Today’s episode is a little bit different – It’s a collection of segments from several archaeologists. Robyn Lacy, who you’ll remember from the episode about burials and blogging, and Daniel Kwan, who’s a frequent guest on the show and host of the Curiosity in Focus podcast, answer a couple questions I put out on social media.
Why did you get into archaeology? What made you stay?
I’m putting out an open invitation to send in your submissions or set up a time to record with me – I’d like to hear why you got into archaeology – why you stayed in it – or, why you left. Upload your responses to these questions (or even why you’ve left archaeology) to this Dropbox link, or reach out to me on social media at godigahole to get your word in.
I’ve been on the road for the past week for work in California, and I got to visit Dr. Bill White at UC Berkeley and sit in his course on Ancient African Civilizations. There, I met his incredibly bright students and got a chance to meet a few of them. It was awesome and I hope to do more visits like that in the future. We sat down to talk about why he got into archaeology, and to take a deep dive into the challenges early career archaeologists face in making it work for them.
The reasons why someone chooses to become an archaeologist are incredibly varied. Many archaeologists wanted to become one since childhood. Some happened upon it by accident, or through trial and error. However, as Dr. Bill White and I discuss in this episode, there are many reasons why people leave archaeology as a profession. Some of the hurdles many face in navigating an early career in the archaeology include:
- Low pay and infrequent work
- Lack of healthcare coverage and other benefits
- Unpredictable work/travel schedules are hard on home life
- The work itself is very physically demanding
- Professional advancement can often be stymied
However, the reasons for sticking it out in a difficult field are just as varied as the reasons for getting into it in the first place. Archaeology can be incredibly rewarding, but finding ways to make it work for you is key. Get connected with a network of supportive people, find allies, and find a mentor who can help you navigate the rough patches.
This was a fun episode to put together, so hope you enjoy it.
Archaeology • Podcast • Undergrad Guides
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