What skills do archaeologists need?

Here is a question about skills required for an archaeological career.

What skills do archaeologists need?
You must be versatile, resourceful, curious and you must like doing research. You also should like working outdoors and doing paperwork and writing. You have to work well with a team and adapt to all sorts of conditions. Read the How do I Become an Archaeologist? section to have more details.

NCMA’s Archaeology Lab in the ‘paper’

On March 8, I posted a couple of images of the Museum’s first Archaeology Lab, where participants could handle and study Greek, Cypriot, Roman and Etruscan objects. Well, would you imagine that it made the paper?  This morning a co-worker informed me that there was a write-up about this event on examiner.com by someone who participated and, clearly, greatly enjoyed herself. It’s gratifying to know people had a good time.

To seek out new life and new civilisations…

Last night, after watching a TED talk by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, I thought I would write a blog post seemingly unrelated to archaeology: the reason why I like Star Trek.

I say seemingly unrelated to archaeology because that’s what one would think at first glance, but it is related in some way (otherwise I would not write about it here!). Archaeological research is a bit like the Enterprise’s five-year mission; archaeologists and anthropologists explore strange new worlds and seek new life and new civilisations. Instead of searching out there in the vastness of space, we search in remote and not-so-remote corners of this earth. One of the reasons I like Star Trek is because it’s all about exploring the unknown, living an adventurous life and going boldly where few have gone before… very similar to the life of an archaeologist.

The other would be because I find Captain Kirk absolutely awesome. (Bill Shatner, back in the day. Oh, my!) However, for the longest time, I actually refused to watch any of the other series in the Star Trek franchise because I did not want to see any captain other than Kirk at the helm of the Enterprise. I eventually watched The Next Generation (many years after the show had ended) and I was pleased to find out that Captain Picard was an amateur archaeologist, which made his character even more endearing. (Plus, I realised that he and I have many things in common.)

Were I to join Starfleet and the crew of the Enterprise, I’d be wearing a blue shirt and beaming down to study ancient ruins, abandoned cities and alien cultures…

How do you know that a career in archaeology is really for you?

Obviously, this response is based on my personal experience…  I felt it.

How do you know that a career in archaeology is really for you?
You know it, you feel it… Archaeology makes you happy, you love what you are doing and you find it stimulating. It is as simple as that. If you have doubts, you are unhappy or people tell you that you do not seem to enjoy your studies or your job… you may have chosen not so wisely.

A quick visit to the Brooklyn Museum

I have added a new page to the Photo Diary.   You will find a selection of photos of rather spectacular artefacts from Egyptian collection at the Brooklyn Museum. Just look in the drop-down menu in the Photo Diary to select that museum.  Enjoy!

The façade of the Brooklyn Museum.

The façade of the Brooklyn Museum.

A book in a book

Yesterday, I had to check something in the Louvre’s exhibition catalogue Meroe, Empire on the Nile. We got this superb publication a while ago, but I never had the chance to really read any parts of it.  So, I sat to read a couple of the essays and imagine my surprise when, in one of them, I saw my book on Amun temples mentioned in the references! (Actually, it’s the book listed on Amazon as having been published in 1850, see the OMG! LOL! post dated February 27.)

In a way, I should not be surprised. My book is indeed relevant to the topic presented in the essay. I guess I’m still early enough in my career to be tickled by having other scholars mention my own work in theirs.