Biblical Archaeology Review 34:5, September/October 2008

In Praise of Indiana Jones!

By Aren M. Maeir

I went to see the newest Indiana Jones filma with two of my sons, and, to tell you the truth, I really had a good time! What can I say? Spielberg, Lucas and Ford still have it in them to put together a very enjoyable and stimulating film. And needless to say, as an archaeologist I felt totally at home; this is what archaeology really looks like!

I would like to come to the defense of my colleague Jones. In a recent op-ed in The Washington Post (May 25, 2008), Neil Asher Silberman wrote a scathing attack on the message behind the movie. Silberman claimed that Dr. Jones presents a warped image of archaeology, interested only in finding unique artifacts, while at the same time chasing, and being chased by, the bad guys (or gals). According to Silberman, the image of an archaeologist that Dr. Jones portrays is one of a swashbuckling adventurer, whose main tools of the trade are his bullwhip and pistol!

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