Lovers of Professor of Archaeology Henry Walton Jones, Jr., Ph.D. rejoice! (Who? You probably know him as "Indiana Jones").
To mark the 30th anniversary of "Raiders of the Los Ark," known here in the NeatoHQ as "the best movie ever," Lucasfilm, National Geographic and Canada's X3 PRoductions are teaming up to bring priceless artifacts (or movie props for you nonbelievers) in a touring exhibit.
(Real) Archaeologist Fredrik Hiebert of National Geographic has this to say about the Indiana Jones movie franchise and its importance to archaeology:
Let me tell you the perspective from National Geographic’s in-house archaeologists, because that’s what I am, and it’s a very special hat to wear, to use an Indiana Jones idiom.
I normally deal with what I call the Indiana Joneses who come to National Geographic to do real research, and it’s an amazing group of scholars that we have …. A great number of them have been inspired by the films of Indiana Jones. It’s like a whole generation.
I used to teach at the university where in Intro to Archaeology — Archaeology 101 — one of the first questions that I always ask is, “How many of you were inspired by Indiana Jones?” What’s amazing is that this is the 30th anniversary of the first Indiana Jones film, and these students are like 20 years old, and 70% of them raise their hands, saying they were inspired by the films.
That is one of the world’s most awesome inspirations that could happen. It’s almost like Indiana Jones is the world’s most famous archaeologist. Even now. He’s not a real person, but he’s had an incredible, incredible impact on the field of professional archaeology, both at the university, and here, now, that I have the great honor to sit at National Geographic ….
We are all inner Indiana Joneses. Every archaeologist has a little bit of that adventure in them.
The Los Angeles Times' Hero Complex blog has more details: Link (and sadly, no US tour dates have been announced)