When we first started the class, I was intrigued with how little I knew about actual archaeology. I was quickly corrected that it was neither dinosaurs nor what Indiana jones was doing. So, I decided to look into just exactly why every archaeologist hates Indiana Jones, and what I found did not disappoint. I read an article, Why Archaeologists Hate Indiana Jones by Erik Vance, a journalist, about his encounters with real like archaeologists and their reasoning behind the hatred they have for Americas beloved action hero. Many of the archaeologists say that their main problem with Indiana Jones was that he was nothing near a real archaeologist, he was just a smooth talking looter.
There were a few key things that they pointed out about Indiana Jones’s actions that distinguished him as a looter and not an archaeologist. First off, he only went for artifacts that had substantial financial backing, such as the golden statue. Secondly, If he were going through the temple to retrieve the golden statue and all the booby traps are still working, why would he not want to stop and study them! A real archaeologist would want to study all the mechanics and materials that are used in the booby trap. There is so much more cultural evidence to learn compared to the one golden statue. Another thing to point out is that he never documents or publishes his findings, even though he always says his goal is to showcase them in museums. And even when he says that his intentions are to secure these artifacts in a museum, they never end up in any.
This article really brought to light to me the fact that looting is still a very real and large problem for archaeologists. When I thought of looting, I would think of pirates and people back in history. I would have never guessed that looting was still a thing in the world we now live in. We learned about how the pyramids were looted so much that the only thing that remained were things that could not be removed, such as the large stone casket in the Khufu pyramid, and markings from people who have visited and signed the walls inside. Aside from the lack of artifacts, there are other signs of looting, such as the entrances that were created by the looters trying to get to the treasures inside.
I think that because I now know that modern looting is a thing, and a problem, I will continue to research it and figure out what I can do in order to help it stop globally!