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How to Become an Archaeologist

How to Become an Archaeologist

How to Become an Archaeologist – Archeology is the study of human cultures that have existed throughout time and around the globe. His research is done by examining artifacts found in archaeological sites to learn more about the people who left them behind. While this profession may turn out to be a bit different from what it appeared to be in the Indiana Jones movies, if you consider that the idea of digging the prong of a pristine arrow for over 900 years is as exciting as the chances of being chased by a rock detached, this may prove to be the perfect career for you. If you think you have what it takes to become an archaeologist, read on to find out how to get into this career.

How to Become an Archaeologist


How to Become an Archaeologist


Meeting the requirements

Finish high school. You will need a secondary education to start the journey to be an archaeologist, thus allowing a more in-depth education. In high school, it is important to do well in subjects such as History, Geography and Portuguese Language, in addition to being crucial to the scientific, such as Biology and Chemistry. If you discover extracurricular activities in your city or region that can further deepen your knowledge and experience in the archaeological field, make good use of all of them. Search for information at your school, local library or city hall to find out if there are archeological groups or associations in your city or region – or even search for tour packages with a little “field research” in Archeology.

Decide what to do next. In Brazil, to obtain the title of an archaeologist, it is necessary to give a course superior. There are three training options related to what to do next to achieve it: to graduate in Anthropology or to take a postgraduate degree, whether Master or Doctorate (or both), after having obtained the diploma of a higher education.

Undergraduate (or Bachelor ): This is the most recommended option, which will allow somewhat theoretical learning and practice for 4-5 years, depending on the university of choice, as well as offering something of the most varied disciplines of the great science of archeology, such as Ancient History, Geology and Human Physiology. The Bachelor’s Degree in Archeology will allow you to practice as a business consultant, museum technician, curator, archivist or even teaching as a substitute teacher, in addition to the existence of several other aspects.

Master’s or Doctorate: Another option for those who already have the Bachelor’s level in another course is to opt for a master’s degree or a doctorate. It is important to remember, however, that formations in this scope are recommended only to those with a basic grasp of archaeological theory and practice. These postgraduate courses, in many cases, may require previous training in the field or similar, evaluate the academic curriculum, require a research project or even perform knowledge tests in Archeology.

You possess the qualities necessary to become an archaeologist. If you wish to be an archaeologist, it is ideal that you possess or acquire the qualities necessary for success in this career. Remember that archeology is not a solitary journey and that you will have great benefits when working in a team. Here are some of the qualities needed for success:

  • Ability to work well with others: Whether you’re leading a team or just joining a team, being able to give or receiving orders, and working in a collaborative environment can help you pursue that career.
  • Investigative skills: the inquisitive and investigative mind, necessary for the career, goes far beyond its fieldwork. For success in
  • Archeology, you will need to conduct extensive research and have to learn to apply the knowledge gained also in the field.
  • Critical Thinking: You should also be able to think critically, developing an understanding of laboratory experiments and field observations.
  • Analytical skills: it will be important to know how to use the scientific method and to analyze the data to deepen the search for the proposed objectives.
  • Writing skills: Contrary to common sense, archaeologists do not spend all their time in the field. They are often found in the process of writing about their findings in reports, posting their findings in academic journals or in general interest publications.

Learn to develop cultural sensitivity. If you go to work in foreign countries, you will need to be aware of local customs and expectations. At any time during a visit to a foreign place, the natives will see him as an ambassador from his country or his educational institution, eventually making generalized judgments concerning his behavior. Be sure to keep an open mind and respect always on display in order to represent both yourself and your country of origin.


Getting experience

Get ready to work hard at finding a job. Although archeology encompasses an incredibly broad field of study with few active practitioners, the market is still narrow. The major reason behind the limitation in the performance of this function is the lack of research incentive in the area. However, with the emergence of environmental laws, the presence of professional archaeologists has increased considerably in environmental impact processes. So many people do not become archaeologists in search of glory or a high payroll – they do so because of their fascination with ancient artifacts and their love of learning how other peoples lived thousands of years in the past. If you consider yourself truly passionate about your career, your effort will lead you in the right direction.

Do volunteer work. Although the ideal scenario involves finding a job in your area, it can sometimes be the case that there is a lot of supply for little demand, depending on the place of comparison. In this way, volunteering is a great way to gain experience, create professional connections and connections, and get to know the field with the groups of people who will represent your future work environment. Do not be discouraged if you can not find a paid job right from the start – you can find excellent project opportunities in pre and post-excavation phases, or even in investigative stages, which will open you doors to paid positions even before you expect

Find a job vacancy. Being hired full time immediately after graduation in archeology is relatively difficult – but not impossible.

Climb more steps in your career. After winning the days of your field employees, seek to excel in positions of leadership or management, as a team leader, that will allow you a great position and even more practical experience. The best way to stand out in the application process is not only to prove yourself to be hardworking and dependable but also to specialize within a specific field of Archeology, so that your experience and knowledge are more valuable than those present in a medium candidate.

Specialize yourself. Attending a specialization will allow you to gain more knowledge regarding a specific area of study and become a valuable human material in future archaeological excavations. You can specialize by doing more research in a field, learning to use the tools needed to study an area and training under the supervision of experts in the field of knowledge in question. Some specializations within the field of archeology include ceramics, osteology (bone study), numismatics (study of coins) and lyticism (study of stone tools).

Post and advance in your area. If you wish to climb the world as an archaeologist, it is essential to publish your work in journals and journals that are respected and evaluated by professionals. Sending written papers to academic journals should become a regular habit for you, with respect to your own findings. Once you have published your own work, you will be developing your reputation, and you can even take your career to other levels by becoming a teacher or by working in another administrative position in the field.

Move forward in the field as you take on more responsibility in excavations. Another way to take a step further to move your career further is to take more leadership positions in excavations. As you gain experience, you can become an area supervisor, a position that will require you to organize and manage all aspects of the excavation from bottom to top. This will require you to work longer hours, but will allow you to advance your career and gain even more extensive knowledge regarding the entire excavation process.

Consider working in a field related to yours. Once you have established yourself as a traditional archaeologist, or shortly after realizing that you want a job involving fewer trips and a more fixed workload, you may start thinking about using the Archeology diploma in a similar field that still allows you to enjoy of his love for the area, but making his workload a bit more regularized. Some other options to consider are:

  • University professor: many archaeologists aim to find a definitive position in a university. It allows them to work full time, with several added benefits. They will teach throughout the year and in many cases will choose to spend their vacations in excavations. This helps create a greater balance in their lives, making their job position more stable than in the case of independent contractors.
  • Museum curator: curators work full time to preserve and maintain exhibits related to the work found in their fields. His work may include the production of research, the publication of results, the holding of public presentations and the exhibition of exhibitions.
  • Archaeologists from the private sector: Instead of working for a public university or another government institution, several archaeologists may find employment in the private sector, which may include work in archaeological sites whose excavation is legally determined prior to the destruction or reformation of the site .
  • Administration and protection of archaeological sites: your work, in this case, would be to protect and maintain archaeological sites rather than excavate them, which can range from helping with sightseeing tours in the area to ensuring that it is closed to the public.



Get ready for a lot of travel. Nobody said that being an archaeologist includes a free agenda. If you are committed to working, you should be prepared to invest a lot of time away from home. You can go to digs that keep you away from the family for months, or even longer, and it is essential to be prepared for it. Archaeologists often claim that finding the balance between family and work can prove to be considerably challenging – however, keep in mind that you can find a career path with a more stable and regular workload if you do not intend to invest your time in excavations archaeological findings.

Get ready to spend a lot of time outdoors. If you wish to be an archaeologist, you are likely to really enjoy spending time with nature. It is important that you do not mind the possibility of living in tents for months, never feel completely clean and have to deal with elements such as snakes, intense heat or physical discomfort. It’s all part of the fun of getting a job in an exciting new location, and you should be prepared for this part of the job if you are truly committed.

Get ready to face the elements. Although you may not be Indiana Jones himself, you should be well-prepared to encounter dangerous creatures regularly, such as snakes, spiders, and other wildlife. You may even find yourself entering drug plantations or manufacturing areas during topographical surveys. You need to be prepared and with an airy mind in order to stay calm even in situations like these.

Wake up early. Most archaeologists need to wake up early, at 4 or 5 in the morning, to start the work day. They start the activity often in the dark, when it is not always possible to see what lies ahead. This is because they want to invest productively eight hours of work and prefer to escape as much as possible from the hot afternoon sun. During the work day, several breaks are made for snacks, so you will have short periods of relaxation over time.