Indiana Jones, Time Team, Digging Holes and Metal Detecting!
All ideas that the general Public would summarize and believe archaeology is or at least related to in someway. However as we know this couldn’t be further than the truth. So what is the problem with these misconceptions of out careers and interest?
I feel that there lies three main issues, One is Television and Film Two is the lack of Public engagement and finally, career opportunity’s in archaeology.
Television and Film
A common misconception is that archaeology Is linked to the likes of Indiana Jones. This couldn’t be anything close to the actual truth! Archaeology is a serious scientific and exploitary career, that equates typically with long hours in return for a very small pay package!
A good way to break this is by telling a audience that their work is actually Very Important and Very Scientific. You do not need to contrast this with Indiana Jones’ breaking-and-entering approach, looting the place, you can relate it through your enthusiasm for the science and discovery.
Lack of Public engagement
Here I refer to a interesting article found on the UCL website, that looks at Dr Hilary Orange. Id advise a read. But in summary it looks at Archaeology South-East and how’s there is a huge lack of funds as well as other factors that hammer steps to engage with the public to show of what the careers about.
Believing that archaeology has huge potential appeal to the public, she rolled out a national survey on attitudes towards public engagement within the archaeological profession.
Its results showed that the biggest impediments are lack of money and training, but that most respondees are also keen to do much more public engagement.
Not as much as a issue as it was after the crash in 2008 as the market is slowly growing again, with regards to the commercial unit market anyway. However the Job prospects in Archaeology are horrific. Low pay, Long Hours, and health issues relating to Joints are all factors to look forward to in the career! Its shocking really how such a highly skilled and scientific Job gets so little attention and funding, considering it I uncovering our past and who we actually are as species.
However with regards to the Topic this puts a lot of people off and creates a kind of stigma around the field. Making people summarise it as boring, tedious work for long hours and little pay. If the profession was better paid and there was more public focus on it I feel that this would be lifted however I cant see this happening so for now and the foreseeable future I cant see a change in this.
In conclusion, I feel that if archaeology was more prevalent in the public eye, then the true nature of out Jobs and interests would be unveiled. Then again its kind of cool when kids think your Indiana Jones!!! GA