Skip to content

A Conversation with Marilyn Johnson, author of “Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble”, January 8, 2015

January 8, 2015



One graduate student told me, “When the Apocalypse comes, you want to know an archaeologist, because we know how to make fire, catch food, and create hill forts,” and I promptly added her to my address book. KNOWS HOW TO MAKE HILL FORTS—who can say when that will come in handy? “Of course,” she continues, referring to the long-term employment prospects for her and her classmates, “we will end up living in cardboard boxes, just as our parents fear.”

from the first chapter of Lives in Ruins by Marilyn Johnson

This is one of those books that’s not only fun to read but also interesting and extremely informative.

In the front of most books you’ll find many pages that have very little printed on them—that’s where I jot down my notes about that book. More often then not my notes will fill up one, maybe two, of those nearly blank pages. For Lives in Ruins my notes stretched to six and a half pages of tiny print. When I went back to review my notes there were some that required my digging up (pun intended) a magnifying glass.

solitaireI hope you’re listening tonight when, if time allows, we’ll cover topics ranging from Neandertals and Homo neanderthalensis, from flintknappers to channel flake, from a four foot whale phallus to a deck of playing cards to help soldiers be aware of important archaeological sites in Iraq and Afghanistan, from Jean Auel to Joan Connelly and so many others with names as evocative as they are interesting including: Sarah Milledge Nelson; Kathy Abbass; Bill Sandy; Erin Coward; Kimberlee Sue Moran; Grant Gilmore and Laurie Rush.

Here are a number websites that may interest you:

safe_image.phpCLICK HERE for Marilyn John’s website

CLICK HERE for webpage about Lives in Ruins

CLICK HERE for the Archaeological Institute of America’s website

CLICK HERE for a site dedicated to the Fishkill Supply Depot

CLICK HERE for an article about the educational playing cards developed as an archaeology awareness program for soldiers

CLICK HERE for pictures of all 52+ playing cards in the deckimg_3985

CLICK HERE for 11 Awesome Things You Can See At The Explorers Club

CLICK HERE for CYARK a site dedicated to capturing at-risk cultural heritage sites with laser scans


Tune in to WNYE, 91.5 fm, tonight at 7pm to listen to our conversation. Or click here to listen to it as it streams live over the internet.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: