In the movies, Archeologists are often depicted as an adventure-filled profession as quest for long lost treasures and mythological objects are always the theme. Perhaps, the most well-known fictional archeologist is Indiana Jones that guaranteed Harrison Ford a star in famed walk with the stars in Hollywood. In almost all the installments of Indiana Jones movies, there is always swash-buckling action, answering riddles that may mean death if a wrong answer is given and getting out of booby-trapped places. In real life however, Archeologists need not be a swash-buckling gigolo just to find a hidden treasure but it promises tons of adventure nevertheless.
Archeologists would be the experts when it comes to identifying unearthed relics and artifacts. Depending on what culture is the specialization of the archeologist, they can tell approximately what era a particular relic belongs to. For example, if the specialization of the archeologist is Chinese reliquary, and when somebody wants to know what era an item belongs to, the archeologist could more or less give an approximation that the relic belongs to let’s say to the Ming Dynasty based on the markings or whatever clues it may give as there is usually an inherent pattern or fad for every era.
One skill an Archeologist should possess is knowledge of ancient writings. This particular skill would be the handiest of all because interpretation of scripts found would give a clue to a possible explanation of what kind of society the ancient people were living. Not only that, sometimes it is a life-saver as some places have some kind warning and that opening or disturbing that particular place or item is hazardous as booby traps are in placed.
Archeologists can be compared to modern day forensics experts in a certain sense like when solving a crime, forensics experts looks at the evidences at hand and from there draw a picture on how the crime was orchestrated. Archeologists perform similar functions as they recreate what scenarios were happening thousands of years ago based from artifacts, art works and other clues. More or less a single item could tell how advanced an ancient civilization was. For example an iron shield was discovered and was carbon-dated and was found out that it existed during the time when bronze was the common material used by neighboring states. The shield alone can tell that indeed its users were more advanced as their technology in shield making was way ahead of their neighbors.
Another necessary skills Archeologist should know is how to preserve dug up artifacts and biofacts (like seeds and mummies). During excavations, it is of utmost importance that items to be found would not be destroyed due to mishandling. These items have been preserved through natural means so when an excavation team suddenly unearths them, a wisp of air could literally destroy them and so techniques in recovering these items are also a skill in itself.
Becoming an Archeologist is not an easy feat to accomplish. Interest in knowing the past should be an inherent passion together with an optimistic point of view towards success is needed as sometimes in an archeologist’s lifetime, an excavation project may not come at all.
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