Podcast: Have Beans, Will Travel

Beans, beans! They’re good for the heart! In this month’s episode we are joined by two specialists from the EXARC Experimental Archaeology Award winning project Investigating the Origin of the Common Bean in the New World. We hear about the difficulties identifying beans in the archaeological record and how using organic residue analysis might begin to spill the beans… on beans.

Timothy Baumann is the lead investigator on the project. His research interests in experimental archaeology focus mainly on prehistoric and historic foodways, pottery and tools from the south-eastern United States, which is where the idea for the project came from. Tim is also the former director the University of Tennessee’s Laboratory of Environmental Archaeology and Curator of Archaeology at the University of Tennessee’s McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture.

Eleanora Reber is a Professor of Archaeology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and Interim Chair of the International Studies Department. She is also a specialist in organic residue analysis and her lab, the UNCW Pottery Residue Lab is a dedicated facility for gas chromatography – mass spectrometry analysis of absorbed and visible pottery residue analysis. Nora has research interests in plant domestication and agriculture, and she plays an important role in the project as lead in absorbed residue analysis.

Tune in from Friday 9 th June to hear Tim and Nora chat everything beans!