Unless you count digging up shells and other (alive) animals while visiting the beach, I have no experience in archaeology. I have seen advertisements for archaeological camps for young kids through community education organizations but never seemed to find the time to participate. Add my lack of archaeological history to being a music education major, without this class, I probably would have very little, if any, exposure to this topic for most of my life.
To be perfectly honest, I took this class to fulfill a general elective credit. Lucky for me, I was able to choose any topic I wanted to. I choose archaeology, and this course, because I knew so little about it. I wanted to expand my horizons and possibly find something that I could connect back to my own studies. Archaeology studies people of the past and the ways they lived. Hopefully in the future, I will be able to use the information that I learned in this class to supply my future students with more background knowledge or to put them in the mindset of people from a different era for different pieces we are working on.
I have never been a movie watcher so I have only seen bits and pieces of some of the Indiana Jones films. All I remember is the chilled monkey brains scene from what I believe to have been the second movie? All I can remember is being grossed out as a kid by the severed heads, but from that experience and I could place a bet that rituals like that probably never happened.
I absolutely think that education can help the public understand archaeology. Already in one day of watching lectures do I know infinitely more about the topic and don’t have many of the predispositions left. I knew that archaeologists had to work with dirt, still correct there, but there has not been a single mention of dinosaur bones or treasure. Unfortunately, real archaeology wouldn’t make a great movie (sorry,) but simple information like the Time Team series and even a short commercial can show enough to debunk most of the myths and, possibly, inspire some younger people to join the field.