Ask the Experts

Our Experts, who have volunteered to share their time and information, include researchers, university professors, AIA Board members, ancient art historians, field archaeologists, museum specialists, architectural historians, and more – all with specialized knowledge of specific ancient cultures and subjects.

We have created a catalogue of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). In the FAQ section are answers to some of the questions archaeologists are most often asked, arranged by topic. If you want to know the meaning of a particular archaeological term, please check our online Glossary.

If you cannot find an answer in the FAQ, please leave a comment! Please be patient, since our volunteer archaeologists are sometimes excavating, teaching, or otherwise occupied, and may not be able to respond immediately.

Comments

I am glad to hear you are interested in archaeology!

Dear Priscila,

I am glad to hear you are interested in archaeology!  Becoming an archaeologist takes a lot of hard work, but it is an interesting and fun subject to study.

Archaeologists study past civilizations, our focus are past humans, how they lived and died. We research on every aspect of past civilizations, from engineering knowledge, to their concept of art and beauty, from their religious beliefs to their fashion sense, from their technological and scientific knowledge, to what they eat and drank. We do this through both research on books and in labs, and through on site data collection (digs). Our lives are usually divided between the field and the classroom or library. You need both “brain and muscle” to be an archaeologist! We do travel a lot, and meet the locals wherever we go. This usually includes also learning their language and costumes to better adapt.

So up to this point it all looks quite like Indiana Jones’s life! What is fictional about the movies are the way he “discovers” things, and the gun fights! Although those look exciting on TV… I am sure that you wouldn’t like to risk your life at the hand of Nazis, or being buried with thousands of poisonous snakes!! YAIKS!! However if you go on a dig, you will find out that the discovery of even a small fragment of pottery, is the most exciting thing you have ever done! Imagine… being the first one in centuries, or thousands of years, to see and touch that fragment! And through it you can answer a lot of questions about the people that lived there and used that object.

There are field schools, where you can learn how to dig, that accept high-school students, you can find some on our website: http://www.archaeological.org/fieldwork/afob

Please let me know if you have any more questions!

Best wishes.

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