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Hi,sir,I'm from India.I am very much interested in opting archaeology as  main career option,but I have been always adviced to not do archaeology as it does not have scope,pays are not very good.But genuinely i want to study archaeology and i am nxt year going to give my 12th boarfs in february..i please request you to guide me in archaeology.It should not happen later on that i waste my years in it.

Hi Yogita,

In most parts of the world an archaeologist is not well paid and it is long, hot and can be boring work.  However, while it is long, boring, often hot and dirty, it is those times of discovery that keep us going.  There have been days where there was nothing to find, removing over burden or looking for sites etc... but finding that first artifact or clue,  that keeps us going....

This is also not a treasure hunt. We typically are not finding gold or other items of great value.  But we find things that were used every day or the remains of what was eaten or where someone lived. Interpreting these items to develop a view into the past and to understand these ancestors of ours.  To live for a time in their place of residence, that is insightful and interesting.

There are universities in India where you can study archaeology as there are in many parts of the world.  The field of archaeology in India is a growing one and there is much to learn, find and discover.  It is an exciting place for Archaeology at the current time.  As for scope, India is the cross roads of Asia.  Man has traversed India for the better part of 500 thousand years!  Scope is not the problem it is what makes it an exciting place to work!  

When I was about your age, I went to hear the famous Mary Leaky speak at a symposium.  I asked her the same question.  She said to me"

Study archaeology and the cultures your are interested in but always have a back up plan.  Also study economics, psychology or some other area of interest, even plumbing or brick laying so that if you can not find work as an archaeologist or when it becomes to difficult financially, you have a back up plan that you can go back to."

It was very sage advice.  I am an archaeologist but I am also an anthropologist and a business anthropologist which is how I make my living today.  The Archaeology I do now is as a consultant and I work with museums and universities around the world to help them identify artifacts and their uses.  

Good Luck and be an archaeologist.  Do what is in your heart so that you never have to ask "i wonder what it would have been like".


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Ralph Salier


Archaeologist for the last 30 years. Norh American generalist and Hopwell culture/Red Ocher culture specifically. Lithics Expert and Ground Stone tools.


Past/Present clients
Numerous museums in US and Canada. Several University Anthropology Departments.

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