Help for a newcomer please

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johnw
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:59 pm

Help for a newcomer please

Post by johnw » Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:11 pm

Hi!

I've recently become interested in archaeology and I had the idea that after lockdown ends I would really love to volunteer at an excavation. Does anyone know if this is a "thing"?

I have no archaeological experience or qualifications other than having read some non-academic books and watched a lot of documentaries. So I realise it may be that serious excavations would not want me, but I thought perhaps there would be a role for an amateur to simply help out with any tasks that don't require special skills. I am 31 and have a bachelors degree in social anthropology.

I looked into field schools but these seem like commercial ventures quite far removed from what professional fieldwork would look like. I'm happy to pay if necessary, but my real interest is in observing/participating in the life of a genuine archaeological "season".

Thanks in advance for any help or pointers. If I'm being a complete idiot, feel free to say so!

Minimalist
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Re: Help for a newcomer please

Post by Minimalist » Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:37 pm

You're right that serious excavations sponsored by national antiquities authorities like those of Egypt or Israel would probably want some bona fides for anyone working on the sites. At the very least, students enrolled in such problems.

You might try contacting the head of local colleges/universities that have an archaeology department and see if they can use an extra hand who wants to learn. That's one way to gain some experience which could then be used later on.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

johnw
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:59 pm

Re: Help for a newcomer please

Post by johnw » Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:06 pm

Thanks, that's good to know and definitely a helpful suggestion!

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circumspice
Posts: 1080
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:10 pm

Re: Help for a newcomer please

Post by circumspice » Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:10 pm

On the other hand, if you are located in an area that has mandatory oversight by an archaeological authority prior to any construction, you could possibly participate in an exploratory excavation. Or perhaps you could participate in the emergency recovery of an endangered site.

Your b.a. in social anthropology should prepare you for the contentious & sometimes viciously competitive nature of researchers that is rife in the fields of archaeology & physical anthropology. It ain't all sweetness & light. They have their own agenda & they can be quite protective of it.
"Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, and, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer." ~ Alexander Pope

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