Career in Archeology
Archaeology is a rewarding and challenging career opportunity for those who have an analytical bend of mind and a keen desire to know about the past. It can give awareness about the heritage and tradition of a country or a culture. It is the scientific and systematic study of past and human cultures through the recovery, analysis and documentation of material remains and environmental data, like architecture, artifacts, features, landscapes and bio facts. It is the field of conservation and protection of architectural relics, old monuments, inscriptions etc. In fact, Archaeology is the science that helps to build up a picture of the past.
In a country like India whose glorious past has always played a key role in shaping its future, the study of archaeology has been very important. The study of archaeology involves unveiling the past and preserving it in the form of historical monuments. Archaeological Courses in India consists of a detailed study of illustrated manuscripts, fossils, inscriptions and coins. Numismatics, epigraphy, archives and museology are also important branches of study included in archaeological courses in India. The primary duty of an archaeologist involves a scientific and inter-disciplinary approach to the study of past societies and culture which, in other words, imply extensive field work, thorough knowledge of languages like Urdu, Sanskrit, and Persian, and familiarity with subjects like anthropology, geography, and geology.
For those interested in a career in archaeology, a three years bachelor's degree in archaeology is the basic degree required. Thereafter, one may also pursue a post graduate degree or diploma in archaeology or further research in allied fields of study. Graduates in any discipline can choose to pursue a post graduate diploma or degree course in archaeology. However, graduates in history, social sciences like sociology, anthropology are given preference. At a higher level, those interested in conducting research on the various branches of archaeology must have completed their post graduation, preferably in history before applying for research fellowships. Several institutes offer Bachelor and Masters degree in Archaeology. Prominent among them are Institute of Archaeology, New Delhi; School of Archival Studies, Delhi; Delhi Institute of Heritage Research and Management; Andhra University, Patna University, Punjab University, Banaras Hindu University and Gujarat University. Besides, there are other Universities in India that offer Archaeology as a course. While many universities in India offer courses in archaeology, there are also institutes outside the country providing these courses. University College of London (UCL), the Cardiff School of History and Archaeology (UK), Bournemouth University (UK), Institute Of Egyptian Art and Archaeology at the University of Memphis are some of the reliable institutions promising a wide range of career prospects for aspiring candidates. Archeologist can find many job opportunities in India. They can work as epigraphists (study of ancient inscriptions on walls, temples etc) and numismatists (study of coins). Young archeologists get immediately absorbed into the various departments of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI). They get absorbed in various government positions through the UPSC and SSC examinations and get employed by the museums, defense services, Cultural centers, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of External Affairs etc. They can occupy various positions in the tourism industry too and can run tourist set-ups. They can take up exclusive teaching and research jobs. Archeologists also have many job opportunities abroad.
Archaeology provides the students with numerous career options. While some of them can seek a satisfactory career in museums, archives, universities and numerous research institutes dedicated to unearthing India's glorious past, others can appear for the Union Public Service Examinations conducted every year for the post of archaeologists in the Archaeological Survey Of India. Archaeology however has a world-wide appeal. An offshoot of archaeology is Egyptology, an interesting course offered by the Institute Of Egyptian Art and Archaeology, University of Memphis. The institute preoccupies itself with the study of Egyptian art and archaeology and provides excellent facilities in field work.