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Archaeologist PDF Print E-mail

Job overview
Archaeology is the study of the relics,? often buried underground, of earlier societies from whose tools, works of art, dwellings, human remains etc the history and culture of those societies can be deduced.

?What do people do in this job?
?Excavation is central to an archaeologist’s career.

?This has to be done slowly, scientifically and carefully so that nothing is missed and everything of significance can be recorded.

?The documentation also involves mapping, photographing and surveying.

?Objects brought to light are sorted, packed and taken to the laboratory for analysis.

?Another way in which archaeologists learn about the beliefs and lifestyles of people in the past is by locating and recording rock art or identifying buildings and structures still standing above ground.

Archaeologists tend to specialise in different periods.

?Some study the origins of man well over a million years ago while others may be concerned with the recent past, for example where industrial archaeology is concerned.

Some archaeologists specialise not in a period but in the study of one particular kind of evidence,? e.g. human and animal bone, stone artefacts, rock paintings and engravings, beads, pottery, pollen, charcoal or other evidence of past conditions and climates, sometimes making use of scientific techniques such as carbon and isotope dating.

Archaeologists often do fieldwork in remote places where they have to camp out,? but also work in towns and cities where ancient sites are discovered below the ground during building operations.

Specialists in chemical or physical methods work in laboratories in museums or universities.

?These jobs can be done by people with disabilities that may prevent them from doing fieldwork.

?What kinds of people are suitable for this job?
?Archaeologists investigate evidence that is often unique and can never be replaced, so they must be reliable and able to work systematically.

?Both fieldwork and laboratory analysis is time-consuming and archaeologists must have self-discipline and patience as well as the ability to conceptualise questions about the past and find ways to answer them.

?They should be questioning thinkers, taking nothing for granted.

?Archaeologists are usually employed by museums and universities.

?Prospects for employment are limited.

?Qualifications
?Most archaeologists will have a background of university studies.

?A degree in history is highly relevant, especially if it has an archaeology component, while archaeology as a degree subject in itself is available at some universities.

 
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