Indiana Jones Archaeology does Indiana Jones Give Archaeology a Bad name – Yes

While I have voted yes that Indiana Jones is bad for archaeology it is a double edged sword. When you have a young student that wants to be an archaeologist, they watch the various movies and believe that is what archaeology is all about. They will be sadly mistaken when they realize that true archaeologists spend countless hours in the most inhospitable areas of the world uncovering artifacts with a toothbrush. Very rarely, if ever will they be part of a gun fight or a car chase.

There is a good side to the movies that put the glamour on the occupation. If it will get a colleget student to turn their area of study toward the field of archaeology, which is a primary source of us finding our history, all the better. They will learn one of life’s very important lessons very soon. Things in the real world don’t ever equate to those that are put out by Hollywood.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all the Indiana Jones movies. They are entertaining and exciting. Jones travels the world in search of an artifact, not for personal gain, but to put them were they belong, in a museum. It is all the action that is a lie. Explosions, evil agents trying to beat you to the priceless artifact that always holds some sort of power that will give the villain the ability to control the world. It makes for great entertainment.

I am no archaeologist. I studied history. I guess that means that I just study the evidence that others put the sweat and work into. From the digs that I have seen, the area is roped off in quatrants and each little piece of pottery is logged and tagged for later study. This is hardly what Hollywood wants you to believe.

So no Indiana Jones does not help the field of archaeology. It puts a spin on it that doesn’t exist in the real science. To be fair to the other side of the argument, it does at least peak the interest of young students. They will be in for one hell of a surprise when they pack up for their first field assignment, but if it too Indiana Jones to get them interested, more props to the character.

In conclusion, the character of Indiana Jones does not in any way portray what a real archaeologist scientist does on a day to day basis. With the exception of a rare find that may make history, or better yet change history, most archaeologists lead a very boring life in the most inhospitable regions of the Earth.