Archaeology in MO

Our staff archaeologist is dedicated to taking our Heritage programs to the next level by uncovering stories of Missouri’s history through research and archaeological surveys. With our partners, we have surveyed various areas of our state to help us better understand how Missourians lived in past generations.

In addition, we are actively working with tribal organizations and both state and federal entities to better interpret Missouri’s first peoples; as well as the impact of the Trail of Tears as it moved through southern Missouri. To learn more, contact Erin Whitson at erin@mohumanities.org.

ShowMe Archaeology - The Podcast

Henry Glassie, Professor of Folklore and ethnomusicology at Indiana University, wrote, “the old life was simple, we are told. Absurd. Life was anything but simple when people in small groups, interrupted by storms and epidemics and marching armies, managed to raise their own food, make their own clothing, and build their own shelter, while creating their own music, literature, art, science and philosophy” (Glassie 2000:48).

This podcast series, Show Me Archaeology, will explore some of the complexities in the lives of our ancestors around the world, within our own Country, and in the State of Missouri, through research conducted by archaeologists. We, at times, will face questions about our bodies, the ways the landscape and other non-human actors engage with us, and how actions and decisions made in the past influence our present and future. If nothing else, come learn how complicated the past has been, from day one!

We invite you to join us as we dig into exploring our world through the people, places, and ideas that have shaped our society.

Available on all podcast apps. Click the button below to find your preferred platform. Don’t forget to listen, rate, & subscribe!

 
Episode 3

In this episode of our archaeology podcast series, we discuss contract archaeologist, Chelsea Coates’ engrossing work on textiles found in the burned home of an African American woman in Springfield, Illinois’ 1908 race riot.

One of the most basic parts of being human is our ability to empathize with the emotions of others. In our discussion about the race riot of 1908—which ended with the death of two African American men, the destruction of scores of businesses and over 40 homes—Chelsea reflects on the archaeology of the riot and how all members of the community have dealt with this painful event over time. We also discuss what it’s like to handle the material remains of this moment and what scraps of cloth from a burned dresser and trunk tell us about the lives of community members most impacted by the riot.

Episode 2

In the next installment of our archaeology podcast series, we discuss National Park Service archaeologist, Maxwell Forton’s thought-provoking work on the defensive imagery tied to rock shelters at Navajo National Monument in Arizona.

Since the pandemic began, we have all come to understand the struggle of living in a world that’s suddenly shifted off its axis. In our discussion about ancestral peoples within a portion of northeastern Arizona, Maxwell Forton and I discuss evidence that hints at a similar upending and how people dealt with it at that moment in time. We also discuss landscape archaeology and the importance of context in trying to understand the larger picture.

Episode 1

In our first archaeology podcast, we discuss Ph.D. candidate, and adjunct professor, Alex Velez’s fascinating work on soundscapes on the Great Plains.
During our discussion, we dive into the sound of winds across the Plains, isolated farmers, and a 19th century idea that this combination might drive people to madness. We also discuss how Velez’s work with Neanderthals in Spain got him thinking about how sounds in particular places might affect people in peculiar ways.