In the mountains of northern Spain, an archaeologist is tracking how caves, dugouts, and shelters were used in guerrilla warfare in the Spanish Civil War and the decades of strife that followed. The scars of this period remain raw, and make studying the archaeology of the period difficult.
Landscape of Secrets
Archaeologists confront painful memories of the Spanish Civil War
This biographical piece tells the largely forgotten story of a trail-blazing man of letters, and the first South Asian writer and thinker to make an impact in the United States.
The Spirited Life and Sad End of the First Indian-American Children’s Book Author
Dhan Gopal Mukerji was a prolific writer and an early cultural ambassador between East and West.
June 16, 2017
Deep in a lava tube in Iceland is what might be the oldest surviving Viking Age structure in the world. Is it evidence of a band of outlaws or rituals to suppress a world-destroying fire demon? I also provided photographs for the piece.
The Blackener’s Cave
Viking Age outlaws, taboo, and ritual in Iceland’s lava fields
This historical story, my first feature for Atlas Obscura, examines the history of how BDSM helped usher in third-wave feminism.
How the Leatherdykes Helped Change Feminism
A brief history of lesbian sadomasochism, from the shadows to the front lines of the “Sex Wars.”
May 1, 2017
The Computing Machine Laboratory in Manchester, England, led by logician and cryptanalyst Alan Turing, was at the vanguard of the birth of the computer age. Lesser known among the many innovations to come out of the lab are the first melodies generated by computer—a founding artifact of the age of digital music—which were recently analyzed and restored.
Digging Up Digital Music
“We never knew it sounded wrong until we heard it right.”
In a shed in Idaho, traces of the life and artwork of a celebrated self-taught, or outsider, artist have emerged. James Castle spent decades invested only in his bold, enigmatic art.
Seeing Beauty in the Mundane
Looking for traces of a celebrated but unusual artist in suburban Idaho
Based on a reporting and diving trip to Hawaii, this special feature examines the underwater archaeology of the Attack on Pearl Harbor on its 75th anniversary, from the wreck of USS Arizona, to Japanese midget subs, to a lone American seaplane.
December 7, 1941
The underwater archaeology of the attack on Pearl Harbor