Becoming an Anthropologist, an Introduction

Growing up and facing time isn’t always easy, but it is a journey that everyone goes through in finding their own self-definition and awareness. Every person wants to find a meaning and pursue a life in which, at the end, is a story worth retelling. The story of life, although fluid, is built upon the foundation of the building blocks of memory and experience.

The past is important, as it allows lessons and experiences learned from it to bring benefit to the future. By going into the field of bioarchaeology to study human remains allows for this past to be brought to life. Such science and beginnings of research are essential in order to grasp at a larger picture of the integrity of human individuals. We know so little of our own history; and what we know may be skewed by publicity and biases from the perspectives of different people. What I search for is the truth of our past, and to understand its own composure and melody that it has laid onto the ground, waiting to be heard.

Anthropology is a field of open mindedness and exploration of the human spirit both within an anthropologist and within what the anthropologist observes through the course of their career. Anthropology is not a job, it is in essence a way of life in that it changes our perceptions and opens up new perspectives to be explored by simple thought and curiousity along with a drive to discover. Human beings change over time as society and culture progresses, and many times we are unaware of our own changes until we stop to look back to the “whys” and “hows” that have affected our views today and have pushed us in a direction of becoming such an able thinker as an anthropologist.

 

picture courtesy of Dr. Conelly from NMSU

In a way, I was always certain that anthropology always was a career for me, and over time, it became more specifically bioarchaeology. I know after partaking in an office job that I am not a person that likes to be stuck indoors for long periods of time. Taking part in an archaeological field school last summer with Dr. Walker with New Mexico State University also proved this point to me; I belong in the outdoors, in the midst of a discovery. Mainly what has changed has been my knowledge as to what archaeology entails and what it is like as well as my view of what I truly want to study. From my own personal experiences in maturing in my life, I now believe that to understand our progression, as overall humanity, we need to understand our past and how we developed and changed through time to where we are today. By studying bones and seeing these individuals stories imprinted upon them, we can do so and thus learn from our true history. Even more, we can begin to fathom the great vastness of diversity and gain the great appreciation of who we humans are with the “whys” and the “hows” with such a career as anthropology.

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