last 20 years, she has been the regional coordinator for the Arizona Site Steward program in Yuma. We aren’t finished… Jill is also an avid runner, a mother of seven and a proud grandmother! There is more in the podcast about Jill and her excellent work in the podcast but you’ll need to listen to it to find out more!

Working in the field!

Despite her busy schedule, she took time out from visiting her new grandchild to talk with us and to share a secret about the importance of the meal prep for those in the field, or out, that are confronted with a time crunch! She also threw us a recipe for a protein cookie!

Secret recipe! Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Blossoms

Vanilla whey protein 50G
Baking Stevia (or sweetener of choice) 1/3 cup
Powdered Peanut Butter ¼ cup
Coconut Flour 2 TBSP
Salt ½ TSP (optional)
Baking Powder ¼ TSP
Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt ½ Cup
Natural Peanut Butter ¼ cup
Egg Whites ¼ Cup (2 Large)
Pure Vanilla Extract ½ TSP
Special Dark Hershey’s Kisses 12 (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, then mix in wet ingredients until smooth.
2. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and drop cookies 1-2 inches apart, using rounded tablespoons.
Bake for 6-8 minutes until batter has set, press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie, and bake for another 2 minutes. Let cool for 15-30 minutes

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The origins of Icelandic horses and sheep with Grandma’s Icelandic lamb saddle recipe

Albina Hulda Palsdottir
Animal bone enthusiast, Albina Hulda Palsdottir!

Zooarchaeologists Albina Hulda Palsdottir is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Oslo. Her research focuses on the origins of the horses and sheep that were brought to Iceland in the 9th century. The project is called, “The Sheep and Horses of the Vikings: Archaeogenomics of Domesticates in the North Atlantic.” Anyone who has an interest in ancient DNA should have a listen to this podcast!

No, this isn’t a shot from the new SAW movie. It’s Albina in the lab!
The petrous bone from a sheep.


These are Albina’s Supervisors!

Dr Sanne Boessenkool & Dr Nils Chr. Stenseth, University of Oslo
Dr Jón Hallsteinn Hallsson, Agricultural University of Iceland
Dr Juha Kantanen, Natural Resources Institute Finland LUKE


For a recipe, Albina shares with us her Grandmother’s lamb saddle recipe. If you like dill you’ll enjoy this dish!

Recipe: Áslaug’s dill dill dill lamb saddle

Áslaug’s dill dill dill lamb saddle!

This is the dish that my grandmother Áslaug would very often prepare for the Sunday noon meal so it brings back fond childhood memories for me.

1 lamb saddle preferably Icelandic lamb
4-8 cloves garlic
Coarse salt
5 tbsp dried dill (or more!)

You take a saddle of lamb, preferably let it sit out overnight before cooking to make sure it is at room temperature.
Cut garlic cloves into halves or quarters and stick holes in the fat side of the lamb saddle with a knife at regular intervals and put the cloves into the holes.
Rub the lamb saddle with coarse salt and then rub the fat side of the saddle with copious amounts of dried dill and I really mean a whole lot! The fat side should be like a nice green lawn!
Stick the lamb saddle in a closed oven pan like this (http://bit.ly/2mSrCtA), and roast at a relatively low heat, say 100°C for a few hours. For the last 20 minutes it is good to crank up the heat a bit and remove the lid to let the fat crisp up.
Roast lamb is the traditional Sunday family meal in Iceland and was served with a basic sauce, ORA canned green beans, ORA red cabbage and ORA red beets as well as sugared potatoes. I still love canned green beans but prefer roasted potatoes and fresh vegetables as side dishes now.

Albina’s links:
Check out her project on Researchgate 

Agricultural University of Iceland Icelandic website
There is also have an English language website for the Agricultural University of Iceland
Check out the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo

Researchers mentioned during the interview

Sanne Boessenkool
Sanne’s horse project
Juha Kantanen has two links this one and this one.

Jón Hallsteinn Hallsson

Albina has two as well. This one and this one. 🙂

A little bit about the reference collection (but in Icelandic)

Music by: Royalty Free Music from Bensound

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The archaeology of Greenland with foraged blue mussels

Mikkel Sorensen
Greenlandic archaeologist, Dr. Mikkel Sorensen!

Dr. Mikkel Sorensen joins us today at Cooking with Archaeologists! Mikkel is a Professor of Archaeology at the University of Copenhagen where he is an educator and researcher in Arctic prehistory, hunter-gatherer archaeology, and lithic technology. When he is not enjoying himself in Copenhagen you can find him working in Greenland! No, he doesn’t excavate Norse sites so stop asking!! That’s someone else’s job.

Breathtaking view from the 2016 field season!

In today’s podcast, we talk about Mikkel’s work with prehistoric sites and finds on Greenland. We also get into the effects that climate change is having on the archaeology of Greenland. From what Mikkel has told us this is a very serious issue right now in the arctic and it needs our full attention!


Finally, Mikkel talks about some of the foods they eat in Greenland from whale to foraged shellfish. He doesn’t drop a whale recipe on us but he does share a blue mussel recipe. There is something special about foraging for your own food while in the field. What a great experience!

Here are links shared by Mikkel!

SILA, the Arctic Centre at the National Museum of Denmark

Music by: Royalty Free Music from Bensound

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