Archaeology is the study of the ancient human past through the remains of the material. It is also a sub-disciple to anthropology, which is a study of varied human cultures. With so much deep history embedded in the earth, we need archaeologists to tell us about its history and how it happened. This blog will discuss how you can become an archaeologist?
This Blog Includes:
- What is Archaeology?
- Who are Archaeologists?
- What does an archaeologist do?
- Where do Archaeologists work?
- Types of Archaeology
- Eligibility Criteria to become an Archaeologist
- How to Become an Archaeologist?
- Popular Job Roles as an Archaeologist
- Top Recruiters for Archaeologists
- Archaeologists Skillset
- Top Colleges in India for Archaeology Courses
- Top Colleges for Archaeology Courses Abroad
- Archaeologists Career Scope
- Archaeologists Books & Study Materials
- BA Archaeology Syllabus
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What is Archaeology?
Archaeology is the investigation of material developed by humans since man first walked the earth. An archaeologist has to study and recover ancient remains from various eras and times. Right from the time of dinosaurs that walked on the planet to the evolution of mankind. There are various specializations in the field of archaeology where people can build a career in. People study archaeology to know more about the past through skeletons, drawings, modes of communication, remains of mankind, and animals.
Who are Archaeologists?
Archaeologists are scientists who investigate the relics of former civilizations and groups of people. They research items such as dwellings, clothing, tools, bones, crockery, and other artefacts left behind by people who lived a long time ago.
Archaeologist collects numerous sorts of evidence from various locations and observes and evaluates the results. If you wish to be an archaeologist, you must have a thorough understanding of history and geography.
An archaeologist’s job include doing surveys in numerous locations using various methodologies and devices, as well as manipulating data using sketching, notes, and photos.
What does an archaeologist do?
- Identifying, analysing, and dating artefacts discovered during excavation
- Artefacts and other items discovered at a dig or study site are catalogued.
- Data analysis to arrive at logical conclusions regarding previous culture, behaviour, and other facets of human civilisation.
- Developing archaeological simulations of what a product or location could have looked like in the past using computer technologies such as geographic information systems (GIS) and computer-aided design (CAD).
- Locating excavation sites using aerial imagery and geophysical surveys
- Creating a report and documentation on the findings
- Managing employees throughout the excavation process
- Keeping track of archaeological finds
- Artefacts need to be cleaned, restored, and preserved.
- Comparing archaeological data from one dig site with data from another dig site to determine differences and similarities
Where do Archaeologists work?
- Dig site: You supervise and engage in excavation activities when you work on a dig site. These dig sites might be in several areas. As a result, you might need to travel frequently and remain at different sites until the excavation is finished.
- University: With a PhD, you can work as an archaeologist professor at a reputable university. You can work as full-time educators or full-time archaeologists who educate students part-time as archaeology professors.
- In a laboratory context, you must analyse and research the retrieved artefacts in order to obtain meaningful information.
- In a museum, you may be required to explain exhibits and write scripts for tours and presentations for museum visitors.
Types of Archaeology
- Prehistoric archaeology is concerned with the study of ancient cultures that did not have written languages.
- The study of cultures or civilizations that lived throughout the time of recorded history is known as historical archaeology.
- Underwater archaeology is the study of the physical traces of human activity beneath the ocean’s surface. Maritime technology is also included.
- Urban archaeology is a field of archaeology that focuses on big cities and towns with lengthy stratigraphic histories of labour. Some archaeologists refer to all archaeology undertaken in urban settings as urban archaeology.
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Eligibility Criteria to become an Archaeologist
Wondering if you are eligible to become an archaeologist? Every university has a different set of eligibility criteria. Here are some of the common entry requirements to be fulfilled by every applicant:
- Around 45 – 50% of marks in Class 12 in any stream from a recognized board to take admission in an undergraduate course in History/ Archaeology/ Ancient History
- For a Master’s degree in Archaeology, you need to score at least 50% marks in UG degree. Some universities consider students from any stream for M.A. Archaeology course
- Some universities conduct entrance exams for the admission to M.A. Archaeology course. Students need to qualify for the entrance test to secure admission.
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How to Become an Archaeologist?
Here is the step-wise guide on how to become an archaeologist:
- To become an archaeologist, students need to plan their careers right from Class 12. Even though students from any stream in Class 12 are eligible to pursue courses in Archaeology, there are a set up of courses that will add an advantage
- There is no specific subject combination required in Class 12 to pursue a degree in Archaeology. However, the humanities stream will add more advantages
- Since a few colleges offer B.A. courses in Archaeology, you can also take up a B.A. course in Ancient History and later a Master’s course in Archaeology
- In some of the jobs like Marine Archaeologists, an engineering degree in Marine Engineering is prominent
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Popular Job Roles as an Archaeologist
- Museum/ Gallery Exhibition Officer: this position helps to organize and plan permanent or travelling exhibitions. They also manage activities in a museum
- Urban Archaeologist: These archaeologists study the urban centres or cities
- Prehistoric Archaeologists: they study the human traditions associated with the prehistoric or historic era
- Palaeontology: Paleontologists study life forms that were there on the Earth before the advent of humans
- Marine Archaeologist: Marine Archaeologists study the remains of ships and research how cultures developed along the coastline
- Environmental Archaeologist: Studying the impact of the environment on the past societies and vice versa is done by an Environmental Archaeologist
- Lecturer: they are an expert in the field of Archaeology and teach students in universities or colleges
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Top Recruiters for Archaeologists
Most of the employment opportunities for Archaeologists are available in the government sector. The following are top government organizations in India that recruit archaeologists:
- The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is the primary recruiter of archaeologists at both the central and state levels. The graduates can secure jobs in ASI by clearing the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination or State Public Service Commission (SPSC) exam
- The students who possess a postgraduate degree in Archaeology can apply for the post of lecturers/professors in various universities across the country. However, qualifying marks in the National Eligibility Test (NET) is mandatory to become a professor
There are certain skills required to become a good archaeologist. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Communication skills
- Team worker
- Problem solver
- Avid reader
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Top Colleges in India for Archaeology Courses
Various colleges in India offer a degree in archaeology. Some of the colleges are mentioned below:
- Banaras Hindu University
- University of madras
- University of Mysore
- Andhra university
- Visva Bharati University
- University of Calcutta
Top Colleges for Archaeology Courses Abroad
The top colleges to study Archaeology abroad are given below:
- University of Cambridge, UK
- University of Oxford, UK
- University College London (UCL), UK
- Durham University, UK
- Harvard University, USA
- University of California, Berkeley (UCB), US
- Stanford University, USA
- Leiden University, Netherlands
- University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA
- Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
Archaeologists Career Scope
Because India has such a rich cultural past, archaeologists are in great demand.
Qualified students can apply for a variety of government and commercial sector job openings. You can work as a lecturer at a variety of universities or institutes after earning a post-graduate diploma in archaeology.You can work as an archaeologist at private or government-owned museums, where you will be responsible for the safe care and management of museum items.
Jobs in archaeology are available to anyone who are interested in learning about the past of humans, animals, or civilizations that lived thousands of years ago. Applicants can apply for jobs in the government by taking an exam administered by the Union Public Service Commission or the Staff Selection Commission. In tourism, an archaeology degree holder can work as a tourist guide, heritage manager, interpreter, or resource person for trip organisers. Graduates in archaeology have a wide range of work opportunities as well as research opportunities at numerous colleges and universities.
Archaeologists Books & Study Materials
- The Mind in the Cave by David Lewis-Williams
- The Prehistory of the Mind: A Search for Origins of Art, Religion and Science by Steven Mithen
- Before Civilization by Colin Renfrew
- Sinews of Survival by Betty Kobayashi Issenman
- Religion Explained by Pascal Boyer
- Return to Chauvet Cave by Jean Clottes
BA Archaeology Syllabus
Here are some of the topics that will be covered in the BA archaeology course:
- Introduction to Ancient History, Culture, and Archaeology
- Prep and Proto History of India
- Political and Cultural History of North India (From Vedic to Mauryas Time)
- Political and Cultural History of North India (From Times of Sunga to the end of Kushana Period)
- Political and Cultural History of North India Post Kushana Period.
- Political and Cultural History of North India of Post Gupta Period
- Political and Cultural History of South India
- History of Sciences in Ancient India
- Ancient Indian Epigraphy and Numismatics
- Indian Cultural Contracts with Outside World
- Religion and Art
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