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Friday, May 13, 2011

Confessions of an Archaeology Student: My Truth

Every week I attempt to share research or a topic I may be interested in, yet sometimes I hit a snag and start questioning why I do things at all. I suppose this feeling came from the forums and tweets I've been reading concerning archaeologists not having the drive or abilities to obtain jobs after they graduate. It's an honest feeling and it's something all anthropology students experience after a certain amount of time. You wonder whether you’ll be able to support yourself let alone your family when you graduate with a BS in Anthropology. The pickings are slim at this point so you have to question how far you’re willing to work to get a job in a field you love.

That’s what archaeology is all about. It’s not about the money it’s about the passion all archaeologists feel about their craft. You may spend just as much time in school as a doctor yet you get paid a fourth of their salary, sometimes less. This is when I started questioning my field. A few days ago I had the brilliant idea to switch to Pre-Med. Within 48 hours I had switched my major, signed up for all of the classes, obtained a shadowing job at a hospital here in Florida, and I even started looking back at my notes for Anatomy.

As I sat and looked at the screen of my computer and my new schedule and as my fiancĂ© started to talk about the classes, I had a horrible vision. I couldn’t breath and my heart started racing. I grabbed my head and yelled out, “I can’t do this!” Why had I made such a sudden turn? Was it the money or was it that I didn’t want to be an archaeologist? Well, the truth is, it was the money. In the past 5 years I have lost my home, two restaurants, cars, and everything I ever held dear. I lost myself and it took going back to school to find myself again.

I found my god in archaeology. I found wisdom and truth and I met a new person that was hidden inside a very lonely individual, myself. This is why I chose this field. It’s not money it’s the way that history touches you. It’s the moments in a person’s life thousands of years ago working their land and sharing the fruits of their labor with everyone in a village. It’s the feat of the pyramids rising up to the heavens by the sweat of thousands of slaves. It’s the Sistine Chapel which reminds us of one artist’s attempt to capture what truth and religion meant to him. It’s about telling the story and history of those that were forgotten. Not because they had no voice, but because their status didn’t permit them to proclaim what life was about.

My Truth

I could tell you another history or archaeology tale. Talk to you about the pyramids and the court of Henry VIII, but those stories have been told by hundreds of people. The key is to share something new. To share my experiences and path, and I plan on doing that much more on Ancient Digger. Many stories around the world are not being told and history is being lost because most of us fail to see the greater picture. Archaeology and history DOES happen on the smaller scale.

It’s time to embrace the people and places that do have a past and a voice. That’s why I started this blog. It’s just took a bend in the road to kick me right back into the place I should have stayed in the first place.

When I wrote this post I was listening to That Next Place by Thomas Newman. This epic song brought a tear to my eye and made me realize that I am content with my choices and archaeology made me realize that life is so much more than money.

1 Comment:

Eesti said...

What you’re saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I also love the images you put in here. They fit so well with what you’re trying to say. I’m sure you’ll reach so many people with what you’ve got to say.

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