Aliens and Heavy Metall-urgy

Weapons, something that has been driving our evolution and survival as a species. Ancient Alien theorists suggest alien beings from other worlds gave us weapons, metals, and techniques. But what would an archaeologist say about all of this?

In this episode, we will look at the evolution of metallurgy, from the earliest copper age to the invention of steel. What do we know, and how did these techniques evolve? As we will see, it was not as simple as one might think, as metalwork developed in different regions at different times.

We will also look at Katanas, and they're supposed superior quality. Are katana the definitive weapon we see in movies, or is this just modern pop culture myths?

In Digging up Ancient Aliens, our host Fredrik uses his background in archaeology to discover what is genuine, fake, and somewhere in between in popular media, such as Ancient Aliens, Ancient Apocalypse, and many other places.

In this episode:

Fire - an alien gift? (2:20)

Metalworking (8:50)

Bronze Age (16:35)

Iron Age (22:24)

Blacksmith magic (28:26)

The Katana and iron in Japan (32:53)

Joan D'Arc (39:48)

Sources, resources and further reading suggestions

Hi, hello, and välkommen to Digging Up Ancient Aliens. This is the podcast where we examine strange claims about alternative history and ancient aliens in popular media. Do their claims hold water to an archeologist, or are there better explanations out there? 

We are now on episode 43, and I am Fredrik, your guide into the world of pseudo-archaeology. This time we are back in alien territory. This episode will cover topics brought up in Ancient Aliens episode 9 from season 3 called "Alien and deadly weapons." 

Could it be that ancient weapons were gifts from aliens? It will be an episode where we focus heavily on metal. I'll guide you through the evolution of metalworking, and we will notice that aliens did not have anything to do with it.

Then I'll bravely declare war against anime experts and katana lovers by reviewing common myths about this sword style. Are katanas superior to European longswords? Not really, but let's find out. 

In the last section, I'll talk a bit about Joan D'Arc, and we will find out the mundane reality of miracles. So I might upset alternative historians, 4chan, and the Catholic church in one episode. That might be some sort of record. If you want to support this bravery, stay to the end, and I'll tell you how. 

Remember that you can find sources, resources, and reading suggestions on our website, There you also find contact info if you notice any mistakes or have any suggestions.

Now that we have finished our preparations let's dig into the episode.

Fire - an alien gift?

Where would a logical place be to start an investigation into alien weaponry? Apparently, with fire because it's where we will begin everything. We have learned over this series that according to the Alien Theorist, humans did not invent fire but a gift from the aliens. We hear it repeated here, but let's listen to what David Southwell says.

"In Native American traditions, quite often, it's fire was stolen from the world above. In Maori legends, again, we see the theft of fire from the gods. In the Greek legends, it's Prometheus stealing fire from the gods." - David Southwell.

If you have been listening to this podcast for a while, you know that, as usual, these myths are taken out of context or misrepresent the story. Among the Ojibwe, Menominee, Pit River, and other tribes, there are elements of fire being stolen by other legendary creatures. But at the same time, we find among the Mi'kmaq, Lenne Lenape, and Cherokee tribes stories that animals brought the gift of fire to the world. If we have to take each account literally, would it not be equally probable that an animal taught humans how to make fire? Or could it be that these people are trying to make sense of a world with the tools and traditions they have?

In the Maori legends I could find, there seem to be a couple of different versions. The one most repeated, however, is about the cultural hero Māui and his interactions with Mahuika. There is a bit of trickery within the story; Mahuika stores the power of fire in her nails. When the hero meets with this fire goddess, he is well-behaved, and she honors his request for fire and hands him a nail. While Māui is heading back to the village, he wonders what would happen if Mahuika lost her power; how would she create fire? So he put the nail out and go back and get another, and another and another.

At last, Mahuika loses her temper and tries to kill Māui with fire, but the hero receives help from the weather god, who puts the fire out. In a last attempt to kill the hero Mahuika throws her final nail, but it misses and "implants itself in the Mahoe tree, the Tōtara, the Patete, the Pukatea, and the Kaikōmako trees." These trees cherish the power of the fire and store it within themself. Māui then carries back dry sticks to the village and teaches them how to create fire.

The traditional way of making fire is to use "hika ahi" or fire plow. The Maori use a sharpened stick from the Kaikōmako tree on a piece of Mahoe. This method is far more effective than I thought; from videos online, it took a few seconds to work up enough friction to create smoke. In a way, I can understand the idea that the Mahuika's power was stored in these types of woods. It's a great example of how myths are used to explain the world around us. But to add aliens to this narrative makes the whole thing illogical. These beings of superhuman technology and knowledge visit the Moari just to show them how to create fire with two sticks. 

Then we have the Prometheus legend, and I believe it's widely misunderstood. It's usually said that Prometheus, the titan, and friend of Zeus, stole fire and brought it to humans. The issue with this narrative is that it's only half of the story. The first known preserved telling of the myth comes from Hesiod's "Theogony." Zeus demands a sacrificial meal as payment from the mortals. Prometheus, who has a soft spot for humans, don't want them to waste the best part of the animals. So the titan hides the meat inside the animal's stomach and unedible skin in a cube of glistening fat. Zeus, of course, goes for the great-looking piece of fat, only to realize the rouse when the offering is burnt. As punishment for this, Zeus takes away fire from the humans. 

Note that the humans had fire all along, but Hesiod never tells us how it was first gotten. But again, Prometheus, who feels for the now cold humans, steals the fire back from them and receives his well-known punishment from Zeus. 

These are great examples of how these ancient alien experts don't understand the myth they quote. Often they base their ideas on a public reimagining of these legends. It's almost like using Disney's Hercules movie as a source of Greek mythology. Would it not also be more logical that the people of time associated fire with heaven due to lightning? I wonder.

Metal working

But why are we talking about fire? Well, it sort of leads us to the next subject, metalworking. Metals have made our life easier and let us as humans do some fantastic things—also, many bad things, some really nasty stuff. How did we create this technology? According to Giorgio Tsoukalos, the process went as follows.

"We go from attaching sharp stones to the ends of sticks, and then all of a sudden, we have actual swords." - Giorgio Tsoukalos.

The implication is that the shift from the Stone Age to the metal ages was so swift that we couldn't have figured this out ourselves. The source of metalworking must, therefore, be the alien visitors. Is this what we see in the archaeological records? One day our ancestors happily created flint tools, and the next day hammered out bronze or iron swords. 

The answer is, of course, no. As with most technologies, we can find a slow but steady evolution of metalworking. The technologies will also differ depending on where they are practiced and the raw materials avalible to the people—something we would not expect to see if an outside force introduced technology.

So let's start at the beginning, shall we? It's not as if we one day just picked up a piece of copper and started to hammer it into a spear. The first use of metals goes back to the Neolithic age, not to create objects but slowly experiment with what we could do with this material. Initially, the Neolithic people used red oxide in graves and as wall decorations. In the Sumerian towns of Eridu and Susa, they used hematite, an iron mineral, to burnish pottery around 4000 BCE. Egypt found use for copper minerals in cosmetics due to the green and blue colors they produce. 

As we see here, people used and experimented with these minerals before we got into the Metal Ages. A logical question might be, when does a period start? Is it the first time technology is used? The first time someone started to hammer on a piece of native copper? Or is it when society begins to adopt the technology? I would argue that we should set the date when it's adapted, but this is worth remembering. The periods are more fluent than we might think at first.

We can find early single finds of copper artifacts in the form of needles, awls, and beads created around 7000 BCE. These artifacts are made from native copper. Native metals are elements that can be found in their pure metallic form, meaning you can pick them up and recognize them without refining them. Gold is maybe the most obvious example of a native metal, I think we all would be able to identify this element in nature.

As long as a copper object has not been heated, we can tell if an object is made out of native copper or from mining. But as soon as the melting process is introduced, we no longer know if it's native. The first objects we find in copper, since before the bronze age, we have the forgotten copper age, are cold hammered. They were worked on without heating and beaten into shape from their native state.

We know quite a bit about native copper and this type of metalworking because the indigenous people of America still used this technology as the Europeans started their colonization. The issue with cold hammering, either copper or gold, is that the end product is relatively brittle. So using the metal for tools was out of the question, and at first, it appeared to have been a status symbol. 

But metalwork was a tad limited until the invention of pottery kilns. The earliest known use of a kiln can be found in Tepe Ghabristan and Tal-i Iblis in Iran, dating to around 6000 BCE. Çatal Hüyük, Turkey, also has a claim to be one of the earlier sites; however, the date is quite uncertain and ranges from 7000 BCE to 6000 BCE. While the locations on the Iranian Plateau have kilns preserved from this era, Çatal Hüyük has evidence of slag. But there was a slow transition from cold hammering technology to smelting due to their dependence on native copper. It was not until around 3500 BCE that we started to see an increase in objects. With the establishment of Sumerian City states, the demand for copper increased, encouraging people to go to the highlands in search of larger quantities than native copper offers. 

We know that the techniques spread rapidly during this time and that local copper production was established quickly. Even if the minerals were unavailable locally, they were traded for and refined in the villages. Several different levels of smelting techniques are becoming clear at this point and seem connected to various groups' cultural development.

While we have spent some time in the near east, it's easy to think that copper production originated here and then spread outward. While this technology has some diffusionist tendencies, it most likely evolved in different places. While Iran and Turkey were relatively early in using copper, South East Europe picked up the technology around 5000 BCE. The earliest copper usage started around 3000 BCE in the Shaanxi province in North West China. The exciting part is that they most likely developed independently. Again, not something we would see if an outside force introduced this technology. 

After the break, we will enter the Bronze Age and continue our heavy metal trip.

Bronze Age

Welcome back! After we started to get the hand of copper and smelting, we experimented with alloys and developed, in the end, bronze. The introduction of bronze opened new possibilities due to the more robust material. More people could afford to invest in bronze since it would last much longer than copper tools. 

As I mentioned, bronze was not a sudden creation but a result of experimentation. Before bronze, we were already creating alloys. The most common was arsenical copper. So by mixing copper and arsenic, you could create a metal that was a lot harder compared to copper. The main drawback with this method is that you are poisoning everyone around you when melting the arsenic.

The issue with tin is that it's scarce in its native form and usually found only in granite in a few locations such as China, Bolivia, Nigeria, and Cornwall. So if most of the tin is enclosed in granite, how did the copper-age people access this material? Aliens? Sure, or hear me out, they used a mineral called cassiterite. If found in a purer state, this mineral is white, but in most cases, it's found diluted with other minerals and then dark in color. But if melted, you can extract the tin minerals trapped inside the cassiterite.

Most of our early bronze seems not to have been created from pure ingots; this was something that would come later. So in early bronze manufacturing, copper and cassiterite were added together in the furnace and were then heated to the melting point of bronze. At this point, the cassiterite will then reduce to tin that the copper absorbs. The obvious drawback of this method, in turn, is that you do not have the same control over the properties between tin and copper. You want to have a 12% tin mixture to get the best quality of bronze. 

When bronze was introduced depends on the culture and area we are looking at. We find the earliest bronze work in Mesopotamia. Primarily centered around the Euphrates and Tigris Delta, the earliest signs of true bronze are at the top of 3000 BCE. In Egypt, we start to see an increase of tin in copper production around the fourth dynasty, roughly around 2600 BC. Interestingly, Egypt entered its true bronze age relatively later than other locations.

Do you remember just a moment ago when we talked about how quickly the Iranian plateau developed its melting process? When it comes to bronze, these locations were not as quick. Some argue that the people in Mesopotamia did keep the tin to go south and leave Iran in a longer copper age. But around 2000 BCE, we see how even Iran gain access to tin and bronze. 

Let's not forget South America, where we see a concise copper age, possibly due to the large tin deposits near Lake Titicaca. Bronze work spread along the Pacific coast and the Andes from around 1000 CE. The knowledge of bronze seems not to have reached higher than in Peru and Ecuador. South American cultures used bronze in axes, knives, pins, and chisels. Many of these objects have been found around Machu Pichu and other sites. South America has several examples of rather complex alloys. In bronze objects in Machu Pichu, we have, for example, tin bronze but with an addition of 18% Bismuth. This unusual concoction did not make the objects more brittle. But the metal smiths in South America seem not to have found the sweet spot of 12% tin. Around Lake Titicaca, the chisels and the like contain about 4-9% tin, and around Peru and Bolivia, it could range from 0,7% to 13%. 

Something we should take note of here is that the shift between the technologies here is relatively slow. We often like to imagine that people will jump on board a new idea as soon it becomes avalible. Just think back on smartphones; while this is a device that most people have now, far from everyone got a smartphone in 2007 when they first came. I bought my first device in 2011 when they had gotten better and more affordable.

Iron Age

How is it with the iron ages, then? Philippe Imbrogo put it like this. 

"No one really knows when people first started making steel. Some say it only dates 1000 BC."

I believe Philippe is talking about iron and not steel. Yet he asks a valid question, when did we start to make iron? The question is more complex than one might think. Iron, like copper, can be found in a native form, especially from meteorites. Therefore, we can see iron trinkets, which were created alongside copper. So let's re-phrase the question: when did we start working iron with intent and advanced techniques, not just cold hammering? 

The earliest locations of ironworking can be found at Alaca Hüyük, where the first known iron dagger was found. But iron also had a slow start, and we didn't see large-scale production until 1200 BCE. From this time forward, iron became the dominant metal to some extent. But the Greeks and the Romans used bronze in their armies for some time. The Roman military still had armor of bronze up to the 3rd century CE.

Ironwork has a clearer diffusion spread than copper and bronze. There are, however, indications that iron technologies were invented at different times and locations. Chinese metalworking began in 600 BCE, well after the adaption of Asia Minor. A key difference is that Chinese metalwork starts with using blast furnaces. We didn't encounter this technology in the Western world until 1100 CE when it was created in Sweden. From Sweden this technology then spread throughout Europe between 1400 and 1500. Again we see an example of a technology independently developing in separate parts of our world.

Iron smithing was developed so late and slowly because of its dependency on heat. To get rid of all impurities, you need to melt the iron, and this does not happen until the metal reaches 1540°C. The early furnaces were incapable of this, and the furnaces developing around 1200 BCE were only capable of heating the iron to 1200°C. This is enough to melt the iron and eliminate some impurities or slag. The issue is that this reduction, called bloom, will still have charcoal and slag left. On top of this, the chemical reduction is often in smaller fragments. These pieces must then be welded together in the smith's fire and hot hammered.

How iron was obtained will also differ depending on where in the world you were located. In Sweden and central Europe, access to iron in geological rock was minimal during the Iron Age, and they used bog iron instead—a highly impure iron mineral that accumulates in bogs, typically fed by iron-rich spring water. These clumps are fished out of the wetlands in late spring of midsummer when these areas are the dryest. The mineral was then refined and melted in a furnace. When I say this mineral is impure, I mean it is impure, from 400 kilos of bog iron you get after the reduction about 35 kilos of iron that can be used for smithing.

Within the Scandinavian population, the technology was common knowledge. We can see this in how much iron is left in the slag at a site. Look at the Viking settlement of L’Anse aux Meadow in Canada. Reading the slag we find at the site, we see that the people here knew how to do it but not the expertise. There's a lot of iron left in the slag compared to the more skilled ironworkers in Iceland.

Blacksmith magic

We also get some extraordinary ideas regarding blacksmiths and their magical abilities in the show.

"They mustn’t look the village blacksmiths in the eyes because people are frightened of being killed by his gaze. The blacksmith isn’t allowed to live in the village because of his magical powers." - Peter Fiebag.

As we just noted, most people in the middle ages could most likely do a bit of everything. Melt ore, maybe hammer out some nails and such from that. I've seen some lists of things a person was supposed to be able to do in one day. On one, we can learn that a man was supposed to be able to do the following:

Dig 80 meters of dike,

cut down 15 trees,

cut six loads of firewood,

cut 100 hop sticks,

sharpen and polish 110 pairs of poles for roundpole fence,

build a sled,

add two layers of logs on a log house,

cut 100 sheaves of leaves.

This is just an example of what someone in Sweden would be expected to perform during the day. But you need tools and be able to maintain them. In contrast to what Peter Fiebag told us, the blacksmith was very important in society and even had a guild. It is correct that myth and superstition surrounded the smith occupation. Some myths might even be due to how the smith operates. You see, some parts of the blacksmith's work could be done in public. The smith won't care if you see him hammer iron or steel since this is a skill you must acquire over several years. The melting process, though, was something they wanted to keep for themself. 

The myths I've found regarding the smiths seem pretty tame. Anvil dust is supposed to have magical properties. But in the minds of the past, many things were supposed to have magical properties. The blacksmith position in society was a lot better than we're led to believe by the Ancient Alien proponents.

As we saw with the Viking settlement in Canada, they were terrible at melting iron compared to the craftsman in Iceland. They most likely wanted to keep the melting process to themselves and within the guilds. Learning how to get the proper temperature to get good steel will not take years of training. As with any secrecy, this led to speculation and superstition. However, it was never on the level we heard here; this sounds more as they describe an executioner than a smith. 

As you see here, the Alien Astronaut theorist have simplified a pretty complex process to the extent it's misguiding. What I've gone over here is just a scratch on the surface, and we could go deeper into different periods and technologies. A subject we will revisit and maybe a subject we should dedicate an episode to in the future. But let's move on and investigate some of the alien's deadliest weapons, just after these messages.

Japanese weapons

As we head into the next section, I have to admit something. I would love to be a sword nerd, and I've tried hard to be one, but alas. The sword fewer has eluded me; while I find swords pretty and maybe a bit fun to wave around, I'm not an expert. Luckily others are, and I did consult a couple of them since this next part might upset some of the neckbeards and dweebs online.  

The Ancient Aliens' theorists are heading into Samurai territory and the mystical katana. Most of it is not too bad, Rafael Kosche, who seems to be the History Channel resident sword expert, does a decent job explaining the history of the katana. Some Japanese fetishism is sneaking in here and there, but Rafael does not say something extraordinarily odd. Keeping in mind he is a white American talking about Japanese swords. He covers some rituals and myths about the katana, but it's not until Michael Dennin from UC Irvine jumps in things go wrong. 

“The famous stories are always, of course, the Japanese steel used for the samurai blade. It’s been very hard to reproduce because some of these processes can be incredibly sensitive to the exact detail of the temperature. Some of its features are just its flexibility and the way they fold it over and over, and its incredible strength and its resistance to oxidation, which is what you really need to keep something sharp.”

Japanese iron quality was not as excellent as most legends make it out to be. A Tatara could not get the iron hot enough to melt it, leaving slag, coal, and other impurities behind. What comes out of the Japanese furnace is referred to as tamahagane. We can call it iron ore for simplicity. This ore will then have varying quality and impurity, and the best parts are more silvery-looking in color. The finest bits are then selected and turned into steel swords. 

The sword smiths then repeatedly folded and hammered the iron was developed as a way to get these impurities out of the iron. The technique was necessary to create a good quality product. But the reason why European, Asian, African, or any other regions working iron or steel did this was due to their better furnaces. Using the folding technique on mono steel without impurities will not improve the product. The impressive feat we see here is that Japan figured out how to turn something lackluster into a good quality product. Ultimately, it all comes down to how you tamper the steel. If the tampering is terrible, it does not matter how excellent the steel quality is. You will have a lousy product. 

So as things turn out, there is no secret behind the steel of Katana Swords. But how about the idea that Katanas is much sharper and better than any other sword? We saw that the steel is not different from what we find elsewhere, just using a different method. The legendary sharpness, however, is a modern myth. It originates from B-movies back in the day in combination with the idea that European swords were dull clubs. 

The dull medieval swords are a myth with a bit of unclear origin. It could originate from the fact that some European sword techniques include the fighter holding the sword by its blade. So the logic is that if you hold a sword by the edge, you want it dull so you don't cut yourself. But reading the manuals of the time, we learn there are ways to control the blade without slicing yourself, and as long you don't slide the hand up or down, you don't have something to worry about. The knight also had leather gloves making it even safer. Test it yourself, take a knife, and press your thumb against the edge. You won't cut yourself, and it won't even leave a mark. [Static noice] So my lawyer just told me that you should not try this at home. I'm also supposed to add that this show is only for educational and entertainment purposes. 

Jokes aside, the katana is a sword with a long tradition. There will be katanas of excellent quality and those of bad quality. Rituals and mythology do not make the blades exemplary; experienced smiths are. It does not matter if they operated in Japan, China, Scandinavia, or wherever. There have been people with great skill, talent, and the connection to get their hands on the best raw materials. There is no room for alien intervention in all of this.

Let's leave Japan and turn our gaze toward France. Have some historical figures had access to weapons of alien power?

Joan D'Arc 

How about historical people? Do we have any examples of these having access to these magical alien swords? According to the Ancient Alien Theorists, it so happened that Joan D'Arc had one of these magic weapons.

"When Joan of Arc was arrested and brought to what we now know of as her condemnation trial, her inquisitors were determined to get information about her sword. Her inquisitors were obsessed about finding out about her sword, and that is because Joan of Arc's sword was reputed to have legendary power, divine power. Joan claimed that her voices, her angelic voices, led her to this sword."

Joan D'Arc is a character we will devote more time to in a future episode. We're not given much here, and they get into some problematic stuff in a different episode. The short story of Joan's life is that she was most likely in 1412 and is most known for her part in the 100-year war. Joan claimed that angels and saints were giving her divine knowledge and was part of leading the French to victory and installing Charles VIII on the throne.

How is it then, were the inquisitors of Joan D'Arc interested in the sword? Luckily for us, the records of Joan's trials have been preserved. I'm using Daniel Hobbins's translation, but a few online resources that are freely avalible. I will have linked those as well on the episode page. 

No preserved record mentions the sword possessing any magical power. In Joan's trial, they spend some time talking about her swords. We learn, "She says as soon as the sword was found, the clergy there rubbed it and at once the rust fell off effortlessly." Something that might be expected when an angel foretells a sword, but they then detail the colors of the different scabbards she got by the village where the sword was found. 

They then asked if she had put any blessings on the sword or curses, which Joan denied, indicating that the sword was important to her because it was found in the Cathrine du Fierbois Cathedral. Joan's favorite saint and the reason for the importance of the sword. While being asked if she had tried to pray to make the blade give her better luck, she is supposed to have said, "It’s good to know that I would have wished my armor”—mon harnois in French—“to have good fortune."

Joan was wounded twice in battle; the scribe seem to have left some of her wit in the protocol. They spend almost more time on the banner this day, and Joan even says she prefers having the banner into battle over the sword. She intended not to hurt anyone, so the flag was more suitable for her. 

Some exciting piece of information regarding the story about Joans sword can be found in Chronique de la Pucelle and Journal du siège d'Orléans. In these chronicles, the story of this sword is brought up, but they differ a little from what we hear at the trial. According to these earlier accounts, Joan asks for a sword from Saint Catherines du Fierbois Cathedral. The important part is that it's supposed to have five crosses on the blade. 

According to Chronique de la Pucelle there was a box of swords "However, there were several that had once been given to the church" / "Toutesfois, il y en avoit plusieurs qu'on avoit autresfois données à l'église." So apparently, there was a custom among the knights who survived the Battle of Agincourt to leave their swords at this church as a token of gratitude for Saint Catherine having protected them in the battle. As for the rust, we are told in Journal du siège d'Orléans that the sword was a bit rusty, but when Joan had confirmed they took the right one, it was cleaned and polished. 

“During these things, she said that she wanted to have a sword that was at Saint Catherine du Fierbois, where there were five crosses in the blade, fairly close to the handle. They asked her if she had ever seen her, and she said she had not; but she knew very well that she was there. She sent there, and there was no one who knew where she was or what it was. However, there were several that had formerly been given to the church, which they all had to look at, and one was found quite rusty, which had the said five crosses. It was brought to her, and she said it was the one she asked for. If was polished and well cleaned”

Note here that the chroniclers don't give this sword any magical attributes. Neither do we see this in the trial; the inquisitor wants Joan to have used magic with the blade. If it were magic, they would have had more charges toward Joan, but the questions don't get them the answers they want. If the inquisitors had had the evidence for the sword's magical properties, they would have brought this up. I assume it would be the same with the chroniclers. If it was magic, why not boost this and the favor of the all-mighty lord? 

I will close out the show on this note—the evidence for ancient aliens where not found this time either. Let's try again next time. 

Until then, please spread the word by leaving a positive review on platforms like iTunes, Spotify, or even among your fellow trench dwellers. For more information about me and my podcast, check out

You can also find me on most social media sites, and if you have comments, corrections, suggestions, or just want to write an email in all caps, you can find my contact info on the website.

You'll find an extensive list of sources and resources and reading recommendations for those eager to expand their knowledge on the subject matter on the episode page.

Sandra Marteleur created the intro music, and our outro is by the band called Trallskruv, who sings their song "tin foil hat." Links to both these artists will be found in the show notes.

Until next time, keep shoveling that science!

But till then, remember to leave a positive review anywhere you can, such as iTunes, Spotify, or to your friend at the trench. I would also recommend visiting to find more info about me and the podcast. You can also find me on most social media sites, and if you have comments, corrections, suggestions, or just want to write an email in all caps, you can find my contact info on the website.

You will find all the sources and resources used to create this podcast on our website. You will often also find further reading suggestions if you want to learn more about the subjects we bring up.

Sandra Marteleur created the intro music, and our outro is by the band called Trallskruv, who sings their song "tin foil hat." Links to both these artists will be found in the show notes.

Until next time, keep shoveling that science!

Sources, resources, and further reading suggestions

Austin , D. (2014). Hika Ahi – Making Fire. [online] Te Papa’s Blog. Available at:

Ayroles, J.B.J. (1896). Le Journal Du Siège d’Orléans Et Du Voyage De Reims. [online] Available at:

Bowles, G., Bowker, R.G. and Samsonoff, N. (2012). Viking Expansion and the Search for Bog Iron. PlatForum, [online] 12, pp.20–20. Available at:

Burenhult, G. (2010). Arkeologi i Norden 2. 2nd ed. Stockholm: Natur & Kultur.

Champion, P. and Barrett, W.P. (1932). The Trial of Jeanne D’Arc. [online] Translated by C. Taylor. and Translated by R.H. Kerr. Gotham House INC. Available at:

de Viriville, V. (1897). La Chronique De La Pucelle. [online] Available at:

Fraioli, D.A. (2002). Joan of Arc: the Early Debate. Woodbridge: Boydell Press.

Hobbins, D. (2007). The trial of Joan of Arc. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Ottaway, B.S. and Roberts, B.W. (2008). The Emergence of Metallurgy. In: A. Jones , ed., Prehistoric Europe: Theory and Practice. London: Blackwell, pp.193–225.

Pearce, M. (2019). The ‘Copper Age’—A History of the Concept. Journal of World Prehistory, [online] 32(3), pp.229–250. Available at:

Scarre, C. ed., (2018). The Human past World Prehistory and the Development of Human Societies. 4th ed. London: Thames & Hudson.

Sullivan, K. (1999). The interrogation of Joan of Arc. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Taylor, C. (2016). Joan of Arc : La Pucelle. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Thelemann, M., Bebermeier, W., Hoelzmann, P. and Lehnhardt, E. (2017). Bog iron ore as a resource for prehistoric iron production in Central Europe — A case study of the Widawa catchment area in eastern Silesia, Poland. CATENA, 149(1), pp.474–490. doi:

Thornton, C.P. and Roberts, B.W. (2009). Introduction: the Beginnings of Metallurgy in Global Perspective. Journal of World Prehistory, 22(3), pp.181–184. doi:

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“Folie hatt” by Trallskruv

Lily of the woods by Sandra Marteleur