What Pandemics Leave Behind
At some time in the future, the novel coronavirus pandemic will fade. What will this globally traumatic contagion leave in its wake? In this episode of the SAPIENS podcast, hosts Jen Shannon and Chip Colwell keep an eye on the future while looking to the past for answers: In the 14th century, the Black Death killed as much as one-third of the population of Europe, but it also sparked new ideas that linger to this day, including one of our favorite modern myths.
In closing, Steve Nash returns to discuss the plague doctors of Venice and the many meanings of masks.
- Sara Toth Stub is a journalist based in Jerusalem who writes about religion, business, travel, and archaeology. Follow her on Twitter at @saratothstub and read her recent piece at SAPIENS magazine: “Venice’s Black Death and the Dawn of Quarantine.”
- Matteo Borrini is a forensic anthropologist in the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences at Liverpool John Moores University. Check out one of his academic papers for more about “Carmilla.”
- Jane Stevens Crawshaw is a senior lecturer in early modern European history at Oxford Brookes University and the author of Plague Hospitals: Public Health for the City in Early Modern Venice.
- Steve Nash is a historian of science, an archaeologist at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and a columnist for SAPIENS. Check out his column Curiosities and follow him on Twitter @nash_dr.
Chip Colwell: Welcome to SAPIENS: A Podcast for Everything Human. I’m Chip Colwell.
Jen: And I’m Jen Shannon.
Chip: So, Jen, it’s been months now since the global pandemic started. Where are you at with it all?
Jen: Well, I think things are starting to ease up, but I still feel like we’re in the middle of it. You know, we just had an outbreak in Boulder, where I live. So, it’s still, you know, masks everywhere. How about you?
Chip: Yeah, I definitely have conflicted feelings. Sometimes I feel like we’re kind of at the end of the tunnel. Other times, I feel like we’re just at the start of the tunnel. I really do feel like it depends on where you are in the world. You know, some countries, it seems like they are really in the thick of it. Other places, perhaps because of how they reacted when the pandemic first broke out, they seem to be handling things well, and life is back to so-called normal.
Jen: Yeah, well, I think whether you’re in the middle of it or you feel like you’re nearing the end, I’d really love to just know: How did we get here? But, you know, it’s not like we haven’t been here before.
Chip: That’s exactly right, Jen. And as an archaeologist, I love this question of how we got here, and in fact, a couple months ago, the journalist Sara Toth Stub wrote a piece for SAPIENS that offers insights into that exact question. The article is about the Black Death and the city of Venice, so for this episode we decided to get back in touch with Sara to dig a little deeper. And, Jen, you might be surprised about what we found.
Chip: So, before we jump in, I’m curious, where are you right now, and are you being quarantined yourself?
Sara Toth Stub: Yes. So, I’m in Jerusalem. I have lived here for about 15 years. And yes, we are also under stay-at-home orders.
Chip: Sara Toth Stub’s story starts about a year ago. Months before the first reports of COVID-19, she was planning a family vacation to Venice, Italy.
Sara: I had been to Venice a long time ago, but before we went this time, I understood that they were suffering from issues of over-tourism and it could be quite crowded. So, I was looking for other things to do.
Chip: As a travel writer, Sarah knew that sometimes the most interesting things are found off the beaten path.
Sara: And I wanted to visit some of the islands in the lagoon around Venice to get outside of the city proper, because there are some interesting things there.
Jen: Chip, have you ever been to Venice?
Chip: A long time ago. Yeah, I spent, I think about a week there, more or less. How about yourself?
Jen: Yeah, I was there a long time ago, too, actually. And I just remember the labyrinth of streets and canals and bridges. It is such a unique city.
Sara: In my research, I read about these two islands that used to serve as quarantine islands going back to the 14th, 15th century.
Chip: Those islands were called Lazzaretto Nuovo and Lazzaretto Vecchio? Is that right?
[punching numbers in a phone]
Jen: Hey, I have a really quick question. We’re recording for the podcast, and we have to say an Italian island name. Can you help me with the pronunciation?
Jen [whispers]: His wife is Italian.
Jen: Lazzaretto Vecchio. Got it.
Jen: Thank you.
Jen: All right, I’ll see you tonight at trivia.
Chip: These islands were called Lazzaretto Nuovo and Lazzaretto Vecchio. And when Sara Googled them, she was drawn in by beautiful pictures of ancient ruins slowly being reclaimed by nature and stories about Benedictine monks, plagues, and the Napoleonic wars.
Sara: And it looked like they had this very interesting archeology club and other volunteers who were sort of looking after the islands and offering tours of them. And I thought that it would be fascinating to visit.
Chip: As an archeologist, I can definitely say that would be a fascinating place to visit.
Jen: Yeah, but she was with her family, and maybe a ferry ride to see a bunch of ruined buildings is not their idea of a good time.
Chip: That’s a good point, and maybe that’s why she didn’t end up visiting. But the quarantine islands of Venice stuck with her.
Sara: And actually, as a freelance journalist, I reached out to a few editors in the travel space that I work for. There are these islands with this interesting history of quarantine. Would you be interested in a story about that? Because in the last few years, there have been, in various places around the world, small reports of little cases of bubonic plague. I said something like, This could be interesting in light of, you know, scientists and government officials warning about future pandemics. You know, this was a history story, but I was trying to tie it to the present.
Chip: Then, all of a sudden, it wasn’t so much a history story anymore.
[COVID-19 news montage]
Chip: In late March, I received a message from SAPIENS Features Editor Daisy Yuhas saying there was a “quick pitch” from Sara to consider. And immediately, when I saw it, I was like, yeah, if we’re about to be living through a quarantine or something like it, we’re going to want to know where it came from. So, we at SAPIENS told Sara: Go for it. Take us back to Venice of the early 14th century.
Jen: Wait. I know this part. The city was flourishing. It was the commercial capital of the Mediterranean, if not all of Europe. Every single day, ship loads of raw resources and crafted goods came through Venice’s harbors. And then, just as the Venetian commercial empire was at its peak, a pandemic of bubonic plague hit Europe. It was the Black Death.
Sara: And it killed many people. Estimates are just in Italy alone that it killed about a third of the people living there. So, obviously, this was something terrible. It had economic consequences, political consequences. You know, you can imagine with all of that death, with all of that fear, all the unimaginable disruption that that would cause. During a lot of that time there, there would have been no trade. I mean, the economy shut down a bit similar to what we’re seeing today. So, Venice suffered from the plague itself, and then it also suffered from not having a livelihood anymore because ships were not coming and going. So, merchants couldn’t work.
Chip: Sara says that the Black Death showed the leaders of Venice at the time that they really needed to get serious about public health. And they didn’t have germ theory or anything. But the idea of isolating sick people had been around for ages. And it seemed to help.
Sara: I mean, in the Western world, you can go back to the Bible, biblical sources that mentioned, you know, people with skin lesions having to spend time out in the desert, away from their tribe, from their people. So, this is not a new idea.
Chip: The powerful families that ruled Venice looked around at their beautiful city, with its dense network of canals and bridges and walkways. Then, they looked out past the central islands of the city to a small, isolated island we now know as Lazaretto Vecchio.
Sara: They wanted to designate that island as a place where people who are sick with plague or showing symptoms of plague, you know, people living in Venice that show any symptoms of plague, they would transport them to this island.
Chip: They set up a small hospital on the island. And when people got better, if they got better, they could return to the city.
Sara: And then about 60, 70 years later, they designated another island that’s now known as Lazzaretto Nuovo as a place of precautionary quarantine, meaning that whenever ships were arriving into Venice, if they were coming from an area where there were reports of plague, they would make that boat go to Lazzaretto Nuovo, and they would make the people from that boat stay there. And then, they would also unload all the goods from the boat, and they would try to clean them and air them out before putting the goods and the people back on the boat and letting the boat, you know, continue on to the one of the more main harbors of Venice.
Chip: The origin of the word quarantine actually came from this public health system. People had to stay in the island for 40 days: quaranta giorni in Italian.
Sara: Basically, rather than inventing isolation, they organized it.
Chip: So, today we’re talking a lot about how it seems as if effective public health protocols are at odds with the interests of the economy. What do these islands reveal about the conflict in 14th- and 15th-century Venice?
Sara: I think one of the ideas in the beginning was to build a system in order to protect the economy. So, that was an important motivating factor. And then another researcher that I spoke with was pointing out that they looked responsible.
Jane Stevens Crawshaw: So, my name is Jane Stevens Crawshaw, and I’m a social and cultural historian of the Renaissance period in Italy.
Sara: She wrote a book about plague hospitals called Plague Hospitals, Public Health for the City in Early Modern Venice, and she examined these islands as part of her work.
Jane: I mentioned in my introduction that I am a social historian and that what fascinated me about these hospitals in the first place was how people experienced them. And so, it’s probably no surprise to hear that what echoes for me is the human connection. It’s the emotions that people talked about experiencing in the documents that I’ve read and the accounts that I’ve read in the 15th and 16th centuries that I can hear echoes of in the things that friends and family say to me today.
Sara: And she was pointing out that taking all these steps and quarantining people made the city look safe. So, I think psychologically, it may have protected the economy or increased confidence in the economy, increased confidence in trade.
Jane: I think as well, the way in which people experience the end of epidemics is something that is on people’s minds at the moment. Obviously, the intensity with which the disease was being experienced ebbed and flowed, and that seems daunting. I suppose one sense of encouragement would be that you do see in the aftermath of epidemics that these things do bounce back. There is a real resilience there.
Chip: This is a really important point. The Venetians figured out how to fight a disease and protect people’s livelihood at the same time. So, Sara was starting to build a picture of what this history looked like from above, but she knew that archaeology would reveal a different side of the story. That’s why she reached out to the archaeology club she’d read about.
Sara: So, on Lazzaretto Nuovo, there’s a very large brick building warehouse. And that was the place where they unloaded all the goods from the ship and would try to air them out, wash them with seawater, or wash things with vinegar. And interestingly, inside that warehouse, there are a lot of drawings and graffiti on the wall from the people that worked there; it was a large team of workers. There are some sketches of boats. Someone I talked to said, maybe this was people, maybe on a non-busy day, they were just trying to pass the time.
Chip: But that’s not the most interesting thing she learned from the archaeology club.
Sara: Yeah, so actually, on Lazzaretto Nuovo, also they have discovered a large cemetery with mass graves.
Chip: In the years after the Black Death, there were intermittent outbreaks of plague in Venice itself. The Venetians needed a new place to put all the victims, and again, they looked to Lazzaretto Nuovo. These were tragedies for the people of Venice, but it means researchers today have access to a wealth of information about how epidemics affected the city in truly human terms.
Matteo Borrini: My name is Matteo Borrini. I am a forensic anthropologist. This basically means that my work is based on skeletal remains, human skeletal remains for legal purposes.
Chip: Sara reached out to Matteo because he participated in an archaeology project at the mass grave on Lazzaretto Nuovo between 2006 and 2008.
Matteo: During the three years of my research, we only investigated a tiny portion of the mass grave. But I remember that, for example, in some areas, they say in a couple of a square meters, we could actually find and count more than 12 individual people just packed like sardines in a box, one above the other. And these were, of course, the mark of the peak of the pandemic.
Chip: Matteo and his team were hoping this project would offer archaeology and anthropology students an opportunity to use modern forensic techniques on ancient human remains.
Matteo: We can look at the bones because bones are an extraordinary recording machine. They can record everything that happened during our life. And as anthropologists, we can basically rewind this recording tape and let the bone speak for us.
Chip: And sometimes the remains of people have an awful lot to say.
Matteo: And we did the several tests on the bones that we recovered from the Lazzaretto Nuovo. And we actually discovered that there were individuals with very poor diet in both variety and amount of food. So, these were the people from the lower class. At the same time, we found people with a good amount of food but not a lot of variety. And we can classify these, let’s say, in a sort of a middle class. While we had people with a lot of variety in food and a very good amount of nutrition as well. And in this way, we can classify these individuals in the upper classes.
Sara: And he was saying that, yes, socioeconomic status did make a difference. You know, wealthier people could maybe go to their country homes to try to get away from the plague. But if, you know, people were exposed, they were exposed, and their socioeconomic status didn’t help them.
Matteo: Of course, we analyzed only a portion of the mass grave and only part of the skeletons that came from that portion, so the analysis is quite limited at the moment. However, we showed that the society of Venice in, during the plague of 1576 and during the plague of the 1630 were actually a quite healthy society with some pathological conditions that we can still find nowadays, like artrosis (arthritis), for example. This is due to the physical stress on the vertebral column and on the vertebrae. We found some interesting pathological conditions. We found and we published a case of a possible juvenile achondroplasia. So, a person that was affected by achondroplasia.
Jen: Achondroplasia, what’s that?
Chip: You pronounced it better than I could have, I’m sure. I actually looked it up. It’s a rare disease characterized by dwarfism.
Jen: I find it really interesting that Venice was actually a relatively healthy society, I mean apart from the Black Plague. But even for the plague, some people were more healthy than others. You know, the wealthy were able to better protect themselves from it, isolating and doing other things like that.
Chip: Yeah, that has clear resonances with the coronavirus pandemic today, right. But here’s the thing. Up until this point, we’ve been learning through Sara’s reporting about what Venetians of 500 years ago did in response to a public health catastrophe. What we haven’t heard about as much was the why. What did they believe?
Matteo: So, it was July of 2006. And we recovered this skeleton, partial skeleton, that was in an area of the mass grave where there was evidence of the reopening of the graves. And this is quite common, actually, in a mass grave because it could happen that you buried some bodies and then after a few weeks, you are digging again in the same area to add other individuals, unfortunately. Now the thing that was clear is that that body was not only partially exhumed, but also was manipulated in the way that someone pushed a piece of brick inside the open mouth of this individual. That was the only thing that was clear to me when we discovered the body. What was not clear was the reason why someone should manipulate the body during a pandemic period when everyone was scared by the death, was scared by the corpses. So why did this happen?
Jen: That is a really good question. Chip, I mean, you’re an archeologist. Have you ever heard of a grave being reopened like that to put a brick in someone’s mouth?
Chip: It’s a really good mystery, and Matteo was ruminating on this mystery until one day that November when he found himself with a couple of hours to kill before the next train to Florence.
Matteo: And, you know, because I had to wait for my train, I was just strolling around inside this bookshop, and I found one book that was regarding medieval superstition. And in those few hours of train travel, I found that there was the idea in the medieval time that the Black Death and a pandemic could be spread by bodies of undead individuals that were actually eating their own shrouds inside their coffins.
Jen: Wait a minute. So, he’s saying that people believed undead bodies were chewing through the cloth shrouds that they were buried in?
Chip: Yes, that’s exactly it.
Matteo: Well, that was, you know, the light inside the dark that there was of my research. And in that moment, that started to give me a way to understand through reading, and I found that there are different links that connect this kind of superstition to the world of vampires and the world of nachzehrer.
Jen: Holy camoly, vampires! What is he talking about?
Chip: It’s a bit of a twist. So, here’s what happened. Matteo did a bunch of reading, and he learned about a version of the vampire myth from German folklore, the nachzehrer.
Matteo: Sometimes when you do research, they say the answer of your research question is hidden in the most, you know, strange places.
Jen: So, what exactly is this nachzehrer superstition?
Chip: Well, remember, back in this time after the Black Death, it was fairly common for there to be smaller, intermittent outbreaks of the plague. So, let’s say you’re in a small northern European village where one of these outbreaks happen. You don’t have modern science to explain where the disease came from or what it is or how it operates.
Matteo: So, the people were seeking for an explanation. And what they were doing was exhuming the first people that died before the pandemic spread out.
Jen: OK, just to be sure I have this right, our hypothetical villagers are reopening graves of people that died earlier on in these outbreaks. I guess, so they could add more corpses to the existing graves?
Chip: Yes, that’s exactly my understanding. And it was just like they did at the mass graves on Lazzaretto Nuovo. Listeners: Please take note, what you are about to hear contains graphic descriptions of human remains.
Matteo: So, they were exhuming these bodies, and these bodies belonged to people that died, let’s say, a few weeks before. Now, if you exhume a body after a few weeks, you don’t find a perfectly fresh corpse completely stiff with rigor mortis, but you don’t find either a skeleton—because for skeletonization, you need years.
Chip: These outbreak events were among the only times people of that period would likely see corpses at this level of decomposition.
Matteo: Now, if you open the body in that condition. So, after a few weeks, you will find the body in the middle of the decomposition. You will find that the abdomen is bloated, so is inflated due to the gas of the decomposition. You will find that around the mouth, you can see some red fluid, and this is actually the decomposition fluid that is pushed out of the mouth by the gases. All these things were not known by the people. What they saw in their mind was a body that was not look like a dead body because it was not stiffed as the dead people. The body was remarkably flexible, but also the body was inflated. So, it seems that he became fat due to, let’s say, overeating. How was it possible that the dead body was eating? What was this body eating?
Chip: Now, there are different versions of the vampire myth from all over the world, but the bloated abdomen, the red fluid around the mouth, and the fluid decomposing the cloth so it looks like the corpse has eaten through its own shroud: These are the characteristics of vampires as northern Europeans of this period conceived of them.
Matteo: So, wait a minute. We have a monster here. This is what they thought: We have a monster that is drinking blood. And this is the reason why a lot of people are dying in our city. And this is how the belief of the vampire spread.
Chip: And Matteo thinks he found evidence that this belief spread all the way to Italy, where 500 years ago, someone shoved a brick into the mouth of a partially exhumed corpse to stop it from chewing through its shroud and, you know, sucking the blood of the people of Venice.
Matteo: During this period of a lockdown, we have a lot of time to speculate and to think, and I could not avoid thinking about my research on pandemics. The main lessons that I learned is exactly from the vampire, let’s call it Carmilla, because, actually, we decided to give a name to this skeleton, to this lady, using both the name of my sister that was a digging with me and merging that with the name of the first female vampire in the literature. Now, what I learned from Carmilla is this: The superstition was born because people didn’t have the right knowledge. People were scared, and when the knowledge is slipping, we create monsters. Our nightmares are monsters. This is what we do when our rational thinking is slipping, we dream monsters, and this is what actually happened with Carmilla.
Jen: I never would have imagined that the plague was the origin of the vampire myth.
Chip: I know crazy, right?
Jen: Yeah, but given everything they knew at the time, it actually seems kind of like a logical explanation for what was happening, even if it wasn’t accurate.
Chip: Mm-hmm. And I think actually this is precisely where anthropology steps in and can be really useful because anthropologists, as you know, we get into the minds of people.
Chip: Not like vampires. [laughing] We’re getting into the minds of people. And in this case, you know, it’s like 500 years ago. We’re looking to make sense of how these people, you know, work to make sense of their world based on the information that was available to them. And here, you know, they really didn’t understand what was killing people. So, the living were left to fill the void of the unknown with their own imagination and cultural logic.
Jen: Well, yeah. I mean, we’re sort of doing some of the same thing right now. It’s not like we have complete information. But I mean, back then, uncertainty created monsters.
Chip: You know, here’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot with this episode: In a very strange way, they were actually right. Pandemics are like monsters. You know, I think this is something we’re all seeing up close and personal these days. Pandemics, they’re horrifying. They’re cruel. They grotesquely deviate us from our normal humanity. And so, in the case of pandemics, the monster is metaphorical, but it’s also literal.
Jen: Well, I have to I’m glad that we have better methods for understanding pandemics, but that doesn’t stop people from coming up with different stories about what’s happening based on their worldviews and their experiences. I mean, you know, there’s still conspiracy theories traveling around.
Chip: Yeah. And yet there are some differences, too, right? I mean, conspiracy theories can be really dangerous because they might mislead people or promote unsafe behaviors. It is different today because we have modern science, and we understand diseases much better, even if not fully. So, what I’m thinking is perhaps it’s best to leave the theorizing about pandemics to the scientists, and the monsters to the truly unexplainable.
Matteo: So, we need in this moment to absolutely trust science. We need to absolutely trust the journals, the scientific journals where we have the real news and the real information, and we need to wait. Those are the most important things that we need to have and what I have learned from Carmilla.
Chip: Hey, listeners! I enjoyed speaking with Steve Nash so much on our preppers episode a few weeks ago that I wanted to give him another call. Steve is an archaeologist and a curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science—and also a columnist for SAPIENS. Steve, how are you doing?
Steve: I’m doing all right, Chip. This is a fascinating moment that we’re living through, really.
Chip: Yeah. It just kind of keeps getting stranger and stranger, doesn’t it?
Steve: It does.
Chip: Well, several months ago, Sara turned in her story, and right around then, you turned in a column post, and the two had this really intriguing connection. Both of you wrote about this elaborate mask that doctors wore in Venice while treating plague victims in the 15th century. Can you tell us about those masks?
Steve: So, it was, we have to think about not just the mask, but the whole outfit that this person would have been wearing, this doctor, this plague doctor. So, it was a flat-top leather hat and then a mask that was effectively a beak. So, there was, you know, a 6-inch-long nose piece that was filled with botanical aromatics to try and cover the smell. And then it had eyes on it, of course, so that the doctor could see out. And then it had a fabric face covering and head covering and so on. And then the images that we see in drawings and things show this plague doctor in a long overcoat. And curiously enough, with a stick, a baton that had the Latin inscription on it, tempus fugit, which is one of my favorite phrases, because it means time flies. But in the context of a doctor coming up to you with a baton that says “time flies” on it, that doesn’t seem like such a good message to me.
Chip: Right. And then in walks this doctor and this bird mask, and, you know, the trench coat and the floppy hat and everything else. I mean, that must have only added to the horror rather than alleviating it.
Steve: Right. And there was the mask, which hides the identity of the person there. And the person’s job, who is also a clerk, and, you know, a religious figure and so on. They had multiple tasks. It was not simply to diagnose and heal because, of course, they couldn’t really diagnose the plague. They didn’t have germ theory. They didn’t have a good description or scientific understanding of what it was. So, it was a multifunctional role that this person was playing while wearing a mask that is completely different from, as far as I can tell, anything else that was out there at the time. It would have been a unique cultural and personal moment that I think people had a wide range of reactions to.
Chip: What’s the earliest evidence of masks in the archaeological record?
Steve: As I like to point out, the earliest known is never the earliest, right? So, the earliest-known examples of masks that we have that archeologists have found evidence for is 6,000–9,000 years old from the Middle East. And as I, you know, rather than focus on the particular, I like to focus on more general questions about when humans might have started doing things to their appearance that could be equated with masks or changing one’s identity.
And we see some of this, as many columns in SAPIENS have shown, we see this in Neanderthal behavior tens of thousands of years ago. Human beings were already doing things to alter their identities, perhaps with an indication that they were thinking about the afterlife at some point. But the earliest evidence that we have for masks right now, I think, is the Middle East from about 9,000 years ago. But if masks were made out of perishable items like feathers and branches and leaves and so on, they obviously would not preserve in the archeological record. So, ideally, we’d have a stone mask from 40,000 years ago, but a stone mask would be really uncomfortable to wear, wouldn’t it?
Chip: Yeah. So, we really don’t know when the first masks were, but it would seem from the archeological record that somewhere in the neighborhood about 9,000 years ago, we do begin to see evidence, concrete evidence of masks?
Steve: Yes. Yes, absolutely.
Chip: In your article, you point to this whole range of uses. You talk about funerary masks and practical protections like hockey, goalies needing to protect their face, expressing identities, hiding identities. But one thing that you’ve pointed to that’s really intriguing to me is the way that masks can also have a transformative power.
Steve: It’s clearly an aspect of what masks do and what they communicate to other people that they’re transforming you from who you are on an everyday basis to somebody who is, you know, is not you. And it’s not necessarily that you’re somebody else, but it’s not you for this moment or for this event or something like that. So, there’s transformations. Then, of course, there’s religious transformations and transformations into other worlds.
And while you were posing the question, Chip, I started thinking about the hockey goalie masks. And when I was a kid, I remember a player for the Minnesota North Stars, a goalie whose name was Gump Worsley, and he refused to wear a mask. And it was at the time when goalies were starting to wear masks in the National Hockey League. And he said, “I’ve never worn a mask. I’m not going to.” And so, he didn’t. And that was his identity.
And today we’d look at it and say, you know, the man was positively insane as a goalie in the NHL with a 3 ounce piece of hard rubber hurtling at him at 100+ miles an hour, to not wear a mask. And yet he had never done it. And by golly, he wasn’t about to do it, no matter what anybody else says. And doesn’t that argument sound familiar right now?
Chip: It sure does. Thanks so much, Steve. Really great chatting with you. And I look forward to checking in again with you soon.
Steve: Have fun, Chip, and be safe.
Chip: This episode of SAPIENS was produced by Paul Karolyi and mixed, audio edited, and sound designed by Jason Paton. It was hosted by me, Chip Colwell.
Jen: And me, Jen Shannon. SAPIENS is produced by House of Pod, with contributions from executive producer Cat Jaffee.
Chip: SAPIENS is an editorially independent magazine funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and published in partnership with the University of Chicago Press. Thanks to Danilyn Rutherford, Maugha Kenny, and all the staff at the Wenner-Gren Foundation and SAPIENS.org.
Jen: And a special thanks this time to Jane Stevens Crawshaw, Matteo Borrini, Sara Toth Stub, and Steve Nash. SAPIENS is part of the American Anthropological Association Podcast Library.
Chip: Until next time, be well, fellow sapiens.