Archaeology is an essential profession because it helps us learn about our past, offers us a fundamental grasp of why human civilization has changed over time and explains human behavior in the past, which helps us understand the present and why humanity is the way it is. However, when it comes to pursuing a profession as an archaeologist, one can be more specific.
When it comes to pursuing a job as an archaeologist, one can make more informed decisions concerning humanity’s current evolution. Archaeology is the study of how humans interacted with their environment in the past. Anthropologists, sometimes known as excavators, collect archeological data by studying old artifacts, locations, and monuments in-depth and using modern/advanced technology.
To inform our understanding of the historical economic, social, political, and intellectual activity, archeologists must locate and analyze items and structures. In addition, excavators typically explore or arrange research initiatives to answer questions and test ideas regarding former societies.
Evolution of the Field
Archaeology, which arose from curiosity and greed, has bloomed only lately in the 19th century into a worldwide discipline of discovering and conserving the past. As a result, archaeology is still a new and emerging field in comparison to most scientific areas.
There was little interest in studying the past before the Renaissance of the 14th and 17th centuries. People, like the Romans, were only concerned with seeking treasure or collecting relics. Regions throughout the Mediterranean were raided and destroyed during the Roman Empire in quest of antiquities to decorate buildings. However, as further discoveries were uncovered, people were more intrigued to learn about past cultures.
Archaeology was becoming a professional study by the 19th century. People became full-time archaeologists, studying the past with facts rather than speculation. As a result, archaeologists began utilizing models to piece together historical puzzles. The three-age system—the concept that civilizations evolved progressively through the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age—was the earliest well-known model.
An archaeologist’s profession might be challenging at times. Archaeologists examine people’s material culture or the items that humans or our forefathers made, modified, or utilized (generally referred to as hominins). Material culture research includes looking at artifacts, which are movable items like baskets or hammers, and features, which are non-portable items like structures or fireplaces. Contextual clues, which are typically obtained only through excruciatingly thorough excavation, are equally essential to the archaeologist.
The usefulness of artistic renderings of nautical scenes as a source of information has long been recognized by archaeologists. In addition, they can work in a variety of organizations and perform a wide range of jobs.
Archaeologists in India work for the Archaeological Survey of India, the Ministry of External Affairs, the Central Board of Film Censors, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Defence Services, the Council of Cultural Relations, and the Indian Council of Historical Research in the exploration, excavation, epigraphy, prehistory, and museum branches.
In India, candidates who studied history in high school are qualified to pursue archaeology at the undergraduate level. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree in science or the arts are eligible to pursue archaeology at the master’s and doctorate levels at Indian and international universities. Candidates must pass an exam administered by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) or the State Public Service Commissions (SPSC).
In the US, Students with master’s or doctoral degrees usually are qualified for upper-level work in museums, archaeology enterprises, and the government sector; Ph.D. degrees are also typically required for teaching positions in universities and curator positions in museums. Master’s degree programs usually last 1-2 years of post-baccalaureate training, while doctoral degree programs can take another 2-3 years. In addition, students must often submit a thesis or dissertation based on original research in a particular field to graduate.
Archaeologists should be able to examine and understand data using analytical skills and scientific principles. Critical thinking abilities aid the archaeologist in concluding evidence gathered through field observations and experiments during research. Because archaeologists create research reports and explain their findings to other archaeologists, they should be able to communicate effectively. Finally, because an archaeologist may be working in the field in isolated regions, they must have excellent physical stamina.
Top Countries to pursue the Field
There are archaeological job openings all across the world. If you’re serious about finding an archaeological career overseas, or if your professional interests lead you to a specific region, there will very certainly be professional organizations in place to help you discover the correct type of fieldwork.
The United States, countries in continental Europe such as Spain, France, Italy, Ireland, and Iceland are some of the more popular destinations for archaeology jobs abroad. However, preservation, research, and excavation are all common themes at these locales. If you’re seeking a unique experience, places like India, Israel, and Jordan provide a plethora of scope for a career in Archaeology. These countries offer a deeper dive into the current culture and fieldwork to find and conserve some of the planet’s oldest antiquities.
Following are some of the online courses available on Archaeology to understand more about the field:
- Recovering the Humankind’s Past and Saving the Universal Heritage offered by Sapienza University of Rome (Coursera)
- Roman Art and Archaeology offered by University of Arizona (Coursera)
- Archaeology: from Dig to Lab and Beyond offered by University of Reading (FutureLearn)
Some of India’s top universities offering Archaeology are: Archaeological Survey of India, Institute of Archaeology, Hindu University of Banaras, Karnataka University, The Delhi Institute of Heritage Research and Management, and Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda.
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