and I have to answer “archaeology,” which is bizarre because I find archaeology, actually digging in the dirt archaeology, to be one of the least fascinating things out there. I usually answer something like this: “Well, archaeology, but not like, you know, archaeology, like how people feel about archaeology.” And, of course, it leads to one of those really strange moments where I think I’ve said something completely intelligible and no one knows what I’m talking about. Maybe I’m a weirdo, but the idea that Americans have collective national identity feelings about archaeology feels so obvious to me. One thing I think is interesting, though, is that the major visual narrative I have access to is all enchanted South American or Meso-American temples, but I mean that imagery is completely ubiquitous. Indiana Jones. Temple Run. I feel like there was a pretty trippy magic school bus episode about this.
And yet people seem pretty confused by the idea of archaeology “feelings”. I’d say that I was researching the social history of archaeology, but honestly I haven’t found any good primary sources and this project is so much more relaxed than I’d originally planned, it seems like false advertising to use such fancy, legitimate academic words to describe my research. Maybe later in my life. Maybe in grad school. Honestly, I find the social history of archaeology fascinating and I’d love to do the topic justice at some point in my life, turn up some really cool tourist guides, or get some numbers data on how many people were recreationally visiting American Indian archaeological sites during different periods in time.