Archaeology

Is Indiana Jones Bad for Archaeology – No



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It is said that Indiana Jones is an exaggerated depiction of archaeology; this may very well be true. Archaeology is not so glamorous as the movies make it appear, true, but Hollywood also ignites interest in fields that, otherwise, do not receive the attention that they deserve. Movies, like Indiana Jones, The Mummy and Tomb Raider, for that matter, draw attention to an otherwise neglected field. The exaggerated glamor illustrated in these movies is generally a given. Most people realize the tendency of Hollywood to do this; it is generally understood and is usually a given. Hollywood has been known to glamorize the profession of garbage collecting and other such professions, that are not glamorous at all. This, however, by no means indicates that Indiana Jones is a detriment to the archaeological profession.

Certain truths about the profession are portrayed in the Indiana Jones saga, too, however. For example, the title character has on more than one occasion had to pull himself through crawl spaces and tunnels. This, an archaeologist must do in such instances when entering a pyramid or tomb. Sometimes, spiders and snakes can be encountered. In addition, there are puzzle solving skills involved in archaeology. Many times, transcriptions of hieroglyphics or ancient languages do need to be done. Hypothesizing whose tomb one has unearthed can depend on these puzzle solving skills. The Indiana Jones character travels to exotic places, which real archaeologists actually do. Some of the most beautiful, exotic places in the world were once key locations in the ancient world. Finally, though it might be rare, treasures and large finds are actually unearthed. This may not be nearly so common for the ordinary archaeologist as it is for Indiana Jones, but it can and does happen.

In short, the greatest exaggeration is the struggle between the good guys and the bad guys. This is not exactly a romantic field and great romances do not generally take place while out digging in sometimes excruciating heat. Though Indiana Jones is not your typical archaeologist, he does raise and awareness of the field and an interest that might not have existed, otherwise. It has always been a respected field, but perhaps it is even more so, now.

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