Archaeology in areas of conflict and Azerbaijani inspired chicken

Dr. Lauren Ristvet

Dr. Lauren Ristvet from the University of Pennsylvania joined us today to speak about her research and collaborative projects. Lauren is a Near Eastern archaeologist who has worked in Syria and Iraq for close to 20 years. Her work began at the site of Tell Leilan in Syria. She is currently working in Azerbaijan in the southern Caucasus. It’s here Lauren is co-directing an excavation of the fortress site of Oglangala (Iron Age 1200 – 300 BCE) in Naxcivan.

Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq.

In the interview, we also discussed the exhibition at the University of Pennsylvania that she is involved with. The exhibit called, “Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq” showcases the material culture from these countries while taking patrons through the devastating impact that years of conflict have had on both country’s cultural heritage.  This is a serious topic of an ever changing situation that the public needs to be made aware. Lauren and her colleagues are doing important work bringing attention to an underreported global issue.

Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq opened Saturday, April 8, 2017 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. From left to right are Julian Siggers, Williams Director of the Penn Museum; Salam Al Kuntar, Syrian archaeologist and Lead Exhibition Curator; Issam Kourbaj, Syrian-born artist whose art intervention is featured in the exhibition; Brian Daniels, Exhibition Co-curator; and Lauren Ristvet, Lead Exhibition Curator.

Finally, we have a light hearted talk about the life of an archaeologist. One of the most memorable aspects of this job is when you actually become part of the local community where you are working. As Lauren mentions it’s truly one of the unspoken perks of the job. The recipe she shares with us is inspired by her work in Azerbaijan. Hope you enjoy it!

Here is a link to Lauren’s Azerbaijani excavation!

Check out this episode!

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