Archaeology and Indiana Jones – No

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The Indiana Jones character and of course the four movies are all pure fiction that has placed the Jones character into some heated, hostile and dangerous situations where the life of himself and his companions are often balancing on a metaphorical tightrope that symbolises the finite nature of life and death itself.

Movies in the adventure genre have very similar formula to the story telling; introduce the story, create  a reason for the adventure, fall into adversity, get out of adversity, get the bad guy, get the girl, live happily ever after (or in the case of the last crusade…FOREVER!).

The fact that Indiana Jones is an archeologist is somewhat superficial to the overall plot of the movie, his background creates a setting for the adventure, but if he was say a paleontologist…. We would have had Jurassic Park some fifteen years earlier than its initial release!

Personally I think the Indiana Jones movies are fantastic movies for anyone that has an interest in science fiction with an earthier vibe than something set light years away.  Indiana Jones, whilst being pure escapism also includes messages about bridging a racial divide, fatherly love and the sometimes capricious nature of the relationship between a parent and child as time passes on and they get older and of course whether or not it’s ok to get on an air ship with no ticket!

What Indiana Jones I think has done that is a positive is created a thirst for knowledge amongst his audience; there are also a lot of theological subject matters (i.e. the Ark of the Covenant & the Holy Grail – and as an extension to this, the templar knights).  I like to think that the audience whilst glued to the screen thanks to continual action and tension on the big screen will also be interested in learning more about the theological elements of the storylines to give a greater awareness of some of the most intriguing stories and or events (depending on your own belief structure) of our past.

To be honest Archeologists are not always the most adventurous people, and adventurers as not always as learned as archeologists so does Indiana Jones represent the middle ground? I like to think so, but ultimately is a figment of somebody else’s imagination and should be enjoyed as such.  The Indiana Jones movies are fantastic entertainment and should be enjoyed accordingly.

More about this author: Dale Charleston

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