WHA– 5 Years Already?!

By Chelsi Slotten 

I’ll be honest, I’m a little amazed that I’m writing about our 5 year anniversary.  How has it been 5 years?! When we started the podcast and blog back in 2016 there was no plan for how long it would continue.  We simply saw an issue with representation in archaeology podcasts and decided to do something about it.

The Past

Our first episode was about the ARAP and the Oregon Militia Standoff. It’s old enough that the podcast is no longer available on the site.  Maybe we’ll do a re-release of that for a future anniversary.  Or maybe not. I’m a little worried about the audio quality from our first episode. We’ve learned a lot of the past 5 years and I know the audio quality has improved significantly. I’m not sure I want to revisit the pre-Zencastr recording days.

Over the last five years we’ve been lucky to record shows with over 50 different archaeologists who work around the world.  We’ve had regular guests, as well as many one time guests. We’ve released 89 episodes and covered a huge variety of topics including the impacts of politics on archaeology, the history of women in archaeology, and different sites and cultures.  Along the way I’ve met some amazing colleagues and built important professional and personal relationships.

The Present

I’m so happy to see how many more female-led podcasts and vlogs about archaeology there are now. ArchaeoAnimals, ArchyFantasies, and Amelia the Archaeologist to name a few.  We’re especially looking forward to collaborating on an episode with The Dirt Podcast later in the year.  I’d like to think that we were a small part of ensuring that women’s expertise is represented to a wider public while making the field more accessible to non-specialists.  Archaeology is an amazing and important field whether you dig in the dirt, write legislation to protect sites, or want to know more about the history of the world.  It helps us know who we are and where we come from.

The Future

Moving forward through the next five years we hope to keep providing important, relevant, interesting content to you.  We can only do that with your help.  If you’ve got an idea, want to come on the show, or have a suggestion on how to improve, we want to hear about it!  Please contact us. We’ve got some great content planned moving forward including episodes on: disability in archaeology with Dr. Laura Heath-Stouth, some recent publications on sexual harassment in the field, how to progress your career, and medieval archaeology!  We’ll also be adding to our blog with pieces about female archaeologists past and present, some archaeology basics, and resources for being a better ally in the field. We love hosting pieces by other archaeologists. If you’ve got an idea be sure to check out our contribution guidelines and be in touch!

We’re also in the midst of a website redesign to make the site more accessible.  The homepage has already been updated but you’ll probably notice some other small changes happening over the next couple of months. We’ve started working to transcribe our catalogue of shows.  It’s going to take a while as it’s time consuming and costs money.  If you’d like to consider supporting the work we do and making our content more accessible please check out our Patreon. Otherwise, subscribe on your favourite podcast app, follow us on twitter, and thank you for an amazing first 5 years.

Happy 5 Year Anniversary WIA!!

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