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May 9, 2023 27 mins

When archaeologists excavate, they have some idea of what they will find in the ground. But in 2016, a team of archaeologists from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, was genuinely surprised when they uncovered a Victorian-era cache. In the process, they forged an uncommonly deep connection with an individual from the past. 

Narrated by Anya Gruber, this story shows how archaeology can humanize the past and how loss can bring us closer. 

SAPIENS: A Podcast for Everything Human is produced by House of Pod. Cat Jaffee was the editor for this piece, with help from producer Ann Marie Awad. Seth Samuel was the audio editor and sound designer. The executive producers were Cat Jaffee and Chip Colwell. 

Anya Gruber is a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the University of Texas, Austin, specializing in paleoethnobotany. She previously worked in New Mexico and currently works in coastal Massachusetts. Anya writes about a range of topics, including ancient diets, medicinal plants, mourning practices, and infectious diseases. Follow her on Instagram @anyagruber.

SAPIENS is an editorially independent podcast funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation. SAPIENS is part of the American Anthropological Association Podcast Library.

Check out these related resources: 

·   Cole’s Hill Memorial Cache: An Introduction at The Fiske Center Blog

·   From Dustpan to Daguerreotype 

Episode sponsor:

·   This episode is included in season 5 of the SAPIENS podcast, which is part of the SAPIENS Public Scholars Training Fellowship funded with the support of a three-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

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