Dig Deep for a Career Discovering the Past
Byline: EMMA THOMSON
What does a career as an archaeologist involve? Archaeologists study sites and objects to learn about the past. There are several specialisms within the role: from field work, taking part in digs, to preserving, conservation, teaching, survey work and protection.
Depending on your specialist area, your work could include identifying possible sites using methods such as aerial photography, field-walking and surveying, taking part in excavations, recording finds using photography, detailed notes and drawings, cleaning and preserving finds, identifying and classifying finds, using laboratory analysis and carbon dating, carrying out research and using computers to produce simulations of the way a site or artefact would have looked.
You could specialise in a particular geographical area, period of history or type of artefact, such as pottery.
What personal skills do you need? Archaeologists need an enquiring mind, a patient and methodical approach as well as accuracy and attention to detail. They also require good planning and organisational skills, the ability to work to deadlines, perseverance, plus IT and good communication skills. What training do you need? Most professional archaeologists have a degree, BTEC HND or foundation degree. You can do general degree courses in archaeology, as well as those specialising in different aspects.
As competition for jobs is very strong, it is useful to gain some practical experience. …