17 October 2010
Essay 2: Its Archaeology, Just Not Very Good Archaeology
An archetype of the male form, unremittingly cool, the definition of suave and display of awesomeness - Indiana Jones may be described as a lot of things, however a good archaeologist is debatable. For this essay, I chosen to evaluate the archaeological methods of Dr. Jones as found in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, to see how his form of archaeology holds up to contemporary standards.
To start at the beginning of any archaeological inquiry, it appears that Dr. Jones makes use of historical documentation, native informants, and a sound intuition in locating his archaeological sites of interest. These methods of discovery are not so far away from the techniques of today’s archaeologist. However, since archaeological sites are not always so clear cut as they are in the movies -a sites characteristics are dependent up the geographical as well as cultural context in which it formed- most archaeologist find it necessary to employ a variety of surveying and sampling techniques just to locate and define the parameters of the site.
Once a site has been outlined, the next step is excavation. For the modern archaeologist, the objective of this research is to maximize the preservation and minimize the destruction, all the while abstracting as much information as possible at the time of digging but leaving the site open for future archaeologist to continue research upon the advent of new technologies. To these archaeologists, a site is approached with the belief that it is not solely artifacts that have value, rather the whole of the site is contextually rich and consequentially, excavation becomes a meticulous endeavor, often taking years. They are concerned with the collection of details and provenience. Indiana, on the other hand, truly personifies the ideologies of old archaeology for when...