Originally posted by TheBigD
I've been trying to deicde whether to pursue an MBA and become filthy rich or be an archaeologist studying the traces of humanities past, and
hopefully finding mythical places such as Atlantis or something. Though I've tried finding information on the schooling it takes to become an
Archaeologist it seems a bit complicated and there are not any one path to take in order to study for this. Does anyone know the amount of education
it takes, and where the best education in this field is at?
Okay, I can give you a direct answer here-- it will take a PhD before you get put in charge of any digs, though you can do work with a Master's
I'm kind of in the same situation -- my (second) Masters' that I'm getting now is in Anthropology and I had exactly ZERO courses in it before
running off to become an anthropologist. I have had to take five courses to "level" and then the courses for the degree in Applied Anthropology...
say, working fulltime and going to school in the evenings it's about a 3 year process. You will need courses in anthropology as well as geology and
you'll need field school expeirence.
It's really quite fun, though you'll come to find that archaeologists are EXTREMELY picky and EXTREMELY literal. And you'll get to learn lots
about rocks and sedimentation and how sites are formed and how to date sites and an incredible amount of other trivialities. Along the way you'll
learn odd skills like flintknapping arrow and spear points and how to throw an atlatl and how to read ancient languages. And you'll start learning
your target cultures in depth.
And read. Oh heavens will you get a BOATLOAD of reading!
You will NEVER see the world in the same way again... I can promise you!
Some of your local archaeological societies will offer you field schools, and you should take every one of those that you can manage. It's gruelling
work and the data is often confusing and the darn Primary Investigators won't TELL you anything. You have to learn how to figure things out for
yourself. They will, however, tell you in excruciating detail when you're wrong.
I don't know much about schools outside Texas. Here in Texas, University of North Texas (where I am) has a good school with some folks that are
"names" in the field. The profs are accessible -- a bonus.
Texas A&M is probably THE place for things like rock art and pre-Clovis culture.
SMU (where I'll be getting a PhD in Anthropology) is top-notch for paleoindian material and for paleontologists (who aren't archaeologists but study
dinosaurs and mammoths and other life forms.)
When you go for your PhD, you'll want enough money to support your family and you for about 2 years. You will need to go fulll-time and will be
expected to become a Teaching Assistant for the department. The TA job pays about $10/hour currently, so you can see that you'll need other sources
of income to make your way.
There's a yahoo group called "shovelbums" that has regular announcements and you can run off for a week or six on a project (once you have a field
school behind you) and earn some wages digging on projects around the US.