Do the pictures of the ruins of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro in your history books seem extremely fascinating to you? Do you get a chill of excitement thinking how great would it be if you get to see the mummified Tutankhamen? In that case your chill of excitement seems to be a sure marker of interest in archaeology. Then why not build a career in archaeology? The exciting sense of discovering the past associated with excavation makes the field of archaeology an extremely interesting area of study. Probing into the history purely on the basis of relics in hand, add a sense of immediacy to this field, which otherwise is found lacking in conventional documented history. The field of archaeology offers a wide variety of works, integrating both art as well as scientific skills.
Today with the advancement of science and technology, archaeological excavation is no more restricted to land surfaces. In fact, under-water archaeology has added a new dimension to this field.
So if that has kindled your interest in the subject further and you are just geared up to follow the footprints of Rakhaldas Banerjee, here are the career options available to you in the field of archaeology :
· Bio-archaeology (study of organic remains found in an archaeological site)
· Geo-archaeology (study of sediments deposited on a site)
· Material Science (dating of artifacts)
· Forensic-archaeology (applying archaeological techniques to detect crimes)
Patience, a deep curiosity about the past and artistic sensibility are absolutely required of you, if you are keen on building a career in archaeology. You must hail from ancient history or archaeology background at graduation or post-graduation level, if you want to take up this career. Higher studies in the subject are strongly advised in order for you to get better opportunities. You must also have a good ability to work in a team and must be willing to work in any kind of weather condition. Knowledge of language is a great help for archaeologists.
Jobs at different universities, museums and town-planning department are available for archaeologists. Besides that, you may also expect jobs at The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and The National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property (NRLC). Apart from these, if you are a skilled archaeologist with good writing skills, publishing books or compiling guide books or magazines on heritage sites, history, culture and archaeology could fetch you good returns.
Do you feel immensely attracted to the relics of the past and the atmosphere of a museum sniffing of the past, seems the most exciting place on earth, to you? Now, if you really think this experience of touching the past in the present sounds amazing, then the career of an archivist is just the thing you are looking for. The job of an archivist is to preserve the records of the past. Archivists are required not only in museums but also in historical societies, libraries and also in the archival units of various organizations. However, if you want to be an archivist, you must be having a sound academic background, as your work demands extensive scholarly research along with preservation, sorting and description of the documents and materials. Besides that, you are also expected to offer help and advice to the archive-users. History and library sciences are the most preferred backgrounds for the post of archivist.
If the library work associated with the job of the archivist seem a little bland to you, then of course you have the curator’s vocation on the palate. A curator’s job is a perfect blend of aesthetics and administrative skills, for, a curator chooses the display items in a museum and neatly organizes their exhibitions by arranging and labeling the items. As a curator you may specialize in natural history, textiles, terracotta or metal. Today, the profession of a curator has received sufficient attention in India, due to the rising need for restoration of artistic treasures of the past, for tourism purposes. So you may well judge, if you are a curator, you may quench your thirst of being in the vicinity of the past, without the monotony of listing!
If living in the world of past-tense all the time doesn’t sound as great as the idea of studying human race in its both its past as well as present tenses, then anthropology is surely the field you must be in. Combining art, science, culture and humanistic interpretation, anthropology offers you the opportunity to understand and compare different kind of human societies and cultures both from the past and the present.
Anthropology offers you specialization in the following :
· Physical anthropology
· Socio-cultural anthropology
· Archaeological anthropology
· Linguistic anthropology
· Applied anthropology
Kerala University, Trivandrum
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