The Teeth Beneath Your Feet: Oddities in Urban Archaeology

This episode of Distillations goes underground, and reveals the fascinating worlds beneath our city shoes.

Episode 190 | August 12, 2014

Where can you find a teacup, the molar of a goat, and an arrowhead all in one place? At an urban archaeology site, that’s where.

“The Teeth Beneath Your Feet: Oddities in Urban Archaeology” features urban archaeologists Doug Mooney, senior archaeologist at URS corporation and president of the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum, and Deirdre Kelleher, who is finishing her doctorate at Temple University.

We visit an artifact processing lab where volunteers are dusting off thousands of objects from a historic street in Philadelphia, and then we stop in on an excavation site alongside Interstate 95. Finally our guests discuss public archaeology, debunk a few of the field’s myths (no dinosaurs here, folks), describe the unique process of digging in cities, and explain why archaeology is important for everyone.


Hosts: Michal Meyer and Bob Kenworthy
Reporter & Producer: Mariel Carr
Guests: Deirdre Kelleher and Doug Mooney


“Quirky Sleuth” Philip Guyler (Audio Network)
“Actual Reality” Lucky Dragons 
“Hallon” Christian Bjoerklund
“What Is Its Vessel?” Dave Merson Hess
“Fisherman” Dave Merson Hess
“I Like Dogs” Dave Merson Hess
“Dream” (instrumental) Chan Wai Fat
“The Bear’s Just for Show” Krackatoa
“Healing Sleep” Infinite Third
“Orange Juice” Podington Bear
“Starling” Podington Bear
“Nature Kid” Podington Bear 

Special thanks to the Free Music Archive,