Is Indiana Jones Bad for Archaeology – No

G E Barr's image for:
"Is Indiana Jones Bad for Archaeology - No"
Image by: 


The Indiana Jones movies I recall starred Harrison Ford. He was good looking and swashbuckling in nature. Of course, real archaeologists are not like this. Mainly because the job doesn't really require all that fighting, running and dodging. There's no magic except the magical moment when beneficial and intrigueing artifacts or bones are discovered.

One of the traits of archaeologists is a high level of intelligence. In other words, the type of intelligence which would not conclude that archaeologists get to be swashbuckling adventurers. Therefore, the string of movies about a wild archaeologist who gallavants about in mystical, magical kingdoms would not effect a person who was considering the field of study.

As far as what the general public thinks, since when has anyone been concerned with myths when it comes to the public? Random and various members of the public believe in many things which are questionable, however, E.T. did not effect space travels.

There is a need in those not educated to believe in things which do not exist. Take UFO's and Sasquatch for example. Not long ago, in the southern United States, a couple of hicks devised a story about a Big Foot creature they'd supposedly killed, or something to that effect. It turned out to be a hoax. Of course. But the fact that News channels picked up the story did not effect the News. Except in ratings, I am sure.

As a person who is interested in archaeology, I am more interested in what the archaeologist finds. His or her personal adventures really aren't curious to me. I want to see the skeletons, urns, mummies, art, jewelry, dishes, etc... I also want to know the predicted time of burial and what the funerary rites may have been.

Myths and their retelling over the millinia are how people have entertained themselves, manipulated others and more than likely spawned Hollywood. I mean what else could have done it? People need diversion and real life just isn't all that interesting.

I'm not some dry intellectual who does not believe in myths. I still question whether the De Dannan of early Ireland were mythological people. I think there might be something to the story, like history. I believe that there was a King Arthur. Perhaps over the years, myth was added to his story to make it more interesting, but I believe he was a real human being at one time.

However, I don't believe in flying saucers, big hairy American apes and I don't believe in Indiana Jones. If anything, I think the Indiana Jones character drew an interest from the public to the field of archaeology. Nothing wrong with that.

More about this author: G E Barr

From Around the Web