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Archaeologists in Anime and Reality

Most occupations have a stereotype. Typical examples include the receptionist who wears glasses on the end of her nose, the lorry driver who is several stone overweight due to the fact that he only ever eats at motorway service stations, and the businessman who always wears an Armani suit, drives a BMW and is extremely pompous.

Somehow, in most cases these stereotypes are disturbingly accurate, however, one line of work is portrayed completely differently depending on your point of view. This field is Archaeology.

Watch a Japanese animated TV show that features an archaeologist, and then watch Time Team. Do you see any resemblence? No, me neither. It seems that once again we can split existance into two areas...

|ANIME| <--very big gap--> |REALITY|

Let's look at some examples, shall we? Let's start with anime.

Anime Archaeologists

Fujitaka Kinomoto from Cardcaptor Sakura
This guy is great. The chicks love him, he's a loving father figure who would do anything for his kids and they would do anything for him. His students all go on about what a great guy he is (one of them even went on to marry him and have his children) and nobody in the series yet has complained that his lectures are dull. In fact Shaoran quite likes them (until he finds out he's Sakura's dad, of course.) Oh, and Tomoyo's mum hates him because he's too nice.

Higashi Narita from Phantom Quest Corp
This bloke pops up in episode 3. He's dead, of course. At the start it seems he's trying to sabotage the project and that he's an evil spirit. Then it turns out that he promised to marry his long-term girlfriend just before he died, and never got to fulfill his promise, so he's decided he'd rather watch over her than go to Heaven. This bloke is kinda nerdy, but judging by the reactions from Ayaka in the show, he's a bit of a ladykiller even if he doesn't realise it. Side note: his girlfriend, Natsuki, who is rather cute, is also an archaeologist. What's going on here?!

Professor Shurii from Pokemon: Lord of the Unknown Tower
Another single father, who is completely devoted to his child (as well as his work, of course) Mi's dad, who likes to pretend he's the Entei, studies the Unknown, those little rascals who hide in ancient ruins and can be used to spell out swear words if you have a Gameboy printer.

Real Archaeologists

Phil Harding
The favourite member of Time Team for so many reasons. Absolutely wonderful at what he does, but he's not quite the image portrayed in the examples above. I've got to be careful here, I've got nothing against Phil, the guy rules, however he does fit so well into the 'realistic' archaeologist stereotype. The hat, the long scraggy hair, the flannel shirt and jeans - he looks like a folk musician.

The official Madhouse Beyond archaeologist. Once described by Steph as 'the link between archaeology and Rolf Harris' Let me describe this guy. He plays the banjo. He drives a fucking great ex-military vehicle. He is never without a trowel. He drinks real ale (actually there's not much wrong with that...) and flies kites with cameras on them.

So what can we learn from this? Well - never believe what you see in animation for starters, but also it seems that archaeologists are not very well known to people in 'the real world'. So the next time you see a guy with a beard and a stripey jumper with a pint of London Pride in one hand and a trowel in the other, think to yourself: "This guy is an archaeologist. Cardcaptor Sakura lied to me!"

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