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Archaeologists

What Do Archaeologists Think of ‘Tomb Raider’?

It’s fair to say that many archaeologists have a love-hate relationship with their fictional counterparts and with the way their profession is portrayed in popular culture. On the one hand, films and other works of fiction help perpetuate the trope of the “adventurer-archaeologist”, those Indiana Jones-types who spend their lives sniffing out lost cities and ancient treasures with little (or no) regard for proper archaeological procedure. Not only do such tropes give the public a poor idea of what archaeologists actually do for a living; in the most extreme cases, they ... [Continue Reading]

October 26, 2015 // 2 Comments

Pillagers of the Past and an Interview with Author Jordan Jacobs

For decades, Hollywood and other entertainment outlets have depicted archaeologists as globe-trotting treasure hunters with a thirst for adventure, a taste for shiny trinkets, and a flagrant disregard for the integrity and safety of the ancient sites they’re trespassing on. Lost cities are a staple plot point of your average archaeological adventure and encounters with the mystical and/or paranormal are almost a certainty. Despite the best efforts of professional archaeologists and academics to portray their profession in a more accurate light, the “adventurer archaeologist” ... [Continue Reading]

January 27, 2015 // 9 Comments

Guest Blog: The League of Extraordinary Treasure Hunters

Guest Blogger: Ross Wittenham. How awesome would it be if Lara Croft found herself in an adventure with The Da Vinci Code’s Robert Langdon and National Treasure’s Ben Gates? It’d be like the Avengers of the treasure-hunting scene. Think about it; they have complimentary skill sets. Robert Langdon is all over the symbology business, while Gates is good at bluffing his way into top security events. Lara, of course, has all the cross-country and combat experience. Don’t forget their supporting characters either! There are two pet geeks in National Treasure’s Riley Poole and Tomb ... [Continue Reading]

May 22, 2014 // 2 Comments

The First Lady of Chinese Archaeology

Trowelblazers recently published an article I wrote for them on the career of the Chinese archaeologist Zheng Zhenxiang and her discovery of the tomb of the Shang Dynasty female general and priestess Lady Fu Hao. Although this isn’t strictly Tomb Raider-related, I know that a lot of you are interested in archaeology and female archaeologists so here’s a short excerpt of my article for you to enjoy: Zheng Zhenxiang (born in 1929) was not only the first female archaeologist of New China, but also the person who proved the historicity of Lady Fu Hao, a Bronze Age female general and ... [Continue Reading]

November 6, 2013 // 8 Comments

10 Biographies of Early Female Archaeologists & Explorers

I’ve always thought of Lara Croft as a modern-day “romantic explorer”, albeit one who’s armed to the teeth and equipped with all the latest high-tech gadgetry. Her insatiable thirst for knowledge and adventure drives her to explore ancient ruins and remote lands in search of priceless artefacts and long-lost civilizations. But she is not alone in her quest. Women have been blazing trails through foreign lands and archaeology long before she was a twinkle in Toby Gard’s eye, some of whom were featured in Amanda Adams’ book, Ladies of the Field: Early Women ... [Continue Reading]

August 28, 2013 // 17 Comments

Jean-Yves Empereur: A Career in Ruins

“All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.” How often have we seen these words appear on the big screen, on TV, or in print? But oddly enough, there was one occasion where the resemblance to a fictional character in a Tomb Raider game was perhaps a little too close for comfort. Does the name Jean Yves ring any bells? In 2001, the Alexandria-based Egyptologist and archaeologist Jean-Yves Empereur filed a complaint against Eidos Interactive for using his likeness in Tomb Raider: The Last ... [Continue Reading]

August 2, 2013 // 6 Comments

Article: TrowelBlazers: In Search of the Female Indiana Jones

Dr. Victoria Herridge, one of the co-founders of the amazing TrowelBlazers Tumblr blog, wrote an article for CNN’s Leading Women feature in which she talked about the blog and its mission to celebrate the lives and careers of the remarkable (and often overlooked) women who have made valuable contributions to the fields of palaeontology, geology, and archaeology over the past couple of centuries. I was bombarded with more examples of pioneering women archaeologists: Dorothy Garrod…; cross-dressing Jane Dieulafoy; Gertrude Bell, spy and mentor to T.E. Lawrence; the explorer and ... [Continue Reading]

June 22, 2013 // 10 Comments

Book Review: Ladies of the Field by Amanda Adams

Amanda Adams’ book, Ladies of the Field: Early Women Archaeologists and Their Search for Adventure [Buy this on Amazon/Amazon UK], delves into the extraordinary lives of seven female archaeologists who, like Lara, threw convention to the wind to travel to faraway lands in pursuit of knowledge and adventure. Some were mothers, some never married, some were devoted wives who worked alongside their husbands, but all were inspirational, courageous and determined women who made names for themselves in a male-dominated field and helped shape the world around them. The seven women whose ... [Continue Reading]

May 31, 2013 // 15 Comments

10 Quotes About Archaeology

1) “I’m not an historian but I can get interested - obsessively interested - with any aspect of the past, whether it’s palaeontology or archaeology or the very recent past.” ~ Dame Penelope Lively (Author & Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature) 2) “For me, archaeologists do not discover the past; they work on what remains. Archaeology is about our relationships with what is left of the past. And more - archaeology is the discipline of things - the history of design, how people get on with the material world, materiality ... [Continue Reading]

May 28, 2013 // 4 Comments

Article: Heroes, Mummies & Treasure: Near Eastern Archaeology in the Movies

Dr. Kevin McGeough’s article Heroes, Mummies & Treasure: Near Eastern Archaeology in the Movies examines the portrayal of Near Eastern archaeology in the movies and addresses the general public’s romantic view of archaeology as an adventurous (and often dangerous) occupation. He argues that archaeologists can better understand the public’s perception of archaeology and communicate archaeological knowledge more effectively if they confront these inaccurate, romanticized depictions of archaeologists on the big screen rather than ignore them. McGeough draws from a wide ... [Continue Reading]

May 26, 2013 // 5 Comments

Day of Archaeology 2013

Those of you on Twitter may have already heard about the Day of Archaeology. But for those of you who haven’t heard of it before, the Day of Archaeology is a communal blogging project which aims to give the public a better insight into the daily lives of archaeologists and heritage workers around the world. Once a year, archaeologists and archaeology students are invited to write about their exploits in the field, workplace or classroom to show that there’s more to archaeology than just digging and ancient tombs. The Day of Archaeology 2013 will be held on Friday 26th July and ... [Continue Reading]

April 30, 2013 // 3 Comments

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