Archaeology, History and Impatience

What isn’t cool about archaeology?  A while ago, I realized that archaeology is really the study of the history of people.  How self-absorbed are we?  How ADD am I?  Those are intrinsically interesting questions.  At least to me.

I’m not knocking botanists or whatever science the history of trees falls under.  I love plants and think that the sequoia tree is probably the greatest fantastical plant species in the world.  But is it a plant species?  Sequoias are giant trees that are reminiscent of Harry Potter and the Hobbit, but are in the real life world of the Sequoia and Kings County National Park in California.

general sherman tree 2They are extra, extra cool because we view them in relation to ourselves and our history.  Why is that?  Scientists who are interested in the study of trees are called dendrologists.  I didn’t even know there was a separate word for that field of study.  And what a wonderful word that is.  I assumed tree students were botanists.

From the last paragraph to this paragraph, I got completely sidetracked and started researching trees, sequoias and wondering if there are people who just study ancient trees.  But, for most of us, we are interested in how the study of trees affects humans.  Because we are obsessed with being human.

What would have happened if dinosaurs lived?  Would we exist?  How did the ice age affect our species? Are we connected to Neanderthals?  Are they the same species as humans?  Is it icky that scientists have discovered that people of European ancestry have Neanderthal DNA?

See previous, wildly interesting post about Neanderthals

Are you interested in history? In how humans participated or started or ended historical events?  In how people have survived?  In what bones tell us?  In true crime?  Then archaeology is for you.  Anything I know about archaeology I have learned from documentaries, the History Channel, National Geographic and my new find, “Archaeology, a publication of the Archaeological Institute of America.”

This is where my impatience comes in.  One of the best things about archaeology, in my opinion, besides all the vowels in the word, is that if you liked playing in dirt as a child, it is definitely the career for you.

But I’m way too impatient for that.  I would last about 2 minutes digging (read that as 0 minutes digging) and 10-15 minutes sifting for tiny treasures of bone or ceramics.  If the “dig” started at 6am, by 6:15 I’d be ready for a coffee break. “Wow, that’s fantastic!  Anyone interested in a snack?  No?  Then I’ll be in the shade reading and watching for wild animals.  I got your back.”

So I will wait at home, reading Archaeology Magazine, National Geographic, watching the History Channel and wistfully dreaming about exotic places.  Here are a few of the places I would visit if I had the patience to be an archaeologist.

ingapirca official imageIngapirca, Ecuador

   terracotta armyTerracotta Army, China

And, of course, Mexico, Egypt, northern Europe, Alaska, Canada, Italy, Greece and, and, and……if only I had patience.

About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
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33 Responses to Archaeology, History and Impatience

  1. Glazed says:

    There are many archeologists in my town. I see them diving into dumpsters, and some of them frequent our local dump. I doubt I’d have the patience for the job, either. But some of the stuff archeologists find is certainly fascinating.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. any1mark66 says:

    Only thing better than sequiturs are bristlecone pines for thousand year old trees. They look half dead but grow where sky turns purple

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Keep watching the History Channel and you’ll see that all this is the result of being visited by Ancient Alien Astronauts. Ha!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Noirfifre says:

    History is the ish. I avoided digging at school/university not became I did not want to but other situations. I have alwaus dream to come across an artifact some place, somewhere. I am interested in some of yours places and Machu Picchu, Peru (oh to stand on that mount looking down below).

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    Archaeology is fascinating for sure. I enjoy fiction written from this vantage point, though I haven’t encountered a whole lot of it. And thanks for teaching me a new word: dendrologists. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Paul says:

    Archaeology does have a lot of vowels.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Girl Gone Expat says:

    I would be like you, 15 minutes into the dig I would be done…hehe. I am impressed with archeologists who keep it going for hours, days and months!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cecilia says:

    I’m always amazed about the work of archaeologists. A great talent and work. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love what you wrote. I’m greatly fascinated by archeology as wel!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Awesome! I dig your analysis and sense of humor. By the way, I’ve read this before. I must have read it when you originally posted it. Haha. I went to “like” it and saw that I had already liked it. But I liked it again for good measure. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      That is funny. I don’t usually plug my post on someone else’s post. And I am never offended if they don’t want to read it. But it seemed relevant to your post. We can be in the mutual admiration society.

      Liked by 1 person

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