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Adventure Jobs: Archaeologist: Fact or Fiction?

Not a quite real depiction of the job.

Indiana Jones makes this one sound like the most awesome job on Earth. Other fictional archaeologists include Charlotte Lewis from LOST or Lara Croft from the Tomb Rider franchise.

Why is archaeology so awesome?

If you are a Hollywood archaeologist, you should expect to get a whip, a battered hat and at least one gun. You are also very hot, smart and brave. You go to exotic locations and instead of sunbathing like a tourist would do in your place, you get into the jungle, the abandoned temple or the whatever, no matter how dangerous, and discover stuff no one else had before. You may also go to places nobody has been to for the last ten or twenty centuries!

No wonder this  job is associated with adventure. It has all the elements. But how much of it is actually real?

But how awesome archaeology really is?

The look:

Nobody will stop you from getting the Indiana Jones or Lara Croft look. You can get the clothes easily, and a couple hours a week on the gym would also help. You can also have a gun if you wish so, but you don’t want to shoot everyone who gets between you and your discovery because that is, well, murder.

Although maybe not as much as Indy or Lara, a job that involves so much physical activity will get you in shape.

The character:

“Brave and smart” are two core characteristics of adventurers in any profession.

Real experiences:

My mother used to be an archaeologist  until I was born, so I asked her about the fieldwork. She said you get to go to the exotic locations. You get to face dangerous animals, you get the exciting adventures. You get to cross rivers without the use of a bridge, and you get to explore a lot. And you’re an expert on it.

Of course, there is also the science part: using the scientific method, you determine where you should look for the bones and ancient artefacts. Later, you reconstruct the past based on what you found: how people used to live, what technologies they had, how the societies were structured… how cool is that?

My history teacher used to be an archaeologist until she got married(see a pattern here?), and her depiction of the profession doesn’t differ much from the above. You get adventures and cool discoveries. However, discoveries do not always come in the shape of a golden statue resting inside a temple. You will have to pick a shovel and dig, dig, dig.

I recommend reading this great article for more information on the subject.

Fact or Fiction job for adventurers?

FACT. Not as exciting as depicted in films and books, but comes as close as it’s possible in real life.

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