15 Times Indiana Jones Was A Terrible Archaeologist

Indiana Jones is the pop culture image of the archaeologist, gallivanting around the world in his trademark fedora and collecting artifacts that “belong in a museum.” The character of Indiana Jones shaped the way the world thinks about archaeology, but there is one problem with that: Indiana Jones is a terrible archaeologist.

Indiana Jones certainly doesn't represent the first or only time Hollywood has gotten something wrong (just look at the inaccuracies in Braveheart if you need more proof), since the film industry is notorious for blatantly ignoring facts in pursuit of captivating characters and narratives – and box office success. Although Indiana Jones introduced great stories and beloved characters, Jones’s image of the archaeologist is not always the best thing for real archaeologists and anthropologists whose work gets confused with his. Certainly, the 1930s, when the films are set, was a different decade for archaeology, and many of the professional techniques that are standard today weren't fully codified at the time. But Indy goes way beyond this discrepancy and, according to many archaeologists, is more of a looter than a scholar.

For your consideration: these are Indiana Jones's worst crimes against archaeology. (But that doesn't mean we hate archaeology movies.)