In a recent meeting for my local archaeology chapter, one of the officers posted an interesting question to the group: “When did you become interested in archaeology”? It turned out this question stayed with me for quite a while, and had me pondering the implications of what was discovered.
I am not a professional archaeologist. I am happily, lucky enough to be able to experience this study through my job and this group of people. We are a varied group: some professionals, some advocates—like myself, and some that just love to find cool old stuff and talk about it, or talk about it even if they don’t find it.
Through this group I’ve been able to participate in digs, find some cool stuff (!), and learn so much more than I would have being an “armchair” archaeologist. It’s hard work, but getting to touch the past, to be able to see first-hand how things were done many hundreds of years ago is an incomparable experience. I guess the fact that so much of what is found brings up more questions than answers also appeals to me. I love the mystery.
So, let’s go back to the question. It turned out the majority of people there said they “caught-the-bug”, so to speak, in 6th grade. (It was 6th grade for me) There was one 5th grade answer and one 7th grade as well. Clearly these middle school years had a great impact on all of us. It happened various ways; through teachers, parents, other mentors, subject studied, that kind of thing. We all developed a life-long love during this period of our childhood. So, I’m thinking, is this trues for a lot of us? Did most people find a life-long joy in study in those years? If so, then this is significant!
My own children are adults now. But my granddaughter is coming up on that age. Maybe I can really help her discover what that love will be? There is a whole world out there to learn about! Do you have kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, friend’s kids, or do you work with kids? It is something to ponder. Wouldn’t it be grand to make that kind of difference.
by Laura De Young
photo by Laura De Young