Before Christmas, I took a brief break from marking and teaching preparation for a fabulous and morale-boosting three-quarters of an hour recording a podcast for historians Dr Alexandra Churchill and Alina Nowobilska at History Hack. I’m very pleased that my episode, their 336th podcast (just, wow!), features me and is unsurprisingly called ‘The Archaeology of Death.’
I answered some broad issues regarding the character and parameters of mortuary archaeology – how it is defined and what questions we explore through burial data. I also address the social and religious interpretation of graves and cemeteries. Next I introduce two of my past fieldwork projects: excavating a Viking boat-grave in Sweden and Project Eliseg (investigating the Pillar of Eliseg in Denbighshire). I also talk about the relationship between mortuary archaeology and other subjects and other archaeological subdisciplines. I then addressed my interests in the ethics, politics, heritage and popular cultures of mortuary archaeology: the public archaeology death. These are themes which are obviously central to my past and ongoing research and feature repeatedly on this blog.
I really enjoyed recording the podcast but I equally enjoyed the half-hour pre-podcast rant/chat with Alina and Alex. Do explore their amazingly varied podcast back-catalogue alongside their regular new content!
For the record, this is my third-ever podcast, following one in late 2020 for History Eh? about the public archaeology for the Early Middle Ages, and a 2015 Anarchaeologist podcast on Archaeodeath. I hope I get a chance to do some more! Savour!