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Archaeology: Myth,Stereotypes & Actual Science

I am not understanding the questions and the relationship between stereotypes and archaeology. Here are the questions:
Stereotypes in archaeology. What are the stereotypes of archaeology and
archaeologists? What are the central themes that permeate fictional portrayals and the popular
media? What are archaeologists usually doing, where are they doing it, and why? What does the
popular/typical archaeologist look like? Where do our stereotypes of these characters come from?
What aspects from the history of archaeology contribute to these images? Why is archaeology so

Solution Preview

Dear Student,
The solution below is a narrative that provides an explanation an answer to the questions posed. There are varied perspectives that can be used to answer this but for this solution, I have used the anthropologist's view. It's actually quite practical and easily explained. I hope this clears up things for you. For expansion, you can utilize the references listed. Good luck and thank you for using Brainmass. A word version of this solution is attached for easy printing.

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Archaeology and Popular Media

When we think of archaeology what comes to mind? Dinosaurs? Indiana Jones? Lara Croft? Exotic digs in locales in Africa, China, Greece, Turkey and Mexico? Ruins and adventure? Massive temple complexes like the ones in Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia or that in the Valley Kings in Egypt? While the above images can figure into the actual practice of archaeology, they are only but a slice, an expression of a bigger whole. Hollywood and the entertainment media have popularized and taken poetic liberty over the practice of archaeology that stereotypes of archaeologists and archaeological research have permeated in the minds of so many. Indiana Jones with his swashbuckling adventures that spanned the globe, Lara Croft in her games and movies battling evil and world domination due to some ancient secret that a cohort of men wish to exploit. That or dinosaurs and the adventure movies that they inspired via Spielberg's Jurassic Park. This trio of movie franchises certainly stirred the imagination and sent many youngsters into dreams of similar adventures and professions. The thing is with the romanticization and poetic notion of archaeology exploited, real scientific facts about the discipline have been ignored. So, dispelling from the myths above, what is real archaeology?

The Science of Archaeology

Archaeology is about the study of human culture and history. It aims to create a scientific base of human knowledge that reaches back into Prehistory by compiling details of humanistic endeavours - even long lost traditions, practices and beliefs via ...

Solution Summary

The solution explains what archaeology as a scientific discipline is about, dispelling media stereotypes to present the actual practice of the science behind this anthropological, sociological and scientific discipline. Stereotypes are discussed especially that brought forth by popular media and entertainment fiction particularly those aspects of the discipline that allow for these stereotype permeation to explain the discipline's popularity and enduring popular myths. The solution is a 1,197-word APA format essay with references listed for expansion. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing.