Career in the Field of Archeology

Fundamentally considered as a humanity stream, archeology is also as much a science subject as an art. A career in the field of Archeology demands a keen interest in human civilization and cultural evolution. Archeology is an interesting subject and those who have an inclination towards deciphering the mysteries of history usually prefer this area of study.

Most people get swayed with instant excitement on the very thought of excavating the ruins of a long lost empire. What may be the real issue  is your possibility of getting a chance to do it. This field is surely growing bit by bit but still does not carry a good earning potential if you are anywhere away from being successful. Renowned archeologists, however, make huge cash even by authoring books. If you can dare to risk your earning capability for the sake of your proclivity, then you are the fittest person for this job.

What is Archeology Actually?

Archeology is all about the study of human history through the remnants of the old civilization. Normally, the articles recovered after survey and the excavation of a site like coins, pots, sculptures, images, buildings etc. are studied to establish their connection with the past. To construct a firm analysis, modern techniques like carbon dating method, satellite imaging, thermography and advanced software are used.

Available Courses and Institutes for Archeology

Courses for Archeology range from a bachelor’s degree to a PHD in the subject. The higher you study the more rewarding it becomes for your career. To earn success in the field of archeology, it is better if you have ample command over the subjects like anthropology, history, geology, linguistics, sociology, physics, statistics and so on. It will be an added plus if your background relates to History, Sociology or Anthropology.

The following institutes are some of the best ones offering Archeology courses in India,

• Archeological Survey of India, New Delhi

• Patna University, Patna

• Delhi Institute of Heritage Research and Management, New Delhi

• Institute of Archeology, New Delhi

• Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi

• Kurukshetra University, Haryana

• Gujarat University, Ahmadabad

• University of Calcutta, Calcutta

• Osmaniya University, Hyderabad

Major Streams of Archeology

Archeology can be divided into many branches depending upon the practical and science involved in a particular stream.

The most popular streams can be summed up as follows:

Urban Archaeology: Under this stream the cities and towns with long history of the past are studied. Generally, a rich record of the past is deciphered shedding light on long dwelling of the human civilization in the area.

Archaeometry: Archaeometry also refered to as the archaeological science, deals with the techniques involved in dating and studying of ancient articles. It is now considered as a separate discipline.

Battlefield Archaeology: This stream enquires about the battle fields and military action in the past. This is done to understand the methods of warfare, weapons used and the cause and consequences of the battles fought.

Environmental Archeology: This branch seeks to establish the relationship between human beings and the environment on a long term basis. The primary sub-disciplines are Archaeobotany, Zooarchaeology and Archaeopedology.

Forensic Archaeology: It is concerned with employing archaeological principles, methods and techniques to help locate the evidence in a crime. It is a medico-legal field in plain terms.

GeoarchaeologyThe combined techniques of Geology, Earth science and Geography are used to understand the changes in the environment through the time by studying the soil, sediments and the changes accompanying them.

Marine Archeology: It involves the study of under -sea elements along with shores. The physical remains and the submerged sites are explored to bring out the consequences of human interaction with sea, lakes and rivers.

Archaeobotany: Also known as Paleoethonobotany, Archaeobotany, studies the remains of the plants from the site. This study of plants used by humans in the ancient times provides great insight into the genesis of agriculture, domestication and the co-evolution of human-plant interactions.

Future of Career in Archeology

There are a lot of possibilities associated with this field, both in private as well as the public sector. You can get employed in museums, universities, mining corporations, consulting firms and government bodies as archaeologists, field assistants, heritage consultants or cultural heritage officers depending on your knack and your flair for the job. Corporate houses now employ archaeology professionals to preserve and maintain the records. To have an easy sailing in this field, you need to know the languages such as Sanskrit, Pali or Prakrit. A diverse knowledge of different related subjects is also helpful in churning out success in the long run.

Archaeology is a diverse profession and archaeologists engage in a wide variety of work, from finding archaeological sites and excavating them, to scientific laboratory analysis of finding and writing papers and books about their findings. As an archeologist you can specialise in one of three major subfields – Indigenous, historical or maritime archaeology. Most archaeologists work for public and private organisations to find, excavate and record archaeological sites and other aspects of cultural heritage affected by development projects, such as mining and construction.

The organisations include:

• Federal, State and Local level government departments (e.g. Forestry, Environmental Protection, Mining and Energy, National Parks, Heritage Planning & Development);

• Archaeological consulting firms;

• Large corporations (e.g. mining and resources companies);

• Engineering/environmental consultants;

• Aboriginal Land Councils;

• Museums;

• Universities.

It is now up to you to pick the organization you want to work for. You can get hired throughout the world if you are efficient and knowledgeable. But, a little patience is a prerequisitive to succeed in this stream.