How To Pursue A Career In Archaeology

Let’s admit it – trying to pursue archaeology is not all that easy as compared to medicine or engineering. This is partly due to the fact that not many universities offer specialized courses, leaving interested candidates no option but to study whatever they could from ground zero – high school to graduation. This article aims at guiding you through the whole journey until you gain that degree – letting you know what subjects and courses help Archaeologists the most.

Understanding Your Requirements At An Early Age

Archaeology is increasingly open to other disciplines, especially these sciences: Biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics and technology. So if you like science, you may be able to link that with archeology. Mathematics is utilized daily in the field for taking levels, measurements, making grids , etc. Physics and chemistry is closely related to geology – they partly serve to deepen the study of materials. Biology has been representing the largest collaboration with archeology for years. Also, since Darwin wrote his “Origin of Species”, the study of human beings and genetics have been brightening up the past of human beings through their DNA.

Subjects in the fine arts discipline such as: drawing, art history, etc,. can be useful for pursuing a career in archaeology as well. When you dig, you have to represent the site with drawings on the ground. You also have to represent the artifacts in the same manner. If you are good at drawing you should have no problem with this.

Social Sciences such as: geography, history, Latin, Greek can play an integral part with archaeology. Geography allows you to observe various historical territories from another perspective. With this subject one could look into Landscape Archaeology as well. Classical languages also grant you the key to study the epigraphic sources of paleography – which is the study of ancient and historical handwritings.

Studying Archeology At The University Level

Do you opt for Business History or Archaeology? That is one great dilemma. Does training in History make the cut or do I need to specialize in archeology make? Well, you can go both ways – you can study business history first, and then opt for a masters degree in Archaeology. The main reason why people opt this route was due to the lack of effective specialized courses – and business history formed a good base for archaeologists as this gave them the qualification to teach at universities as well. But thankfully, now there are over 174 institutions offering specialized courses in the US alone, which means that you have the option to jump directly into what you love doing best. There are many good universities offering the course outside of US as well.


Once you are into the course, participate in excavation projects organized by the department in summer, with the intent to collaborate in drawing material during the course. This way you can always be informed of what is going on in the department and know well in advance about the various options at your disposal as and when you finish the degree.

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