Mohenjo – daro (the ‘Mount of Dead’), is one of the largest settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization. I still vividly remember the class when our History teacher enlightened us with the facts of the site. Some of us were least interested, some were intrigued, and some went beyond being intrigued – they wanted to explore more, get into the nitty-gritties of the findings. If you are one of those students who don’t want to just read about such things but want more, may be Archaeology is what you should take up.
What is Archaeology?
Archaeology is an amalgamation of 2 words, ‘archaios’ (ancient things), and ‘logos’ (theory of science). In simple words, Archaeology refers to the study of human prehistory and history through analysis and documentation of recovered historical data. The historical data could pertain to architecture, artifacts, cultural landscapes, and bio-facts left behind by past human population. If this really interests you, read further to understand what you need to do to pursue a career in this field and become an Archaeologist.
Taking the first steps to be an Archaeologist
Often students are confused and at times the parents, as well, on how to go about in pursuing a career in archaeology.
To start with, a student should have a basic interest in history, an enquiring mind equipped with patience and perseverance to uncover and discover long lost historical and cultural things.
Students from any of the three streams, viz., Science, Commerce and Arts can pursue a career in archaeology. The courses available for graduation are generally History, Culture and Archaeology – B.A / B.Sc
Next is to take up higher studies with specialisation in different Archaeological division with M.A. or M.Sc courses in Archaeology. Students interested in further and indepth research can go for Ph.D in Archaeology.
Here we list a few best Colleges for Archaeology study in India
1. Banaras Hindu University (UP)
It offers Graduate, Post-Graduate, and Diploma courses in Archaeology. A student needs to appear for a UET (Under-Grad Entrance Test), or a PET (Post-Grad Entrance Test) or an SCS (Diploma Exam).
2. Karnataka University
This university offers a 2 year MA course in History and Archaeology and a Post-grad course in Archaeology and Museology.
3. Maharaja Sayajirao University (Vadodara)
The Maharaja Sayajirao University offers Bachelors Degree (3 year course) in Indian History, Culture and Archaeology and a Ph. D in Archaeology, as well.
4. Delhi Institute of Heritage Research and Management
This institute offers MAHM (Master in Archaeology and Heritage Management) and MCPHM (Master in Conservation, Preservation and Heritage Management) courses. To be eligible to apply for these courses, a student must be Graduate in any of the following courses: Humanities, Science, or Commerce.
5. Tamil University (Thanjavur)
The TU (Tamil University) campus is spread across 800 acres surrounded by Heritage like structures. The university offers M.A in History and Archaeology and is one of the best place for Archaeology students to enroll in.
What is the job like?
A career of an Archaeologist is majorly spent in excavation sites and laboratories. It involves working on projects that may take months or even years to complete.
Further an Archaeologist can also take up Teaching, work in Museums, or get into Research.
In a country like India, with its rich cultural heritage, there is good demand for archaeologists. It is is indeed one of the most fascinating fields to make a career in.