The past has its own charm and mysticism which never ceases to fascinate us. In a country like India whose glorious past has always played a key role in shaping its future, the study of archaeology has been very important. The study of archaeology involves unveiling the past and preserving it in the form of historical monuments. Archaeological Courses in India consists of a detailed study of illustrated manuscripts, fossils, inscriptions and coins. Numismatics, epigraphy, archives and museology are also important branches of study included in archaeological courses in India.
The primary duty of an archaeologist involves a scientific and inter-disciplinary approach to the study of past societies and culture which, in other words, imply extensive field work, thorough knowledge of languages like Urdu, Sanskrit, and Persian, and familiarity with subjects like anthropology, geography, and geology.
For those interested in a career in archaeology, a three years bachelor’s degree in archaeology is the basic degree required. Thereafter, one may also pursue a post graduate degree or diploma in archaeology or further research in allied fields of study.
Qualifications: Graduates in any discipline can choose to pursue a post graduate diploma or degree course in archaeology. However, graduates in history, social sciences like sociology, anthropology are given preference. At a higher level, those interested in conducting research on the various branches of archaeology must have completed their post graduation, preferably in history before applying for research fellowships. While many universities in India offer courses in archaeology, there are also institutes outside the country providing these courses. University College of London (UCL), the Cardiff School of History and Archaeology (UK), Bournemouth University (UK), Institute Of Egyptian Art and Archaeology at the University of Memphis are some of the reliable institutions promising a wide range of career prospects for aspiring candidates.
Scope in India: The scope of archaeology is perhaps wider than any other discipline. Archaeology provides the students with numerous career options. While some of them can seek a satisfactory career in museums, archives, universities and numerous research institutes dedicated to unearthing India’s glorious past, others can appear for the Union Public Service Examinations conducted every year for the post of archaeologists in the Archaeological Survey Of India.
Scope Abroad: Archaeology however has a world-wide appeal. The various colleges and universities which have mushroomed across the globe are well furnished with research programs that promise everyone who is pursuing a course in archaeology, with flourishing career opportunities as curators, heritage conservators, archivists and teachers. An offshoot of archaeology is Egyptology, an interesting course offered by the Institute Of Egyptian Art and Archaeology, University of Memphis. The institute preoccupies itself with the study of Egyptian art and archaeology and provides excellent facilities in field work. So, a student who chooses to specialize in the study of past society and culture can apply abroad as these universities have a number of scholarships on offer to local as well as international students. A master’s degree in archaeology or Ph.d can be acquired from these Universities.