Most people envision archaeologist jobs as hunting for dinosaur bones or mapping Egyptian tombs, but the truth of the matter is the many archaeologists work right here in the United States, uncovering the country’s history.
If you have a passion for learning about U.S. history, this could be a perfect job for you.
On Tuesday morning, for example, excavators at the site where the new World Trade Center will be built made an interesting discovery. Buried beneath New York was an 18th-century ship, which was preserved by the mud around it. This ship was likely used as debris, which was packed into the ground to create a larger Manhattan shoreline during the 1700s and 1800s. Today, archaeologists are tasked with documenting the find, analyzing the ship’s materials, and preserving whatever they possible can before the exposed wood deteriorates in the air and sun.
This is a unique working situation for archaeologists, as the World Trade Center excavation around the ship can’t be put on hold. Working in this field, you need to be prepared for all kinds of situations, especially since so many treasures are found unexpectedly, when people are working on construction or engineering projects.
Since the ship is clearly a historical find, as opposed to a prehistorical remnant, archaeologists working on this project will consult records from the time period, as well as read texts about these ships in order to determine the history of this particular sailing vessel. If you want to work in archaeology, you don’t necessarily have to be on-site, digging through the mud. Many archaeologists work in laboratory settings, doing research on found items and consulting historical documents like census records, diaries, historical maps, letters, and newspaper articles.
Will archaeologists ever find out the origins of the World Trade Center ship? That’s yet to be determined. If this is a story that interest you, though, you should consider the field of archaeology as a new career path.