The Reluctant Monuments Woman
Host and oral historian George Gavrilis introduces the podcast featuring American archaeologist Laura Tedesco's 11-year journey to help protect and preserve Afghanistan's cultural heritage.
July 6, 2021
Laura, our archaeologist, arrives in Kabul jet-lagged and without a plan. Her job is to help preserve Afghanistan's vast archaeological and historical treasures. Money is no object. But where do you even start?
July 6, 2021
Two Lone Minarets
Laura, in flak jacket and helmet, heads to Ghazni, a city whose rich history is matched by crushing poverty. Two ancient minarets just outside the city become the focus of her attention. Rocket attacks and punishing heat prove challenging, but not insurmountable.
July 13, 2021
A Seat at the Table
Laura takes another swipe at the dreaded podcast title before she continues the story of Ghazni and why the work to preserve culture and history mattered.
July 20, 2021
What Would You Save?
Laura shows up at the national museum in Kabul. What she finds inside the building moves her and begins a saga to set the stage for building a new museum for the nation.
July 27, 2021
The Once and Future Museum
Laura and George discuss the competition to design a new national museum in Afghanistan. But will the winner become the loser?
August 3, 2021
Digging Up Rocks
Back in South Carolina, George, our host, asks Laura's daughter what she thought about mom spending so much time in Afghanistan.
August 10, 2021
We Will Not Look Away
A message from the host of Monuments Woman to our Afghan friends and colleagues.
August 17, 2021
Caravan of Kuchis
Laura makes a surreal journey to Mes Aynak, Afghanistan's largest Buddhist archaeological site not far from Kabul. George suggests a motto for Afghanistan's tourism industry.
August 24, 2021
It's Not Either / Or
The story of Mes Aynak continues as George and Laura ask: does Afghanistan have to eliminate a chapter of its history to become less poor? And Laura gets personal and talks about how she avoided becoming a cat lady.
August 31, 2021
Folks Are Scared
In this 3rd part of the story of Mes Aynak, Laura and George talk about past and present, and the stunning exhibit of artifacts at the National Museum in 2011. But the conversation turns dark as they face the reality of the Taliban’s takeover in 2021.
September 7, 2021
People, People, People
Laura had an idea: a book on heritage work across Afghanistan, that tells the stories of how Afghans live and observe the archaeology and history around them. This book has become a document of what might be lost in the years ahead, now that the Taliban have taken over the country.
September 14, 2021
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