How to Become an Archaeologist – If you love all things related to ancient civilizations, then the archaeologist profession is the ideal job for you. Archeology itself is a science that belongs to the branch of the humanities and the work of archaeologists is none other than to find out how certain people lived in certain historical stages. These archaeologists have a responsibility to research as well as uncover human history and add significant value to society and the economy with their findings.
These professionals will look for patterns to understand why and how human behavior has evolved. Meanwhile, becoming an archaeologist requires a commitment to higher education, training, and persistence in the field. This profession can be useful for those who have a passion for archeology.
As we know, history is a puzzle consisting of millions of pieces, from buildings to bones, from plates to armor. Archaeologists will search for and collect these pieces, then piece them together to create an image of the past.
What is Archeology?
Archeology is a study of human culture from different eras by combining history and geology. Someone who studies this science is called a student majoring in archeology who in their studies will study material on cultural history of various artifacts from time to time, such as inscriptions and also paintings found in various locations. Apart from that, someone who studies in this field of knowledge will also learn about how to dig up ancient artifacts, examine various historical facts behind artifacts, estimate the age of artifacts, how early human evolution moved, and of course will learn about museum organizations.
Archeology or a scientific field that studies related to ancient history is a science that studies human culture in the past through a systematic study of documentary data. This systematic study includes discovery, documentation, analysis, cultural values, customs, norms, customary laws, as well as interpretation of data in the form of artifacts (material culture, such as axes, stones and temples) and ecofac (environmental objects, such as rocks, earth features, and its kind). Fossils and their characteristics (artifacts cannot be separated from their location (archaeological site).
A special research technique is archaeological digging or excavation, although this investigative technique is still archeological in nature. The aims of archeology are quite varied and are the subject of long debate, including what is called capital archeology, compiling cultural history, understanding changes in the attitudes of living things, and also understanding the process of cultural change. Because it has the aim of understanding the culture of living things, including one of them, namely humans, this archeology is classified as a humanities group.
However, various supporting sciences are used, including history, anthropology, geology (with the knowledge of the layers of the earth’s formation as a reference for the relative age of a discovery), archeology), geography, architecture, paleontology and biological anthropology, physics (including carbon c- 14 for absolute dating), metallurgy (for obtaining the elements of metal objects), and philology (study of ancient manuscripts).
Today, archeology covers a wide variety of related fields. For example, the discovery of a buried corpse will arouse the interest of experts from various fields to study the clothing and the type of material used, the shape of the pottery, as well as how it was used, the pattern of distribution, beliefs related to what was buried with the body. Chemists can determine the age of excavations through methods such as measuring carbon-14. Meanwhile, geneticists who want to understand the movements of the first human migrations, they will research their DNA.
Specifically, this science of archeology studies the past, ancient cultures, both in prehistoric times and in historical times. In its development, archeology can also study contemporary culture, as is usual in the study of modern material culture. Because it is based on objects that existed in the past, archeology really needs to preserve these objects as a source of reference data. From there, another discipline developed, namely archaeological resource management (Archaeological Resources Management), or more broadly, cultural resource management (CRM, Culture Resources Management).
According to the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), archeology is the study of ancient life and culture through its remains. Starting from household utensils and also statues. Archeology in English is called archeology. Meanwhile, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica (2015), archeology is the scientific study of the remains of material life and human activities in the past.
According to Paul Bahn, the notion of archeology is a systematic study of the past based on material culture with the aim of uncovering, interpreting, and also classifying cultural heritage, describing the forms and behavior of people in the past and studying human history.
This archeology plays an important role as a major source of knowledge of ancient and possibly extinct cultures. According to A. Nurkidam and Hasmiah Herawaty in their book Archeology as an Introduction (2019), etymologically, the word archeology comes from Greek, namely archeo and logo. Archeo means ancient and logo means knowledge. Meanwhile, from a terminological perspective, archeology can be interpreted as a science that studies socio-cultural aspects of the past through the remains of found materials, with the aim of compiling and describing these events.
Duties of an Archaeologist
Archaeologist himself is someone who is already an expert in the field of archeology. Where these archaeologists are tasked with investigating historical and prehistoric sites and physical remains to understand human relations with the past with the aim of preserving past cultures. The archaeologists will try to find clues about the past. Generally, they use various kinds of extraction or excavation techniques. Tools such as shovels, axes, as well as bulldozers are commonly used to help archaeologists coordinate and participate in field work to try to excavate artifacts, such as ancient tools, pottery, seeds, or animal bones.
In addition, archaeologists are also responsible for the conservation of the artifacts they recover. These activities generally involve bringing the item back to the laboratory where it can be cleaned, recovered, and stabilized. Data collection is the main task of other archaeologists. Before, during, and also after excavations, these archaeologists take notes, drawings, samples, maps, measurements, as well as other information about the archaeological site. Archaeologists are not only tasked with finding information, but also using it to educate. Many archaeologists have professorships and are involved in publishing and teaching.
Requirements to Become an Archaeologist
When you graduate from high school or vocational school, you may have imagined that you plan to continue your studies to college instead of working or being unemployed. This is a good choice, because the higher a person’s education, the easier it will be to improve their standard of living. Job opportunities will also be wider with higher salaries. The courses you take can be adjusted according to your interests and talents. One of the choices of majors that you can choose is the archeology department. This one major is still very rare and only exists in six universities in Indonesia.
However, can this archeology graduate work anywhere? Due to the scarcity of archeology graduates, it makes the job opportunities even more promising. They can work as archaeologists with salaries starting from Rp. 4 million to Rp. 7 million. Meanwhile, for work as an overseas archaeologist, the salary can reach Rp. 800 million. If you are interested in studying archeology, first make sure you have the following characteristics:
1. Have a hobby of traveling. Where those who choose archeology majors will be familiar with traveling to find ancient sites.
2. Curious about life in ancient times or ancient humans. For those of you who want to major in archeology, make sure you have a very high level of curiosity about the life of civilizations that existed in the past. Because, the task of students of this department is to uncover the veil of life in ancient times.
How to Become an Archaeologist
As with most professions in the world, training is key to becoming a good archaeologist. Therefore, it is important to enroll in a university with a major in archeology and take different subjects, be it at the theoretical or practical level. An archaeologist’s job is to study the past by considering the remains found in excavations.
For that, the key is to graduate from the degrees mentioned earlier and take a Master’s degree to specialize in a particular subject in the field of archaeology. A professional in this field must certainly analyze the bones of the teeth or certain tools found in ancient deposits. The goal itself is to develop certain ideas about how civilizations lived in the past.
The following are some of the steps you need to take to become an archaeologist, including:
1. Getting a Bachelor’s Degree
The first step that must be taken by an archaeologist is to complete an undergraduate program in anthropology or a related field such as history or geography. There are many undergraduate archeology programs that provide hands-on experience through laboratory classes and fieldwork programs.
2. Participate in an Internship
Many budding archaeologists prefer to participate in an apprenticeship program, either during or after they have completed their undergraduate program. The internship will provide the fieldwork experience required for many archaeological work. Common places that may offer archeology internships are museums, government agencies, as well as archaeological organizations.
3. Getting a Master’s Degree
While an entry-level archaeologist position may only require a bachelor’s degree, most other archeology jobs will require you to have a master’s degree. A master’s degree here allows students to further develop the technical skills necessary to work as archaeologists and choose which area of archeology they wish to focus on. Common master’s degrees offered for this profession are anthropology and archeology programs.
4. Consider a Doctoral Degree
If you want to work as a college professor of archeology or lead a high-level archaeological project, then you may be asked to have a Ph.D. in archeology or a related field. Doctoral degrees here usually take two to three years to complete in addition to the several months of field research associated with the dissertation.
5. Looking for a Job
Depends on what kind of archaeologist you want and where you want to work. You can start work after you receive a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Finding archeology work as soon as you are qualified is an important thing to do in order to gain experience that will allow you to advance in your career. Entry-level jobs for archaeologists include site excavation technician, research assistant, and also archaeological laboratory technician.
Types of Archaeologist Profession
There are several different areas of archeology that you can specialize in. The field you choose will determine the type of archaeologist you will be. The following are some of the most common types of archaeologists practiced today, including:
1. Underwater Archaeologist
This type of archeology studies underwater remains as well as evidence of shipwrecks, cities buried under water as well as other underwater sites. In addition to the more general archaeological basis, an underwater archaeologist must also have knowledge of the specific techniques needed to carry out underwater exploration. This one field can also be referred to as marine or maritime archeology.
Ethnoarchaeologists are very concerned with uncovering clues and insights that explore ethnography or the customs and traditions of people and their culture. An ethnoarchaeologist can study the ancient culture that existed in a certain area by comparing it to the way of life of modern humans in that area. This type of archeology often involves examining groups of modern-day individuals and using the findings to infer how ancient people’s cultures lived.
3. Environmental Archaeologist
Archaeologists in this field focus on studying the relationship between the natural environment and ancient human groups. For example, an environmental archaeologist might try to determine which animals and plants existed during a certain period of time and how people at that time incorporated them into their lives. There are three sub-sections in the type of environmental archeology, namely geoarchaeology, zooarchaeology and archaeobotany.
Archaeological Science Objectives
In the journal Center for Research and Research on Archeology of West Kalimantan (2013) written by Benson Manalu, archeology generally aims to collect accurate data about life in the past. When described, this archeology has three main objectives, including:
– To present the cultural history of society in the past.
– Show how people lived in the past.
– Symbolizes the process of cultural change in the past.
Thus the discussion about what is archeology and how to become an archaeologist. The discussion this time does not only discuss about that, but also some goals and also the types of archeology that you can learn. Understanding the notion of archeology makes us rich in new insights regarding the world’s historical setting and also its developments which are rarely understood by ordinary people.
It also makes us contribute because we are also part of ongoing history. For Sinaumed’s who want to learn all about the notion of archeology and other history-related science, you can visit sinaumedia.com to get related books. As #FriendsWithoutLimits, sinaumedia always provides the best products, so you have the best and latest information for you. To support Sinaumed’s in adding insight, sinaumedia always provides quality and original books so that Sinaumed’s has #MoreWithReading information.