Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Underthinking the Last Crusade

Finally managed to complete the Indiana Jones Trilogy, and I just have one question.

Why do they have Indiana Jones teaching an archaeology course?

Seriously this has bothered me since the beginning of "Raiders" when we first see Indiana Jones teaching a course on archaeology. Seriously this man has to be the worst archaeologist on the planet. Here is what archaeology looks like:

Good Archaeological practise
This is what a site looks like after Indy has had his way.

Indiana Jones, excavation of an ancient Church with lots of dynamite.
Now don't get me wrong, he gets results, he has found more artefacts of significance then anyone else. However archaeology is more than just finding the treasures, it is about learning about the ancient cultures that made these artefacts, and if you explode, smash or destroy the site to find treasure this is very hard to do.

"What do you mean, what did the temple look like? I blew it up"
 No scene typifies Indiana's Gung-ho attitude than the entrance to the catacombs to find the 2nd marker. Firstly Indiana deduces that the entrance to the tombs is under the giant X on the marble floor. He carefully finds the edges of this tile to pull it out of the ground presumably, bearing in mind that he is not being chased at this point, so he has no time pressure.

"Hurry up and find the grail, we have dinner reservations"
 But no ever in a rush Indy grabs the nearest blunt object to smash through the ancient marble floor. Now given that clues were left behind to help find these markers, presumably this was designed to lift up to give access to the catacombs, but Indiana had no time for that.

Oh hey it has hinges, probably didn't need to smash it
 But the desecration doesn't end there, once in the catacombs Indiana grabs the nearest skeleton to make a torch so he can see, obviously no time to find his mag-lite.
Seriously the Nazi's , and the people he attempts to stop stealing the cross at the start of the movie take more care in their excavations. Taking the time to set up grids, carefully collating what they have removed.
But we have this demolition man teaching the youth about archaeology, although I imagine the field trips would be fun.
"Go get the Dynamite"

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