Archaeology and Comics: Cons, Concerns, and Creativity

Author(s): Paulina Przystupa

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "From Tomb Raider to Indiana Jones: Pitfalls and Potential Promise of Archaeology in Pop Culture" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Popular culture is important for gaging how archaeology is understood by the public. It allows us to evaluate what aspects of our discipline the public finds interesting and what the public misunderstands, despite a wealth of academic and scientific knowledge. This paper will focus on how archaeology as a discipline, and as a source of information or inspiration, is explored in comic books written by non-archaeologists. It will draw from comics as source materials themselves, reviews of comics by archaeologists, and personal experiences doing outreach at comic conventions, in the form of panels which combine laypeople with professionals, to discuss topics of anthropological and historical significance. These are an important way that archaeologists can both explain more about the discipline, illustrate the past, and correct misconceptions about the field, as a science, and about our knowledge of what the past was like. Additionally, the work will demonstrate the importance of collaborations between creators and archaeologists that can work to create accurate and fun pieces of entertainment. Establishing a good balance of fact to fiction is difficult but can create a rewarding and worthwhile product that works to promote modern ideas about archaeology and an accurate knowledge of the past.

Cite this Record

Archaeology and Comics: Cons, Concerns, and Creativity. Paulina Przystupa. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450392)

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23402