I want to be an archaeologist!
Ben Broadbent, aged 15, asked:
My question is what should I be doing now if I want to be an archaeologist? I know it is a big question, but I am struggling to find information elsewhere. I hope to do something with the Romans and currently am doing a Latin GCSE, Classical Civilisation GCSE and a Geology AS level but I think I can go beyond exams. I do live near the city of Chester, or as the Romans called it, Deva, and it is good for the Romans.
But generally, should I be doing anything specific at my age to increase the chance of becoming an archaeologist?
Julian Richards answered:
I'm glad to hear that you want to be an archaeologist, Ben – even though you do like the Romans!
As far as academic qualifications are concerned then just do the very best you can and bear in mind that history is a useful subject at A level as it teaches you the sort of research skills that will undoubtedly come in useful as an archaeologist. But apart from this I would encourage you to get involved in archaeology in whatever practical way you can.
I assume that you are a YAC member (if not, find your nearest club by clicking here!) but also find out about your local archaeological societies and museums, see if they have active groups that are doing fieldwork or excavation and get some hands-on experience. Your museum may have opportunities for helping to process and catalogue finds – all very useful and may help you to decide which branch of archaeology you want to go into. We have just started a field school down here in Dorset to give people of all ages this sort of experience (check out www.wafa.org.uk) and you may have something similar in your part of the country.
Good luck – I expect to meet you on a dig at some time in the future!
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