With the upcoming release of the movie “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”, archaeology is again at the forefront of media attention. Some of my comrades directed me to the following article on how Indiana Jones does not seem to be a real archaeologist. It is shocking, I know. The fictional Dr. Jones is more of a scruffy, Nazi-slaughtering, ‘tomb raider’ (yes Lara Croft you are an archaeological criminal as well). Listen I hate fascism so I don’t mind the departure of a few racist goons but taking artifacts out of context (without employing the proper procedures) and making the entire field of archaeology appear to be a ghoulish endeavor through the desecration of graves (via his use of a femur bone as a torch), this just not acceptable Indy!
Many will be saddened to know that archaeology is not one big adventure. Sure it is not your normal job as I was firing muskets two weeks ago but it is a job. Although, archaeologists are sometimes called the “cowboys of science” we try very hard to come across as professional and an important part of the planning/pre construction process. How else can we bring our wages to acceptable levels? A field archaeologist, with a university degree, in the UK makes £15k that is not enough money to start paying back any type of student loan. I think I mentioned this earlier but back in Canada a construction worker with a high school degree makes more money that an archaeologist with a university degree. The big question is will this newest movie help or hinder us in our cause. Only time will tell. The next big question is will it entertain us. *Fingers crossing* I sure hope so!
While ‘true’ archaeology can often be very boring, tedious, and makes very bad TV shows/films. Can you imagine Harrison Ford’s character filling out paperwork for his adventures? Hell, I would love to read THAT risk assessment form!
- Project name: Looting the golden Chachapoyan Fertility Idol (Raiders of the Lost Arc)
- Project leader: Dr. Henry ‘Indiana’ Walton Jones, Jr
- Sources of risks and associated/potential risk/s
The jungle-illness, damage/destruction of equipment, personal injury and/or death
Pit lined with spears-personal injury or death
Pressure triggered blowgun traps-personal injury or death
Optically triggered spear trap-personal injury, death and/or loss of treacherous guide
Pressure triggered ‘rolling rock’ trap-personal injury, death and/or loss of Fedora hat
Treacherous guide-becoming stranded in a collapsing temple in an unfamiliar jungle with an angry tribe likely leading to climatic meeting with personal nemesis, personal injury and/or death
Armed and angry indigenous tribe-personal injury or death. Highly likely that it will lead to death as I am stealing their sacred idol and can’t speak their language
Snake in cockpit of seaplane-loss of temper with pilot over choice of pets
- Practices, methods and techniques that will be employed to minimize risks
“Stay(ing) out of the light.”
Running like hell and employing fancy footwork
Employing a bullwhip to bypass obstacles
Utilizing a bag of sand as a counterweight when attempting overcome traps meant to stop the looting the sacred site
Swimming across an unfamiliar body of water to escape via seaplane
Somehow, I cannot imagine him getting the funding for that particular project. He didn’t even think of wearing a ‘high-viz’ leather jacket or a saftey-Fedora, pfft… rookie mistake.
I have to say though I have had fun thinking this up. I will likely continue this kind of joke as the countdown to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skill continues.