Lara Croft, Grave Robber?

When I tell people that I’m studying Archaeology, the response often goes one of two ways: ‘Oh, like Tomb Raider!’, or ‘Like Indiana Jones!’ It is no surprise that many people’s first impression of the discipline is of pop culture icons, given mass media’s love of stories about adventures in wild lands (See Figure 1)- and at least they’ve got the right end of the stick, unlike those who misunderstand and get dinosaurs or architecture- that ends up being a very different conversation. In all reality, you are unlikely to be in charge of locating a lost civilisation at 21 years old (as in Square Enix’s Tomb Raider, the 2013 reboot of the Lara Croft game series), and much more likely to be at university still. However, despite the implausible circumstances, the impact of these pop culture icons on the public’s view of the discipline cannot be understated. Continue reading