Episode 114: Black Archaeology

Archaeologist are essential to our understanding of human culture and activity throughout history. Unfortunately, people of African descent remain underrepresented in the field. For today’s episode, we discuss the importance of Black archaeologists in preserving neglected histories. Specifically, we interview Dr. Justin Dunnavant, a Vanderbilt University Academic Pathways Postdoctoral Fellow and the co-founding president of the Society of Black Archaeologists. During our conversation, we learn more about Dr. Dunnavant’s motivation for becoming an archaeologist (56:16) as well as myths and misconceptions about the field (58:15). We then explore his research (1:02:45), his life as a maritime archaeologists in search of slave ship wrecks (1:04:15), and his work as a consultant for the National Museum of African American History and Culture (1:11:55). We close the interview by discussing ways to reduce barriers to entry for Black students who may be interested in archaeology (1:14:05), the importance of and need for Black archaeologists (1:16:30), and the amazing things on the horizon for Dr. Dunnavant and the field more generally (1:22:18).

Other Topics Include:

00:30 - Catch up with Ty and Daphne

05:52 - “Oh Lawd” News

27:30 - BhD Political Discussion

51:38 Introduction of Today's Special Topic

54:50 - Learn more about Dr. Justin Dunnavant

1:26:30 - Ty and Daphne Reflect on the Episode


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