Piltdown’s Lone Forger

This piece tells the true story behind paleoanthropology’s greatest hoax, Piltdown Man, with science as an indispensable forensic tool.

Archaeology
Piltdown’s Lone Forger
Healthy science relies on healthy skepticism.
November/December 2016

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Worlds Within Us

This story examines ongoing research into the evolution and development of the human microbiome, as observed in an unlikely place—trapped in the layers of human dental calculus—during a visit to the largest ancient DNA lab in the United States.

Archaeology
Worlds Within Us
Pulled from an unlikely source, ancient microbial DNA represents a new frontier in the study of the past—and modern health
September/October 2016

Ballad of the Paniolo

I traveled the the rugged slopes of Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island to learn about the paniolo, cowboys who integrated Hawaiian traditions with European, Hispanic, and Asian influences to form a distinct folk culture.

Archaeology
Letter from Hawaii: Ballad of the Paniolo
On the slopes of Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s cowboys developed a culture all their own
January/February 2016

Where There’s Smoke …

An unusual archaeology project in Connecticut had students collecting, classifying, and analyzing discarded cigarette butts to learn more about how behavior relates to community and how modern questions can be studied with the archaeological record.

Archaeology
Where There’s Smoke … 
Learning to See the Archaeology Under Our Feet
November/December 2015

Ghosts of the Golden Gate

Two shipwrecks, discovered in the murky waters around the Golden Gate in San Francisco, document the growth of the city’s port, the history of trade with Asia, and the challenges of early Asian-Americans.

Archaeology
Ghosts of the Golden Gate
Two ships, two continents, and the ocean that connects them
May/June 2015

Shipwreck Alley

In summer 2014, I traveled to northern Michigan and dove the amazing wrecks of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Dozens upon dozens of amazingly well-preserved shipwrecks there follow the development of shipping and travel on the Great Lakes, which opened the interior of the continent to exploration, trade, and industry.

Archaeology
Shipwreck Alley
From wood to steel, from sail to steam, from early pioneers to established industry, the history of the Great Lakes can be found deep beneath Thunder Bay
January/February 2015

Dawn of a Thousand Suns

This review of archaeology at the Nevada Test Site provides a unique look into the Cold War and offers a complex archaeology of science and war, or geopolitics and popular culture. The story made the front page of Reddit and was featured on BoingBoing.

Archaeology
Dawn of a Thousand Suns
As the beginning of the Atomic Age fades into history, archaeologists work to document a time of uncertainty and experimentation
November/December 2014

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