Is Indiana Jones Bad for Archaeology – No

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Many students shudder at the thought of studying history and science. They start out with the opinion that all history is dry and boring, and anything dealing with one of the sciences is extremely uninteresting and difficult. Anything that gets them curious about the past ages of mankind, and the possibilities of discovery is a good thing.

Indy is also the good guy, fighting the forces of evil along the way to finding treasures and discovering the mysteries of the ages. Every generation has had its heroes, and in an age where these are hard to come by, even a fictitious champion is worth watching and emulating.

Granted, the Indiana Jones variety of archeologist probably doesn’t exist in real life. Archeology is a difficult, and for the most part, hard, grueling, time consuming, and frustrating job. The actual days, months and years that most archeologists invest in digging, often with very little results, would not make for exciting movie viewing. However, the discoveries that have been made are exciting. Movies like Indiana Jones just might lead a curious student into researching some of these amazing endeavors on their own, and hopefully decide that they might like to try their hand at it too. There is no doubt that more than one student changed their major or their life goals after watching these movies.

Even if archeology isn’t a student’s main interest, the very excitement of watching Indy traveling through exotic places and delving into ancient history might be enough to make them want to read up on some of these places and the history that surrounds them. If any student picked up a book on ancient history because of something that he or she saw in the movie, then it was worth the price of the ticket.

For all we know, movies such as Indiana Jones may launch a whole new generation of history professors and scientists who are more “hands on” in their approach to their given subject, teachers who get out into the field and entice their students with the excitement and possibilities of discovery, first hand.

Given the possibility that some students may be influenced and their curiosity aroused about pursuing a career in history or science from watching a movie, the fact that Hollywood has taken some liberties in the life of the research scientist and archeologist can be forgiven. It doesn’t hurt that every student may still believe that there is just the off chance that they will encounter a buried treasure or adventure along the way either.

More about this author: Lenna Gonya

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