Noun: A person who studies human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains.
When I was a kid I wanted to be an Egyptologist. I was in third grade art class when we were assigned to create a paper sarcophagus. Before we started making our sarcophagus we watched a documentary about the Ancient Egyptians which for some reason I got really into. After that I started asking about the Ancient Egyptians and history became my favorite subject in school. I do have to admit that Indiana Jones had an effect with me, the adventure and treasure finding, which by the way is not even close to being an archaeologist.
My mom and dad were very supported and got me all kind of books on Egypt. I learned all I could and I loved doing research on an Egyptian queen named Nefertiti. I did so many research papers and presentations on her throughout high school that really helped me get into doing research and actually liking it. I love to do research and find articles and evidence for my essays I have to do. I love writing about what I have learned and what I was able to find. This really helped me make the decision on changing to be an egyptologist to an archaeologist, because I started to do research on other parts of the world and their cultures. I started to get interesting in Greece, Rome, China, England, I wanted to learn more about other cultures around the world. Living in Germany really helped because we took vacations around Europe and I found myself really interested in the history of the place we were at. I love going to museums and see artifacts from the past, hoping on day I will have an artifact that I found on display.
When I started in community college they didn’t have an archaeology major which caused me to major in general studies, but there is when I learned what it actually means to be an archaeologist. I found out that archaeology is actually a branch of anthropology which is the study of human societies and cultures and their development. So took as many anthropology classes that they offered. I learned the evolution of human and there connection with primates. I learned about other cultures and how as anthropologist try to step into other people’s shoes to understand why they do certain things and how it effects their culture as a whole. My favorite class that I took in community college was during one summer when I went on a dig at this old colonial house. This was my first time being a part of an archaeological site and actually working as an archaeologist. I had the time of my life, I knew after that class I picked the field I wanted to be in. We were at that site every day for four weeks, digging and finding old bottles, and ceramic pieces, it was like a treasure hunt. I would do research through old documents to find who owned the property during the civil war because we found an old civil war button while we were digging.
The teacher saw that this was something I was good at and was something that I wanted to do so she was the one who suggested that I attend a University in Arizona. At the time I wasn’t really looking into any University but after looking at the Anthropology program that they had I applied as soon as I could and got accepted. My major is in Anthropology with my main focus in Archaeology and my minor in history. This is something I actually love doing, research, essays, cataloging and digging in the dirt. I had some bumps in the road with this choose thought.
After talking to some graduate students and some teachers on how it is hard to get a job as an archaeologist, it scared me for the future. When I was little I was thinking of getting a PhD in archaeology and traveling the world, but growing up and seeing the truth was really hard. I didn’t know what to do and felt like I chose a career path that would lead to nowhere. I know that many college students change their major throughout their schooling, but this something I wanted to do and love to do that thinking that I couldn’t do anything with it felt heartbreaking. Luckily my dad helped me out by telling me a couple job options for me that really stopped my doubting and worrying. I am still taking classes to get my degree in anthropology and I still do plan on doing something with it. It may not be what I wanted as a kid, like getting a PhD or traveling the world but it is something that I have worked so hard for to get because it is something I love.
My plan is work for the government for a bit as an archaeologist, or as an librarian where I can help students do research, or even work at a museum where I can help restore artifacts and help display them. Then I want to have my own antique store where I can show off my skills in research and try to track down origins of old objects, wouldn’t mind opening my own bakery too, but that’s for a different post to explain why.
All in all, I have loved the idea in becoming an archaeologist sense the 3rd grade and even though I am pregnant and married now, I am not stopping school a giving up on my dream in becoming an archaeologist.