Today’s archaeologists are scientists and specialists who must learn to read the clues of the past and their context. A solid, long and specialized theoretical and practical training is therefore necessary. It is delivered by some institutions and universities. However, it cannot be conceived without learning in the field.
Archaeologists may be employed by the State or local authorities. They are then civil servants and are recruited through competitions. Professional archaeologists and restorers work in private law structures: associations, S.A...
The university trains in archaeology. We access it with the baccalaureate, on file or after an entrance exam. All sections of the baccalaureate allow students to study archaeology. Scientific subjects are an essential training for all archaeologists and especially in the case of a specialization in the disciplines contributing to the evolution of archaeology (dating, restoration, climate restitution...). A good command of foreign languages is necessary to access foreign scientific publications and participate in the international evolution of the discipline.
The work sur the ground
Archaeological operations vary in size and duration. They require authorization from the Minister of Culture. There are two types of archaeological investigations: preventive archaeology and programmed archaeology. Excavation is one of the fundamental aspects of archaeology. It is an essential complement to theoretical training. Starting to search as soon as possible is therefore essential. The future student will be able to realize what the field work represents.
It is advisable to vary his experiences, on sites of various periods, in order to choose his specialization best. In addition, the sites facilitate meetings with professional archaeologists, who are responsible for scientific operations.
The middle immerge
There is no specific teaching in underwater and underwater archaeology. However, some university professors have specialized in nautical and naval history issues. It is easier to train an archaeologist in diving than to train a good diver in archaeology. It is therefore preferable, in order to carry out excavations in aquatic environments, to already have good experience of land excavations.
These archaeologists hold a professional diving certificate: the certificate of aptitude for hyperbaria, mention B. This certificate is mandatory for any person responsible for archaeological excavation. Participation as a volunteer at sites less than 40 m deep can be retained with a certified sports diver certificate and a derogation granted by a commission composed of professionals of diving and underwater archaeology. The request for exemption must be submitted to the Drassm (decree of 5 March 1993) stating the level of diving and medical fitness and in agreement with the person in charge of the site in question.
Where to go for searches?
The list of sites looking for volunteers is online.