26 July 2009

Lifestyle Choices

via LOLTATZ, subvia Daily Hitler (some content NSFW).

A lot of people like the image of the archaeologist. Sometimes more than they like archaeology itself. A tattoo is a fine way to proclaim your commitment to being a 'cowboy of science'.

(Though I am concerned. This looks like one of those horrible tiny euro-trowels, rather than a proper Marshalltown).

How much of our love for archaeology is about building a personal identity as an 'archaeologist'? How much of it is really about the work of interpreting, publishing, and teaching?

Is archaeology a 'lifestyle choice'? Is it part of your 'personal brand'?


  1. I think that this is a really important issue to address. It's something that has crossed my path lately during some research on underwater salvage archaeology. In this area, as in so many others, commercial tv programs provide profit-driven salvors with an opportunity to voice their justifications and rally support. In these programs (the particular example I have in mind is Discovery Channel's "Treasure Quest"), a lot of the viewing attraction rides on the image of archaeologists as adventurers and treasure hunters.

    The popular image of the archaeologist is damaging to the discipline for obvious reasons that deserve (and I'm sure already have) their own blog discussions; however, this article makes me ask whether it can also be damaging to our own ideals as archaeologists. The question of whether aspiring archaeologists are coming into the discipline with a false idea of what it entails could also be raised. (But perhaps this is too cynical a view.)

    What I am really trying to get at is the effect of the commercialisation of archaeology on the discipline itself, and with regard to this post, I would argue that it has a significant role in the formation of our own "image" and "lifestyle choices" as archaeologists.

  2. ya, I think that this is a really important issue to address. too
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