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Archaeologists

Mayanist of the Month – May 2018 – Tatiana Proskouriakoff

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara Croft will be putting her knowledge of Maya mythology and archaeology to the test as she races against time to save the world from impending doom. To celebrate the game’s upcoming release, I will be paying tribute to some of the greatest female Mayanists in a new monthly series of articles, simply titled “Mayanist of the Month”. The study of Mesoamerica’s Maya civilisation has attracted scholars from a variety of social and academic ... [Continue Reading]

May 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

5 More TED Talks on Archaeology & Cultural Heritage

The Tomb Raider games may have whet your appetite for all things ancient but if you really want to indulge your inner archaeologist, put down your game controller and find out what the real experts have to say about this exciting field of study. From the digital preservation of vulnerable heritage sites to the discovery of ancient sites through satellite imagery, these five TED talks offer unique insights into how 21st century archaeology and heritage preservation are being conducted. 1) ... [Continue Reading]

April 20, 2018 // 0 Comments

What Do Archaeologists Think of ‘Tomb Raider’?

It’s fair to say that many archaeologists have a love-hate relationship with their fictional counterparts and with the way their profession is portrayed in popular culture. On the one hand, films and other works of fiction help perpetuate the trope of the “adventurer-archaeologist”, those Indiana Jones-types who spend their lives sniffing out lost cities and ancient treasures with little (or no) regard for proper archaeological procedure. Not only do such tropes give the ... [Continue Reading]

October 26, 2015 // 3 Comments

Pillagers of the Past and an Interview with Author Jordan Jacobs

For decades, Hollywood and other entertainment outlets have depicted archaeologists as globe-trotting treasure hunters with a thirst for adventure, a taste for shiny trinkets, and a flagrant disregard for the integrity and safety of the ancient sites they’re trespassing on. Lost cities are a staple plot point of your average archaeological adventure and encounters with the mystical and/or paranormal are almost a certainty. Despite the best efforts of professional archaeologists and ... [Continue Reading]

January 27, 2015 // 9 Comments

The First Lady of Chinese Archaeology

Trowelblazers recently published an article I wrote for them on the career of the Chinese archaeologist Zheng Zhenxiang and her discovery of the tomb of the Shang Dynasty female general and priestess Lady Fu Hao. Although this isn’t strictly Tomb Raider-related, I know that a lot of you are interested in archaeology and female archaeologists so here’s a short excerpt of my article for you to enjoy: Zheng Zhenxiang (born in 1929) was not only the first female archaeologist of New ... [Continue Reading]

November 6, 2013 // 8 Comments

10 Biographies of Early Female Archaeologists & Explorers

I’ve always thought of Lara Croft as a modern-day “romantic explorer”, albeit one who’s armed to the teeth and equipped with all the latest high-tech gadgetry. Her insatiable thirst for knowledge and adventure drives her to explore ancient ruins and remote lands in search of priceless artefacts and long-lost civilizations. But she is not alone in her quest. Women have been blazing trails through foreign lands and archaeology long before she was a twinkle in Toby ... [Continue Reading]

August 28, 2013 // 17 Comments

The Hunt for Himiko: Will Archaeologists Ever Excavate the Hashihaka Tomb?

In Tomb Raider 2013, Lara and the rest of the Endurance crew set out to look for the lost kingdom of Yamatai and its mysterious queen, Himiko, but, in reality, Japanese archaeologists have known the possible location of Himiko’s tomb for a few years now. Long-time readers of this blog may recall that a group of researchers were allowed access to the Hashihaka kofun burial mound earlier this year in the hope that they’d be able to confirm whether the tomb in Sakurai, Nara ... [Continue Reading]

July 30, 2013 // 12 Comments

The Day of Archaeology: Thoughts of an Aspiring Archaeologist

Today’s the Day of Archaeology and, despite my busy schedule, I couldn’t help getting involved in this exciting community blogging event. Here’s the short piece I wrote for the 2013 event: “I often feel like I missed my true calling as an archaeologist. Despite being attracted to archaeology and ancient civilizations from an early age, I was dissuaded from a career in archaeology by teachers who warned me that there was no future in studying the past. It’s too late to ... [Continue Reading]

July 26, 2013 // 8 Comments

Article: TrowelBlazers: In Search of the Female Indiana Jones

Dr. Victoria Herridge, one of the co-founders of the amazing TrowelBlazers Tumblr blog, wrote an article for CNN’s Leading Women feature in which she talked about the blog and its mission to celebrate the lives and careers of the remarkable (and often overlooked) women who have made valuable contributions to the fields of palaeontology, geology, and archaeology over the past couple of centuries. I was bombarded with more examples of pioneering women archaeologists: Dorothy ... [Continue Reading]

June 22, 2013 // 10 Comments

Book Review: Ladies of the Field by Amanda Adams

Amanda Adams’ book, Ladies of the Field: Early Women Archaeologists and Their Search for Adventure (which you can buy on Amazon/Amazon UK), delves into the extraordinary lives of seven female archaeologists who, like Lara, threw convention to the wind to travel to faraway lands in pursuit of knowledge and adventure. Some were mothers, some never married, some were devoted wives who worked alongside their husbands, but all were inspirational, courageous and determined women who made ... [Continue Reading]

May 31, 2013 // 15 Comments

10 Quotes About Archaeology

Looking for some quotes about archaeology and the study of the past? Here are 10 quotes to get you started! 1) “I’m not an historian but I can get interested – obsessively interested – with any aspect of the past, whether it’s palaeontology or archaeology or the very recent past.” ~ Dame Penelope Lively (Author & Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature) 2) “For me, archaeologists do not discover the past; they work on what remains. Archaeology ... [Continue Reading]

May 28, 2013 // 4 Comments

Article: Heroes, Mummies & Treasure: Near Eastern Archaeology in the Movies

Dr. Kevin McGeough’s article Heroes, Mummies & Treasure: Near Eastern Archaeology in the Movies examines the portrayal of Near Eastern archaeology in the movies and addresses the general public’s romantic view of archaeology as an adventurous (and often dangerous) occupation. He argues that archaeologists can better understand the public’s perception of archaeology and communicate archaeological knowledge more effectively if they confront these inaccurate, romanticized ... [Continue Reading]

May 26, 2013 // 6 Comments

The Day of Archaeology

Those of you on Twitter may have already heard about the Day of Archaeology. But for those of you who haven’t heard of it before, the Day of Archaeology is a communal blogging project which aims to give the public a better insight into the daily lives of archaeologists and heritage workers around the world. Once a year, archaeologists and archaeology students are invited to write about their exploits in the field, workplace or classroom to show that there’s more to archaeology than ... [Continue Reading]

April 30, 2013 // 3 Comments

Article: Romancing the Stones: Archaeology in Popular Cinema

In his article Romancing the Stones: Archaeology in Popular Cinema, historian Mark A. Hall looks at how archaeology and archaeologists are depicted in popular cinema and considers how the recurring themes of cultural appropriation, cultural imperialism, and emphasis on “treasured objects” create a somewhat skewed and negative view of the profession. Among the films examined are the original Indiana Jones trilogy, the Mummy film series, and, of course, the two Tomb Raider films. Ms ... [Continue Reading]

March 16, 2013 // 6 Comments