Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Film, Archaeology in

  • Peter Hiscock
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1078


Cinematic depictions of archaeology and archaeologists in film are diverse. Genre classifications are crude expressions of thematic difference in movies, with multiple genres often being hybridized in a single film, but they are one way to characterize the variety of films containing archaeology. The most common genres in recent years have been action/adventure, horror, and science fiction. But it was in westerns that archaeologists were first commonly screened. During the 1930s archaeologists featured in westerns such Hidden Valley (1932), Riders of the Whistling Skull (1937), Death Rides the Range (1939), and The Fighting Renegade(1939). Such early films often portrayed archaeologists as pith-helmeted intellectuals who were elderly and neither streetwise nor athletic. To drive the narrative action forward, these archaeologists were paired with the lead action figure: archetypically male, young, and sporty. Plots usually had the archaeologist hiring a cowboy to guide...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia