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What to do with a degree in Archaeology

Are you fascinated by ancient cultures - and like to analyse the physical evidence of how people once lived? If yes, then archaeology may be the degree for you!
BY Braingain Staff Writer |   08-09-2014
What is Archaeology?

Archaeology is the study of past human activity based on the recovery and analysis of fragments of how different cultures and communities lived. This includes looking at artefacts, architecture, and cultural landscapes.

Archaeology serves to provide us with a perspective on human history and culture – helping us to understand why and how people lived, how this has changed, and even how this has all impacted how we live today. Unlike history, which relies on written documents, archaeology involves analysis through field study.

There are different areas of focus: Prehistoric archaeology, which focuses on past cultures with an oral tradtion; Historical archaeology is the study of cultures that existed – within this there is classical archaeology, which generally focuses on ancient Greece and Rome; Underwater archaeology studies physical remains of human activity that lies beneath the surface of bodies of water. There is also urban archaeology, industrial archaeology, and bioarchaeology.

What can one do with a degree in Archaeology?

Although you can work with museums, heritage agencies, and local governments, an archaeology degree can open up doors to other fields of work as well – as a consultant or with an institution of higher education.

Related subjects that can be pursued as a postgraduate degree include human osteology and palaeopathology as well as geophysics. A PhD is often necessary for a career in archaeological research or academics.

Some famous Archaeologists

Howard Carter – British archaeologist and Egyptologist – generally best known for his discovery of the intact tomb of ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamun.

Kathleen Kenyon – daughter of Sir Fredrick Kenyon, director of the British Museum – most famous for contributing to the founding of the University of London’s Institute for Archaeology where she was a lecturer in Palestinian archaeology during World War 2 (Somerville College, Oxford)



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