Topic ID #25575 - posted 12/15/2012 7:27 AM

Indiana Jones: Mysterious mail arrives at University of Chicago

Jennifer Palmer

Indiana Jones: Mysterious mail arrives at University of Chicago
Dec. 14, 2012 | 4:36 p.m.

The University of Chicago is grappling with a mystery today involving Indiana Jones, of all people.

According to the university’s admissions department Tumblr page, a package arrived at the university on Wednesday addressed to Henry Walton Jones Jr. Unsure where to put the package, the student office worker set it aside until someone realized it wasn’t intended for any actual student or faculty member, but a fictional character who in his story was once enrolled at the University of Chicago: Indiana Jones.

Read more here.

Post ID#19899 - replied 12/16/2012 11:56 AM


What are they saying here? That Indiana Jones is not real?? This can't be!!! Is life ALL an illusion??!!

Post ID#19900 - replied 12/16/2012 6:21 PM


I've seen more than one professional on this very forum point to Indiana Jones as an inspiration for taking up the vocation, something I've never quite understood...he's certainly a likable guy, but his methods seem to leave a little to be desired. He comes off to me more as a privateer for museum collections than as the attentive chronicler of minutiae practitioners of the discipline actually are. The dichotomy is glaring lol. (All this is tongue firmly fixed in cheek, of course, I remember watching the first movie in the series the very first day it was released in theaters and being utterly transfixed.)

From Wikipedia:

"In general, when asking a member of the public to name an archaeologist, or even something about archaeology, Indiana Jones comes up. Students of archaeology and professionals alike often name Indiana Jones as one of their inspirations, or maybe what interested them in archaeology to begin with, despite some obvious issues with how Dr. Jones practices archaeology. No stranger to criticism when it comes to the practice of archaeology (treasure-hunter, looter, etc.) , Indiana Jones, as representative of archaeology and anthropology as a whole, has some deeper, core ethical issues as well. Cultural relativism, succinctly defined as regarding all cultures as equally valid, lies at the core of what archaeologists and anthropologists do. While far from perfect, it is at least something to strive for – the ability to see outside one’s own cultural biases, to be as un-ethnocentric as possible. Indiana Jones doesn't seem to be striving very hard. Relations with indigenous peoples is an important ethical debates in archaeology today, along with issues of ownership, who has the right to interpret the past, and of course, looting.

Indiana Jones begins the first film immediately addressing ethical issues – as in, showing us the wrong way to go about archaeology. He has a side-kick, or perhaps a hired guide, an obvious representative of the indigenous people there. The guide fumbles along, not once asked for advice by Indiana, eventually even attempting to take the artifact for himself. The audience of course sees this as wrong – since Indiana found the artifact, it must be his. In reality, the guide may have held a more substantial claim. Ownership of archaeological sites or materials is notoriously slippery, but the Indiana Jones leads audiences to the incorrect assumption of finders-keepers, and that preservation and understandings lies solely with academics from the West.

The ethical dilemmas of Indiana Jones are still current today, but they also reflect the roots of the archaeological discipline. Archaeology dates back much further, where affluent and enthusiastic collectors kept artifacts to show off to friends, but the discipline itself is rooted in colonialism. “The earliest development of archaeology then is the transformation from a hobby of those economically advantaged enough to pursue it, to a serious and highly regarded academic discipline”. Indiana Jones represents the beginnings of that discipline, still very much in its infant stages, and unfortunately leading modern audiences to adopt the ideals taught in the three, now four, films."


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