Question for you: do you want to have adventures, discover Egyptian tombs, and run from perfectly round boulders heading towards you? If so, archaeology may be the career path for you. Well, in real life, archaeology is more devoted to intense studying and practical, hands-on work, and less melting villains and temples of doom, a la Indiana Jones. However, these minor roadblocks should not dissuade any budding archaeologists out there from pursuing their dream.
A wise man named George Santayana once said: “…those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It is up to the archaeologists among us to unearth the secrets of ancient civilizations and people, help us discern why they are no longer among us, and help us mold our society to tie together the lessons of the past with our hope for the future. It is a vitally important job, and anyone interested in pursuing the field may feel a bit overwhelmed with responsibility. However, fear not, archaeologists: help is available. Here are a few archaeology scholarships to dig through when applying to colleges, and rest assured, we’ve already combed them for snakes:
Deadline: First-come, first-served basis
In the aforementioned Indiana Jones movies, Indy was often accompanied by a right-hand woman, be it his former girlfriend Marion or nightclub singer Willie. Needless to say, these films conformed to outdated gender roles, casting Indy as the hero accompanied by a love interest. In the real world, however, we know that the idea that women cannot progress past certain points in career paths is patently unfair, and something that society should strive to change. In order to help the drive towards equality, helping women in the field make up for unfair systemic biases, organizations such as the Center for American Archaeology often run programs centered around increasing the role of women in archaeology.
One such way the organizations encourage young women to join them is through scholarship programs such as the Women in Archaeology Scholarship. Open to young female students who attend their affiliated field schools, the scholarship covers a large amount of their tuition through an application asking young women about their experiences in archaeology, as well as a few letters of recommendation. These outstanding young women receive generous financial rewards, as well as the opportunity to undertake field missions with seasoned archaeologists.
Located a few miles from the Four Corners monument, where the boundaries of the states of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico come together to form perfect right angles, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is one of the more celebrated destinations for archaeologists in America. Devoted to studying the Pueblo people, the Canyon in Colorado is a very competitive area for young students interested in going on digs.
In order to help remedy this roadblock, the Canyon offers a drawing for interested students consisting of outstanding opportunities, including, but not limited to “archaeology instruction, fieldwork experience, evening programs, lodging, meals, and an all-day tour of Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site”. Many students compete for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. In addition to the aforementioned educational benefits, Crow Canyon also provides a $1,595 financial reward to go towards future education in archaeology. Now, hurry and sign up for the My Crow Canyon program and enter your name for the drawing! The clock is ticking.
Deadline: April 1, 2020
Crow Canyon notwithstanding, many of the prized destinations for archaeologists are not in the United States. Many overseas sites have found artifacts that stretched back millennia. In order to help young archaeologists access these divine areas of historical treasure, organizations such as American Archaeology Abroad have recently founded scholarship programs dedicated to sending students overseas to pursue their dreams of unearthing a thousand-year-old secret.
The program, which is growing to include more students and funds, currently offers two $1,500 grants to students interested in archaeology. The destinations traveled are not revealed until after the grant is awarded, adding an element of mystery to the program. AAA scholars are expected to document their experiences through a series of blog posts, both protecting their findings for examination back home and to spread the word about the fantastic and generous AAA program.
The “grandaddy of them all,” the American Institute of Archaeology is one of the oldest and most popular archaeological organizations in the country. For proof of their synonymous relationship with archaeology, just look at their URL; they managed to snag! The AIA offers a myriad of fellowships, grants, and scholarships to its members. Some are very specific, such as the Pomerance Fellowship, which is devoted to students who plan to study artifacts of the Aegean Bronze Age. Others, like the Olivia James Traveling Fellowship, have looser guidelines, open to students planning to “travel and study in Greece, Cyprus, the Aegean Islands, Sicily, southern Italy, Asia Minor, and Mesopotamia.” Just imagine the artifacts that lay in wait in those ancient locations.
In addition to those fellowships, the AIA sponsors three scholarships, two for graduate students, one for undergraduates. To list out every single opportunity offered by the AIA would go well over my allotted word count, and I would suggest checking out the website for the full list to every single student interested in archaeology. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Does this major interest you? With College Raptor’s free matching tool, you can discover schools around the country that offer Archaeology classes that are right for you!