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Best Archaeologists In Movies

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An archaeologist, those with such a title are tasked with the study & perseverance of human history found within the objects they have created. It’s an innately interesting job role, that sees much adventure & discovery, delving deep into the unknown pasts & treasures of life before our time in the 21st century.


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In the movies, archaeologists are vastly more exciting than in real life. Some iconic movie characters are archaeologists, & to a great degree, dedicate their time, health, & action-ridden bodies to the collection & information of artifacts of this world & off it.

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7/7 Elizabeth Shaw, Prometheus

elizabeth shaw screaming in prometheus

After graduating from Oxford University at the record-breaking age of 17, Elizabeth Shaw left with a doctorate in paleontology & archaeology. From here, she found her calling & dedicated her time to discovering where humanity truly came from. In 2089, Elizabeth Shaw found a star map that led her & her crew to the distant moon LV-223. The object of this interplanetary adventure was to meet the makers of humanity, & Elizabeth Shaw will do anything to do so.

Elizabeth Shaw has great intellect & drive & is a welcome addition to the exp&ing Alien franchise. Not only is Elizabeth Shaw an iconic archaeologist in movies, but she is iconic in the Alienfranchise for being one of the many reasons that the Xenomorphs exist. Even if this was completely unintentional on her part.

6/7 Rick O’Connell, The Mummy

rick o'connell with a camel

Richard O’Connell is the protagonist of The Mummy franchise & is adored by a global audience in part to being played by the internet’s favorite actor, Brendan Fraser. Rick is an adventurer at heart & seems to always find himself in supernatural battles with spirits & demons that have long since left this world. However, their power is from within the tombs & artifacts that Rick O’Connell explores.

What makes Rick a great character is his boastful charisma. Rick is completely likable, & a great movie character in general. Rick led The Mummy trilogy & has battled scorpion kings, mummies, & even yetis. He may be a tad messy in his escapades, but his intentions are always good.

5/7 Benjamin Gates, National Treasure

benjamin gates with his crew

As the protagonist of the National Treasure franchise, Benjamin Gates is a history fanatic with an interest in his family’s ancestral lineage. Benjamin’s family has been involved in some key historic events in America, & Benjamin doesn’t allow himself to be left out of his family history. He’s incredibly smart, & always seeking to accomplish an impossible task with a great sense of humor & wit.

Benjamin Gates should not be underestimated, & his treasure-hunting & adventuring escapades are a great joy to movie-goers. Ben will happily go on a cross-country easter egg hunt to search for adventure, even one so bizarre & dangerous as stealing the Declaration of Independence.

4/7 Lankester Merrin, The Exorcist

lakester merrin from the exorcist

By no means is Lankester Merrin a good archaeologist, but he is iconic. Lankester Merrin was a priest & a famed exorcist that ended up having plenty of encounters with the demon known as Pazuzu. This demon & Lankester Merrin seem tied together, ever since Lankester Merrin joined an archaeologist expedition to Iraq.

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In Iraq, the team & Merrin discover the demon relic known as Pazuzu. From here, a demonic journey begins, & Merrin finds that an innocent & loving 12-year-old girl has become a victim of Pazuzu. Regan MacNeil is cursed with a horrible spirit, & Merrin must do what he can to fix a mistake he was involved in.

3/7 Nathan Drake, Uncharted

Nate & Gage from the Uncharted Movie

Although Nathan Drake is more of a treasure hunter than an archaeologist, he certainly knows enough & has the morality to do what is right. Preserving history is far more important than selling it, or allowing any strange supernatural powers to fall into the h&s of the corrupt & the powerful. Nathan Drake recently leaped live-action with the Uncharted movie.

Nathan Drake is one of the most successful & iconic video game characters in recent memory. He has been the protagonist of the Unchartedseries, & with Tom Holl& as the lead, may have a prosperous cinematic conquest. Nathan Drake can easily solve puzzles from centuries ago, & always finds himself in gunfights surrounding his discoveries.

2/7 Lara Croft, Tomb Raider

Lara in a tomb, Lara Croft Tomb Raider

Perhaps a cheat entry, as Lara Croft originated as a videogame character, but Lara Croft has seen herself in many adaptions other than the videogame format of Tomb Raider. The character has been in reboots & remakes, sequels, & prequels. Lara Croft is an iconic female character in gaming, & with Angelina Jolie’s first live-action portrayal as Lara, she is an iconic female character in media.

She is a great cinematic archaeologist & has been played in the recent Tomb Raider by Alicia Vik&er. As a dual-wielding, gun-shooting, backflipping adventurer, Lara Croft is full of action & smarts & goes through many adventures across the series.

1/7 Indiana Jones, Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Indiana Jones holsters his pistol in Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark

One can dispute the fact that Indiana Jones belongs in the legendary status, not only as the most iconic archaeologist in movie history but as one of the greatest characters in fiction. Indiana Jones is played by the legendary & charismatic Harrison Ford, who brings audiences to a world full of adventure, & a Nazi-punching time.

There have been four films that Indiana Jones has been involved in, with a 5th aiming for release in 2023. Indiana Jones’ whip & fedora are as iconic as the catchphrase “it belongs in a museum!” Despite all, he has seen, & the many life-threatening adventures he has been on, Indiana Jones shows no signs of stopping. Whether it’s biblical, alien, or ancient.

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