As an anthropology senior I have what I would call “textbook experience” in archaeology but I have never encountered any hands on experience myself. I have taken numerous courses pertaining to archaeology, but have never actually been involved in a dig or a field school since it is not my area of study within anthropology.
I took this class pretty much to wrap up my studies here at Michigan State on a good note, because as you all will find out Dr. Norder is an awesome professor. I also need a bit of a boost in my anthropology GPA if I hope to stand a chance getting in to graduate school later in life so I am hoping this will help me do that. I also really do enjoy learning about archaeology even though as I mentioned before it is not my area of study, and I think this class will be an awesome overview of the highlights of archaeology without all the boring stuff I have already learned.
I have seen Indiana Jones, but only part of it. One of my very first anthropology classes addressed the film in the same way: that it creates a lot of stereotypes about archaeology and anthropology in general. So out of morbid curiosity I decided to turn it on. It is definitely not my kind of movie first of all, and second I had to turn it off because it was such a bad representation of archaeology, if you can even say that’s what Indiana Jones is doing. I cannot say I have seen Tomb Raider, but I have this faint idea of what it is about, but I would pay good money to see Dr. Norder do that on a bike.
I do think education would help the public understand archaeology because unfortunately these examples are the only things out there for the public to go on at this moment. I don’t know about your friends, but mine don’t exactly get a kick out of watching archaeology documentaries in their spare time, so most of the public has never been introduced to what real archaeology is all about. I think a public understanding is crucial to the field though, due to cases like the Kennewick Man which cause controversy with little to no understanding of the science going on behind it. Plus, if the public knew how hard archaeologists work to conserve our cultural history, maybe they would quit stealing artifacts from sites!