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    Lego Archaeology: Too much time on our hands?
    By Erika Hert | April 13th 2009 06:12 AM | 8 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Erika

    By day I'm a mild-mannered doctoral student, but by night I don my leather fedora, grab my whip and head to the streets to defend the public against...

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    Until a few months ago, the only connection that I was aware of between archaeology and Lego was the fact that I like both of them. But apparently other people do too.

    I recently played the Lego: Indiana Jones game for Wii. The point of the game is to re-enact all three classic Indiana Jones movies (please, the Crystal Skull belongs in the same place as the Star Wars episodes 1-3: in a galaxy far, far away, or in a tomb deep underground where no one can see them). Playing Lego Indiana Jones with a bunch of archaeologists is even more fun than watching the movies with a bunch of archaeologists.

    In the game you get to re-live all your favourite parts of the movie, and the cinematic scenes are sometimes shot for shot reconstructions:
    Lego Indy! But which is which?!

    And just when I thought that Lego Indiana Jones for wii was the height of too muchery, I saw these awesome pictures of Lego Archaeology on Carly Whelan's photostream on Flickr.

    "The PI examines a dart point recovered from the feature. "

    Clearly we archaeologists have too much time on our hands.


    People tend to look in hindsight with a lot more favor than in the moment; a generation of young kids will regard this latest thing as pretty good due to the terrific power of nostalgia.

    I say that because, to those of us who were there, "Temple Of Doom" stunk just as bad as 'Crystal Skull.'   I own ROTLA and 'Last Crusade' but, other than getting Spielberg a wife, I can't find anything redeeming in that second one so it does not occupy valuable shelf space in Casa Hank.

    That said, across generations, people will uniformly like an Indy adventure made from Legos.    Actually, everything Indy not involving George Lucas is pretty good.   I have read good comics books, played good video games, etc.
    Fossil Huntress
    C'mon Erika, everyone knows archaeology is garbage - literally. Lego, on the other hand, never gets chucked out. Great article!
    It's really amusing how archaeologists become so absorbed in their work that they tend to lego of reality.
    Fossil Huntress
    Inspired x2!
    I have just been watching an Agatha Christie mystery, with an Egyptian theme.  So let me offer you all the following:

    Inside an Ancient Egyptian burial chamber, the Chief Embalmer and the Chief Magician are preparing to inter a recently deceased Pharaoh.

    E. Listen to the people outside, bewailing our beloved Pharaoh.

    M. Indeed. And for once, the sadness is not feigned.

    E. True, there has never before been a Pharaoh like our beloved Dephragmosis: no unnecessary wars, actually succeeded in reducing taxation, and clamped down on spurious pyramid investment schemes.

    M. Alas, he will be sorely missed.

    E. I am full of dread. Last night, I had a most terrible dream.

    M. Tell me about it.

    E. The repose of our beloved Pharaoh was disturbed by horrible barbarians from the North called Ark-E-Ologists, who broke into this tomb and did unspeakable things to his body.

    M. I too had the same dream. But fear not, I have forestalled them.

    E. How?

    M. On top of his coffin I have put a most terrible curse, which will rob them of sleep, give them frightful headaches, and bring them to the point of wishing they had never started in their nefarious pursuit.

    E. I see some strange inscription, but I cannot make anything of it.

    M. Of course. They are four simple words, but in the barbarian language, which will turn their world upside down.

    E. I know you are a most powerful magician, but what words could have such an effect?

    M. Listen carefully. "Indiana Jones slept here!"

    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Are the strata defined by tinkertoys & lincoln logs?