By Paul F. Reed, Preservation Archaeologist
(October 3, 2015)—This past June, I joined Scott Michlin on the Morning Show (San Juan College KSJE) and offered my list of the Top Ten Myths and Misconceptions in Archaeology (link goes to podcast). I treated this as a fairly light-hearted exercise—certainly nothing to get too worked up over! I have personally encountered everything on the list, in one setting or another, and I know that many of my fellow archaeologists have, as well. Nevertheless, I do believe that presenting the list is a useful way to increase public understanding of the work that archaeologists do every day. I also offer some commentary on each item. I encourage folks to read this list and reply with comments or questions.
So, on to the list…in reverse order, of course:
Archaeologists study dinosaurs. No, archaeologists study evidence of past people, in many different ways. Paleontologists and other geologists study dinosaurs.
Archaeology is always exciting and fun. As much as I would like to believe this, no. Like any job or pursuit, archaeology has many tasks that are difficult, dirty, and sometimes less than exciting, but must be completed. If I were to rewrite this item as a positive and true statement, I would say that archaeology is always rewarding!