Archaeology is an exciting job filled with culture, discovery and intrigue. But what if you aren’t sure how to get started in your archaeology career? What if you’ve only seen Indiana Jones movies without knowing how to actually train yourself in the field? If you’re ready to explore your own lost arks, here are just four tips for succeeding in archaeology.
1. Go to School
Don’t expect to get anywhere without a degree. Archaeology is a highly academic field, and it’s also one that requires a strong level of patience, sensitivity and attention to detail. If you can’t handle the rigors of college courses, you probably can’t handle the rigors of a dig in Egypt.
2. Know Your Tools
It’s more than just shovels! For example, geophysical instruments are very important to archaeological work. You might also want to educate yourself on everyday survival gear like GPS navigational units. If you don’t know how to sift, that’s another thing you’ll need to learn. The careful and precise handling of tools is critically important to modern archaeology, so make sure you’re prepared before you go in the field. Even if you can’t get your hands on your own instruments, you can watch videos online to see how they’re used.
3. Get Involved
Join your local archaeology club. Subscribe to forums, newsletters and magazines. Open a dialogue with your professors about opportunities once you graduate. Not only will this leave you well-placed to find a job once your studies are over, but with your level of commitment to the field, you’re much more likely to find internships and dig projects open to you.
4. Don’t Lose Your Passion
Becoming an archaeologist is a lot of hard work, and sometimes students burn out before they can actually excavate something. It’s important to stay focused while you’re taking all the necessary steps in archaeology. Just ask yourself: Why am I doing this? What motivated me to get into archaeology in the first place? What can I do to re-gain my initial enthusiasm? Sometimes the answer is just playing in the rocks until you remember why they’re fun.
These are just a few things to keep in mind as you strive to become an archaeologist. Whether you’re an eager beginner or a long-time discoverer, these tips should be enough to get you started on your journey to the crystal skull.