Indiana Jones makes archaeology look sexy, but is it really a good career? My magic 8 ball says that sources say no. As I cannot read my 8 ball’s mind as it reads mine, I could only guess that it feels this way because archaeology doesn’t pay well, and in the end, the job is to disprove the existence of God, one unearthed rock at a time.
For those of you considering archaeology, consider a growing, even-more-fun profession: reverse archaeology. Rather than to unearth clues about the past, the job of the reverse archaeologist is to earth clues about the present.
Some responsibilities of reverse archaeologists include:
- Information highlighter. Your job is to go through important documents with a black highlighter and highlight everything that looks important, like words longer than 4 letters long. These words will then be lost in history!
- Grave digging. Many archeologists will dig for weeks in the wrong place, not finding anything. Grave diggers have a 97% success rate in digging in the right place, and they are generally better able to complete their objective when they don’t find anything.
- Time capsule digger. There’s no better way to communicate with the future than collecting a whole bunch of crap and burying it in the ground. Time capsulists really depend on reverse archaeologists to make sure that their capsules are properly transmitted.
But of course, the job of the reverse archaeologist isn’t all fun and games. Seasoned reverse archaeologist Bob “The Hole” Jennings described in his autobiography his most difficult mission. Bob writes that in the early 1920s, he was responsible for placing a golden statue of a head deep in a cave. In addition to dealing with the “intolerable humidity,” Bob also had to push a 5 ton boulder up a ramp in the cave that would be released if the statue were ever stolen.
With all career decisions, make sure you do your research. You don’t want to spend years studying reverse archaeology only to find that you have no interest in building bridges that look invisible from certain angles.