This section provides information about Archaeology jobs and where they would find employment, qualifications they would require and various specializations.
What is Archaeology?
Archaeology is the study of cultures and societies, using ruins, tools, and pottery remaining from ancient human cultures. The goal is to ascertain the history, customs, and living habits of earlier civilizations.
What Do Archaeologists Do?
The work of archaeologists is conducted in the field, in the laboratory or at the computer or in libraries. Archaeologists, may travel to remote areas and work in primitive conditions.
Archaeologists excavate, preserve, study, and classify artifacts from past civilizations. The work can be very slow or tedious at times and may require physical exertion at others.
What qualifications do Archaeologists need?
A natural curiosity and investigative mind are essential ingredients for an archaeologist. A broad base in history and anthropology is helpful.
Museums, excavations, and classrooms are some of the places where graduate students obtain experience. Field experience at an archaeological project is valuable. Archaeology professors must publish regularly and continue to justify their excavations with new discoveries.
What areas do Archaeologists cover in their courses?
Undergraduate study of history, anthropology, classical languages, geology, geography, English composition, and human physiology and data analysis are all helpful foundations for graduate study. Entry into graduate school is highly competitive. Professional archaeologists have at least a masters degree. Most archaeologists have a doctorate.
Graduate course work may include Ethnology, History of Architecture, Anthropology, Numismatics, and Conservation of Archeological Monuments. The range of issues includes subsistence and settlement patterns, political and economic organization, gender and social status, and agrarian ecology.
What areas of specialization may Archaeologists choose?
Specializations may be defined in terms of time periods, geographic locations, societies, identification of artifacts or types of studies. History, pre-history, particular time periods or geographic locations or specific types of artifacts are areas of specialization. Broad areas of study include Prehistory, Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Classical Archaeology, Indigenous Archaeology. Historical Archaeology refers to the post-Columbus period.
Archeological Science has additional specializations: dating methods, paleodiet, archaeological chemistry, palaeoclimate, bioarchaeology, and faunal analysis.
Two recent specialties include Maritime Archaeology and Forensic Archaeology. Forensic archaeology refers to search, location, and recovery of buried materials associated with crime scenes, historic and pre-historic. Maritime Archaeology addresses the material aspects of seafaring from the earliest watercraft to shipwrecks of the twentieth century.
Where do Archaeologists work?
Most of the worlds major archaeological sites are in the temperate zone. Universities, museums and major corporations have teams working at these locations.
Some archaeological work is rescue oriented, to find, catalogue and relocate rare artifacts prior to construction or development projects. Corporate archaeologists may write environmental impact statements.
Most archaeologists are at major universities, teaching in the history, anthropology, or archaeology. Bachelors in Archeology can teach at universities, in museums and other cultural institutions. Some may become surveyors, linguists, independent contractors or tour guides.