Perceptions of archaeology in Australia amongst educated young Australians

18th November 2013

Percentage of responses to the question 'What is an archaeologist's job?' (published in Australian Archaeology 58:20).

Percentage of responses to the question ‘What is an archaeologist’s job?’ (published in Australian Archaeology 58:20).

Jane Balme and Moss Wilson

A survey of Western Australian undergraduate students asking them about their knowledge of and interest in archaeology as well as their beliefs in other explanations for the past was undertaken in 200 l. The results of this show that most of these students have a fair idea of what archaeologists do but there is much confusion between the disciplines of archaeology and palaeontology. While Australian archaeologists have been successful in passing on the results of some of their findings to the public, few people understand the study of the Indigenous past as archaeology. There is also much acceptance by the survey respondents of non-archaeological explanations of the past. Some of this acceptance might be attributed to religious belief but perhaps some because these explanations offer more exciting versions of the past. Our challenge is to bring some of this excitement to Australian archaeology.

Balme, J. and M. Wilson
Perceptions of archaeology in Australia amongst educated young Australians
2004
58
19–24
Article
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