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January 19, 2022 21 mins

Hosts Dr. Ora Marek-Martinez and Yoli Ngandali share how they found their way to archaeology and what it means to be Black and Indigenous archaeologists. From defying the status quo in a classroom to diving through sunken ships, Ora and Yoli bring listeners on a journey of reclaiming stories and reimagining history.


  • (00:00:10) How hosts Dr. Ora Merek-Martinez and Yoli Ngandali met.
  • (00:03:27) Why Indigenous archaeology is not the same as non-Indigenous archaeology.
  • (00:09:11) What is Maritime archaeology?
  • (00:12:18) Important vocabulary for Season 4.
  • (00:18:10) What is the future of archaeology?
  • (00:19:38) Credits.


SAPIENS: A Podcast for Everything Human, is produced by House of Pod and supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation. SAPIENS is also part of the American Anthropological Association Podcast Library. This season was created in collaboration with the Indigenous Archaeology Collective and Society of Black Archaeologists, with art by Carla Keaton, and music from Jobii, _91nova, and Justnormal. For more information and transcriptions, visit


Additional Sponsors:
- The Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies
- The Denver Museum of Nature & Science
- The Imago Mundi Fund at Foundation for the Carolinas

For more information including episode transcripts, visit and check out the following resources:



About The Hosts:

Dr. Ora Marek-Martinez (she/her/asdzaìaì) is a citizen of the Diné Nation, she's also Nez Perce. A Director at the Native American Cultural Center, her work includes supporting & ensuring the success of Northern Arizona University Native American & Indigenous students through Indigenized programming & services. An Assistant Professor in the Northern Arizona University Anthropology Department, her research interests include Indigenous archaeology & heritage management, research and approaches that utilize ancestral knowledge, decolonizing & Indigenizing methodologies and storytelling in the creation of archaeological knowledge to reaffirm Indigenous connections to land & place. Dr. Marek-Martinez is a founding member of the Indigenous Archaeology Coalition.

Yoli Ngandali (she/he/hers) is a member of the Ngbaka Tribe from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a Ronald E. McNair Fellow, and a Ph.D. Candidate in Archaeology at the University of Washington. Her research interests span Archaeologies of colonialism, Indigenous archaeology, Archaeologies of Central Africa, Trans-Indigenous traditions of culture sharing, Black & Indigenous futurity, digital conservation science, remote sensing, and multi-spectral imaging. Her doctoral dissertation develops digital and community-based participatory research approaches to Indigenous art revitalization within museum settings and highlights Indigenous carving traditions in the Pacific Northwest. 

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