The high score of Hunan girl Zhong Fangrong's application for the archaeology major of Peking University continues to arouse heated discussions, and it also makes the slightly mysterious archaeology major out of the circle-
why are there so many people who love archaeology?
What are the reasons for archaeology students to apply for this major? What have they learned? What are the employment directions? What is the difference between real archaeology and excavations in novels, documentaries, and tomb-robbing movies? "Worker Daily" reporters will solve these questions one by one for you.
Zhong Fangrong, a Hunan girl with a score of 676 in the college entrance examination, applied for Peking University's archaeology major and continued to arouse heated discussions, but also let the slightly mysterious major of archaeology out of the circle.
Some people imagine that archaeology is the work of digging a tomb with a shovel, and some people think without thinking that there is no "money" for this profession; others applaud: Archaeology needs such ideal talents to join...
The archaeology major seems remote and mysterious. Is it really cold and hopeless? Why can this challenging career attract young people to join it? Why can one generation be intoxicated with love? With the public's curiosity, a reporter from "Workers' Daily" recently interviewed teachers, students and archaeology practitioners majoring in archaeology to solve these questions for you one by one.
Choose because of love
Zhong Fangrong's choice of archaeology was deeply influenced by Fan Jinshi, honorary dean of Dunhuang Academy. After graduating from Peking University with a major in archaeology, Fan Jinshi took root in the desert and guarded the grottoes. For decades, her purity and determination moved many people including Zhong Fangrong.
Like Zhong Fangrong, many students who actively choose archaeology have a complex behind them. The reason why Yu Chun, an associate professor of archaeology at the School of Cultural Heritage of Northwest University took the initiative to apply for the archaeology major of Sichuan University in 1995, was that her father, who likes history, took her to some tomb sites and caves when she was a child, and she was deeply impressed. I also like the knowledge of geosciences. When I was in high school, I thought that archaeology is similar to geology.
Zhang Rui, a librarian from the Tianjin Cultural Heritage Protection Center, read a documentary about the South China Sea when he was in high school. It was about the Qing Dynasty when the British Michelle Hatcher and others secretly salvaged a shipwreck in the South China Sea in 1985. Blue and white porcelain and gold ingots from the Kangxi period were auctioned in Amsterdam the following year. However, the two experts sent by China to participate in the auction did not return anything. This accident stimulated the Chinese archaeological community, and Zhang Rui has since determined to engage in underwater archaeology in the future. In 1999, he chose to apply for the archaeology major of Northwest University.
Not all students actively choose archaeology. He Yuwei, a freshman majoring in cultural relics and museology at the School of Cultural Heritage of Northwestern University, admitted that she wanted to choose a strong major from a good school when she applied for the exam. In the fourth round of discipline evaluation organized by the Ministry of Education's Degree and Graduate Education Development Center, Northwestern University's archaeology entered the A+ discipline sequence. So she applied for archaeology as the first choice, and applied for the major she is currently studying as the second. "Before entering school, my knowledge of archaeology was almost zero." She said.
Because of the "nicheization" of the discipline, the popularization of archaeology has not yet been carried out on a large scale, causing society and candidates to be quite unfamiliar with the discipline of archaeology. "At that time, there were 10 people in our class. I was the only one who applied for the exam, and the others were transferred from other majors." Yu Chun recalled. Zhang Rui also said that only a few of the more than 20 students in his class had applied for the exam.
Archaeology is the process of discovering and constructing humans with objects
"Zhong Fangrong may not know what real archeology is and what archaeological work is." Yu Chun said frankly that she hoped that through four years of undergraduate study, she could truly identify whether she is suitable for and like archaeological work, and follow her heart as always. select.
It is reported that, in addition to undergraduate general courses and professional courses, each university also offers regional archaeology teaching contents such as archaeology in the southwest region, archaeology in the northwest region, and archaeology in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. . With the deepening application of science and technology in archaeological research, in recent years, courses in environmental archaeology, plant archaeology, animal archaeology, human bone archaeology, metallurgical archaeology and other arts and sciences have gradually become popular.
"The biggest feature of the archaeology major is practical teaching." Yu Chun introduced that Northwestern University has set up a practice week at the end of each semester from the freshman year to allow students to observe museums and archaeological sites. In the junior year, there will be field archeology practice teaching for half a semester, learning the most basic field investigation and archaeological excavation methods and techniques.
In recent years, documentaries about archaeology have attracted more attention, and Grave Robber is also a big IP, with novels and movies selling well. Some people confuse archaeology with tomb robbery.
"Archaeological documentaries generally record major discoveries, not all archaeologists can come across." Yu Chun said that like other industries, most archaeologists are working in obscurity, repeating the boring day by day. If new materials are discovered and new questions are raised, some interesting research can be carried out.
"Grave robbery is an illegal act, with the purpose of chasing wealth. Archaeology is a process of discovering and constructing human beings with physical objects. Those inconspicuous human bones and wooden pillars are also relics that archaeologists value." After a year of learning. , Especially after reading "Reconstruction of History-Interpretation of Archaeological Materials", He Yuwei gradually fell in love with archaeology and had his own opinions.
The future of archaeology is more diverse due to the participation of young people
Zhang Rui University, who is determined to engage in underwater archaeology for four years, is a bit regretful. Fieldwork is still far from underwater archaeology. However, he successfully entered the Tianjin Cultural Heritage Protection Center after graduation in 2003. Until 2009, he participated in a professional training course for underwater archaeology organized by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage. After receiving the certificate, he occasionally performed underwater archaeology. In 2018, he participated in the salvage of the "Jiayuan Ship" in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895.
Most of Zhang Rui's classmates now work in museums and archaeological institutes in various places, and some of them have been directors, shooting historical documentaries.
Regarding the employment difficulties questioned by the outside world, Yu Chun analyzed that, first of all, the archaeological cultural and cultural industry generally belongs to the national first or second category public institutions, and there are very clear restrictions on the establishment. Although the industry as a whole lacks people, it cannot enter. For example, the Tibet Autonomous Region Cultural Relics Institute she is currently cooperating with has only more than 20 staff members. For archaeological excavations and cultural relics protection in the entire region, the staff are basically running around the vast plateau all year round. Secondly, most graduating students want to stay in provincial capitals, and there is a huge shortage of talents in cultural relics departments at prefectural and municipal levels. Furthermore, in the archaeology teaching system of many universities, there is a lack of relevant teaching content between the discipline and other industries in society, which virtually limits students' employment thinking.
In recent years, the collection and auction of cultural relics have become very popular. Some people take it for granted that students majoring in archaeology can engage in collecting and appreciating treasures. "Doing archaeology, you can't engage in collecting. This red line is to avoid suspicion." Zhang Rui said that this is the first lesson for archaeology students.
Yu Chun said that the identification of cultural relics is a highly practical branch of discipline, and it takes years of contact with authentic and fake cultural relics to master the identification technology. However, in the teaching system of archaeological subjects in colleges and universities, theoretical knowledge accounts for the vast majority, and not many colleges and universities conduct cultural relic identification teaching.
"Cultural relics collection, auction and archaeology are two completely different industries. The former is more closely related to economics and is a kind of business activity. Only a few archaeological graduates enter private auction companies."
Yu Chun recently heard that some archaeology graduates have started their own companies to do some service work related to the archaeology industry. Some students used their own surveying and mapping technology to establish an archaeological surveying and mapping company to cooperate with archaeological excavations in universities and localities; some students established a new media platform through cooperation with teachers to provide archaeological knowledge consulting services for Tencent's game development .
"Online archaeological knowledge popular science courses and offline research activities can not only bring more job opportunities to students, but also attract more outstanding young people to join the archaeological team, so that the society can understand archaeology, which is a good way for the discipline to get out of the ivory tower. Opportunities." Yu Chun said that archaeological expertise has a larger application space in the cultural and tourism industries, especially in the fields of online education and research, and is a promising employment direction.