When my eldest daughter was around eight years old, one summer evening I went out and rented the first Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Arc.' We watched it together and to my pleasant surprise my daughter absolutely loved it. Weeks later, my daughter announced that she was going to be an Archaeologist when she grew up.
Appreciating the inspiration that such a movie can give to someone, the following week I proceeded to rent the second in the series, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.' My daughter loved that too and the following week, we watched the third, Indiana Jones and the Last crusade' co-starring Sean Connery, as Indiana's father, Professor Henry Jones, Sr.
I had watched all three of these movies in my younger years and I had always found them entertaining. I never thought that I would be sitting on my living room sofa, glued to the television set with my daughter, several years later, watching something that I thought would have been outdated.
When my daughter turned twelve, we went on a father-daughter camping trip together. She loved nature and was particularly enthralled by the whole outside- adventure experience. The first day, we hiked and looked for firewood, returning hours later with arms laden with twigs and branches.
That evening, my daughter began to empty out her pockets in front of the camp fire and it was quite evident that she had spent a great deal her of time, unknown to me, collecting interesting stones and metallic objects.
We camped for two nights and eventually returned home. The first evening at home, I was invited into my daughter's bedroom. I was shown a very large selection of geological findings, dating back about four years and spanning several family outings and vacations at the beach.
In my daughter's sixteenth year, she suggested one Friday night that we watch all of the Indiana Jones' movies all over again. I didn't mind at all. I think we must have watched them all over the course of that weekend. During the movies, my daughter made references to certain scenes that had become clearer to her, than the her first viewing.
My daughter was attending a very unique high school at that time, where the children were encouraged to follow their creative instincts. As the time grew near to her final years at that school, her interests had become very clear.
Everything that she believed in had been quite clearly reflected in her portfolio, right down to her extremely detailed sculptures and elaborate oil paintings. Although she met the standards of an artist at every level, her art portrayed the interests of an Archaeologist as well.
It was during this time that my wife and I learned that my grandfather, who was a successful oil painter of his time, had embarked upon an Archaeological expedition during the earlier part of the twentieth century. As we found out, my grandfather had traveled across Africa with his oil paints and canvases, lending companionship and support to an Archaeologist friend and his findings.
Upon hearing the news of my grandfather and his travels, my daughter felt supported on many levels. Art-Archaeology.... As simple as that! In fact we found out that many Archaeologists are proficient artists, as they tend to document their findings with crayon and paper.
My daughter won a scholarship from her high school and was able to attend a local art college which was very conveniently affiliated with a local university. She has spent the past three and a half years pursuing her dreams and taking classes in anthropology and fine art, amongst other things.
My daughter is now twenty one years old. She spent the summer of 2007 on a Greek Island, painting in the morning and excavating an Archaeological site in the afternoon. When I ask her why she wants to be an Archaeologist, she replies, "I just want to find out where we all come from."
Two years ago, my daughter gave me a wonderful Christmas present; It was the entire CD collection of the Indian Jones movies and, in full wide screen.
Before my daughter went to Greece in 2007, she splurged on a very nice hat for herself. When ever I look at her now, I see Indiana Jones and I just hope there that there will be no Temple of Doom or Lost Ark in her future.
So, the answer is NO, Indiana Jones is not bad for Archaeology! My daughter likes spiders, but she does find Sean Connery a little frightening.