Anthropology | ARCHAEOLOGY AND THE MOVIES
P399 | 9544 | Sievert


MEETS 2ND 8 WEEKS

The popular cinema abounds with films depicting the actions of
swashbuckling characters such as Indiana Jones and Lara Croft, as well as
the actions of fictionalized prehistoric and ancient peoples. This is a
course for students who are drawn to films about gladiators, or Egyptian
mummies, but who question the interpretations of ancient peoples that the
movies present. We will look at how archaeologists are represented and
compare this with the work that archaeologists actually do. We will also
examine a sample of films that depict ancient phenomena. One theme that
recurs in such films is the romance of discovery as archaeologists
retrieve ancient materials from archaeological sites. In addition film
producers make movies that cater to our curiosity about so-called forgotten
cultures. How realistic are the interpretations that film producers present?
How well do such films depict the behavior of "real" archaeologists?
We will attack these topics by watching feature films and discussing and
comparing their portrayals with portrayals included in writings about
and by archaeologists.