The Good, the Bad, and the Bearded. Popular Images of archaeologists and how we see ourselves. Larry J. Zimmerman Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. On Being an Archaeologist.
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The Good, the Bad, and the Bearded
Popular Images of archaeologists and how we see ourselves
Larry J. Zimmerman
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
On Being an Archaeologist
It takes very special qualities to devote one's life to problems with no attainable solutions and to poking around in dead people's garbage: Words like 'masochistic', 'nosy,' and 'completely batty' spring to mind.Paul Bahn. 1989. Bluff Your Way in Archaeology. Ravette Books, West Sussex.
Some thoughts about archaeology…
…and a variety of opinions.
Archaeologists have the most mind-numbing job on the planet.
Bill Watterson, 1988
Archaeology is one of most exciting things you can do outside of bed!
Just about every archaeologist you talk to
It seems as if everyone either wants to be an archaeologist or hates us!
I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it.
Just what are the images of archaeologists?
How the Public sees Archaeologists
Sketches by 12-year-old students
From kids to adults, things don’t seem to change
Sketches by 20 –something university students
Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.
How the public sees us…..
In the Movies
Neither man nor woman can be worth anything until they have discovered that they are fools.
Archaeology ain’t just for Indy anymore
Reality is what won't go away when you stop believing in it.
Phillip K Dick
How we’d like to see ourselves (men)
Yes, this is a painting a real archaeologist had done of himself!
The reality (men)
Yes, these are real archaeologists, albeit Europeans
Larry Z’s archaeologist self-image
Paul Walker, a buff young archaeologist in Michael Crichton’s “Timeline” (November 2003)
How we’d like to see ourselves (women)
The reality (women)
Sometimes, archaeologists are just cartoons
You idiots! No, we don’t do dinosaurs!
An image is not simply a trademark, a design, a slogan or an easily remembered picture. It is a studiously crafted personality profile of an individual, institution, corporation, product or service.
Daniel J. Boorstin
Notice anything similar about these famous archaeologists?
Sir M. W. F. Petrie
What’s this thing with beards?
At the age of sixteen I went to evening classes in the local museum at Nuneaton…. Firstly I was struck by the number of beards in the audience.
David Miles, Chief Archaeologist at English Heritage
I was working as an archaeologist and we all had beards, even the women.
Steven Erikson, 2002
And I thought you all had long beards with bits of detritus to be excavated at the end of each month.
Petethedig, online at British Archaeological Jobs Resources Message Board
You think it’s a joke?
Yes, these are all real archaeologists!
Anybody can be an archaeologist, no training necessary!
Scientology founder and science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard on an expedition in the Mediterranean
Even a high school kid thrown into the past…
The lucky devil…. Why don’t I ever find anything like this?
With his striking resemblance to that Kennewick guy…
…studied by that archaeologist, Jim Chatters, with a profound resemblance to Indiana Jones…
…but with a beard!
Role-playing games too?
On the serious side…
To be bearded has another meaning…
To take by the beard; to seize, pluck, or pull the beard of (a man), in anger or contempt. 2. To oppose to the gills; to set at defiance.
Some images of us aren’t so good.
But the faces of archaeology are changing, and they might even be less bearded.
Yes, these are all real archaeologists!
One last bit of archaeological wisdom…
Don’t lean on the transit!