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March 30, 2022 37 mins

Archaeology helps reimagine a fuller range of experiences, including how people ate, innovated, and rebelled. In this episode, “slave cuisine” opens a window to honor the legacy of Black creativity, resistance, and community. 

Dr. Peggy Brunache, a food historian and archaeologist, finds shellfish remains in a village of enslaved people, uncovering an untold story of how people found ways to resist. Dr. Kelley Deetz uses Southern food, which is really African food, to initiate difficult conversations about the history of slavery. 


  • (00:01:44) A history of asking “why” – from Caribbean markets to American history classrooms.
  • (00:04:50) Introduction.
  • (00:05:56) Dr. Peggy Brunache’s journey to food archaeology as a Haitian-American.
  • (00:13:57) Uncovering slave cuisine.
  • (00:22:33) Dr. Kelley Deetz describes education through food at Stratford Hall.
  • (00:30:43) Slave cuisine today.
  • (00:34:38) 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:

This episode was made possible by the UC Berkeley Archaeological Research Facility and the Imago Mundi Fund at Foundation for the Carolinas.


Additional Resources:





Dr. Peggy Brunache is a lecturer in the history of Atlantic slavery at the University of Glasgow and the first director of the newly established Beniba Centre for Slavery Studies. Follow her on Twitter @peggybrunache.


Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz is a historian and archaeologist who works as the director of collections and visitor engagement at Stratford Hall, the director of education and historic interpretation at Virginia’s Executive Mansion, and a visiting scholar in the department of African American studies at the University of California, Berkeley. 

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