Also called: Archaeologist, Associate Director, Curator, Principal Archaeologist
Produced by CareerOneStop
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Where did human life begin? How did world cultures evolve? What impact have natural disasters had on people and civilization? Anthropologists and archaeologists explore these types of questions to learn about human history, and bring insight to current issues. Anthropologists and archaeologists study the cultures, languages, archaeological remains, and physical characteristics of people across the world and through time. Typically, they conduct research to answer questions and test hypotheses about human behavior and culture. Data collection and analysis form the core of their work. Their projects may result in published research or reports on the impact of potential land-use policies, healthcare programs, or even products. Most anthropologists work either in research organizations, for government, or at consulting firms. Archaeologists focus on physical findings; they analyze human remains and artifacts such as tools, pottery, cave paintings, and ruins. They also preserve artifacts, and interpret their significance through their knowledge of related historical information. Archaeologists work in museums, at historical sites, and for government agencies. They also work for cultural resource management firms that identify and preserve archaeological sites and ensure compliance with regulations. Anthropologists and archeologists need a master’s degree or Ph.D. in anthropology or archeology. Fieldwork experience —either in the United States or abroad— is important for both disciplines. Bachelor’s degree holders may find work as assistants or fieldworkers.
What they do:Conduct research to reconstruct record of past human life and culture from human remains, artifacts, architectural features, and structures recovered through excavation, underwater recovery, or other means of discovery.
On the job, you would:
- Study objects and structures recovered by excavation to identify, date, and authenticate them and to interpret their significance.
- Research, survey, or assess sites of past societies and cultures in search of answers to specific research questions.
- Write, present, and publish reports that record site history, methodology, and artifact analysis results, along with recommendations for conserving and interpreting findings.
Arts and Humanities
- history and archeology
- English language
Math and Science
- sociology and anthropology
Engineering and Technology
- computers and electronics
Education and Training
- teaching and course design
- writing things for co-workers or customers
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
- thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
- figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
- read and understand what is written
- communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
- use rules to solve problems
- see hidden patterns
- quickly know what you are looking at
- pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Attention to Detail
- Analytical Thinking
You might use software like this on the job:
Map creation software
Data base user interface and query software
Graphics or photo imaging software