What is Archaeology and what do Archaeologists do?
Archaeology is that interdisciplinary branch of humanities which concerns about the material developments associated with the previous civilizations. This requires a keen expertise in subjects ranging from history to geography to surveying and even to museology making it an interdisciplinary subject in the true sense. The pools of trained personnel responsible for undertaking this task are called archaeologists.
What is the qualification required to become an Archaeologist?
Prima facie, a formal course in archaeology starts only at the post graduation level but it is imperative on the part of a serious aspirant to start quite early. From the school days themselves, one should hone his knowledge about the rich cultural and geographical diversity of our country and should also actively engage in heritage trips to ancient excavation sites and museums. Although many universities do not obligate any particular stream as a requisite for admissions, certain premier colleges are there which mandate the streams to be Bachelors in history or at least in any classical language of our country. The most premier institutions offering courses in this discipline are:
- Institute of archaeology, Archaeological survey of India-New Delhi (offers a post graduate program in archaeology, Duration-2 years)
- The maharaja the Sayajirao University of Baroda (runs a bachelor’s course in ancient Indian History, Culture, and Archaeology, Duration-3 years)
- Banaras Hindu University
- An undergraduate program in ancient Indian History, Culture, and Archaeology (Duration-3 years),
- A post graduate program in Archaeology (2 years) and
- A vocational program in Museology and Archaeology, (3 years)
- After post-graduation, one may either opt for earning the Ph.D. or simply apply for lectureship positions available with different universities. For both cases, one requires clearing the National Eligibility Test. One may also apply for archaeologists positions at the archaeological survey of India itself or may work in the capacities of curators for various government or private museums. Since the majority of the jobs are from the government sectors themselves, the job prospects are quite stable and one enjoys all the perks availed by a typical government employee.
Jobs and Remuneration prospects
Although, one starts to earn a stipend of Rs 8000 per month + HRA as soon as one gets enrolled in the program and as much as Rs 28,000 per month + HRA at the Ph.D. level but it is solely after the recruitment that the employment is of a permanent nature. A typical government employee earns as per a Class I government officer plus the additional perks as enjoyed by the regular government employees. As regards the private employment, salary depends on the seniority and the reach of the organization one is working with.
A career in archaeology is filled with fascination and offers people, a wide canvas to work upon. Those with a motivation towards the history, a penchant for the civilizations and the desire to discover something pioneering should undoubtedly go for it!