Dr. Indiana Jones was a well-regarded, if fictional, archaeologist in his day. That is, well-regarded by his colleagues in the movies. In the real world, he’s been criticized as a grave-robber, looter, and an all-around disaster as a scientist. His catch phrase “It belongs in a museum!” seems just plain silly, considering the way museums were run in the 1930s and ’40s.
Jones is the last great monster of the treasure-hunting age of archaeology. To judge him by modern standards is to indulge the same comforting temporal parochialism that leads us to dismiss post-Roman Europe as a “Dark Age.” Jones may be a lousy archaeologist as we understand the field today. But is he a lousy archaeologist in context?
Max Gladstone presents arguments defending Dr. Jones’ abilities as a scientist at Tor. He may have been an unrepentant looter, but at least he was good at it. -via Metafilter