Times Colonist

Raiders of the lost art abhorred

Indiana Jones image rankles archeologi­sts

- JORGE BARRERA

The Indiana Jones movies represent the dark side of archeology’s past and obscures the high stakes at play when discoverie­s involve modern communitie­s, say Canadian academics involved in an internatio­nal project to set the moral guidelines for digging up the past.

While the high octane quest for the Crystal Skull in the latest Harrison Ford film may make for a gripping yarn, modern archeologi­sts are likely to tread carefully before they begin to put shovel to layers of history.

“Indiana Jones is a caricature of the past, but it sells at the box office. The public gets fed this racy old set of ideas and that concerns me,” said Brian Noble, social anthropolo­gy professor at Dalhousie University and part of the $2.5-million, seven-year project. “The public is not really aware of the stakes in this for the local communitie­s.”

Noble is a co-investigat­or with a project that aims to explore ownership issues around the discovery of ancient artifacts, the use of traditiona­l knowledge and the mass production of ancient images.

Simon Fraser University professor George Nicholas said the Indiana Jones movies depict a reckless side of archeology that was prevalent as late as the 1920s and 30s.

 ??  ?? Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones character is more of an adventurer than a scientist.
Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones character is more of an adventurer than a scientist.

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