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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Molly E Odell
ARCHY 109
Seattle Campus

Archaeology in Film

Deals with depictions of archaeology by and for non-archaeologists and implication of those depictions at the intersection of archaeology, the human past, and popular culture.

Class description

Since Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark hit the big screens in 1981, generations of students have been drawn to the adventure and thrill of archaeology. But Indiana Jones is far from a good archaeologist – or even a good person – so why has his story become an enigma for archaeology? By examining Indiana Jones, Lara Croft, and the archaeological characters in movies such as Planet of the Apes, Stargate, and The Body, we will explore what archaeologists actually do, the ethics archaeologists follow and struggle with, and why these characters get misrepresented in pop culture. We will also explore why environmental collapse, national identity, and social revolution are common themes in archaeological movies and why anybody should care.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

The final project will be the production of a short archaeological film with a small group.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Molly E Odell
Date: 10/19/2012