Journey of an Egyptologist
Egyptology!! Sounds strange? I am sure that if you are here reading this its either because you have been dreaming a walk amidst the Pyramids for a long time now or your fascination towards ancient Egypt seems to be growing ever since. I am just going to tell you the best news you have heard in a while – Yes, Egyptology is a thing and you can very well make it your career
A practitioner of the discipline Egyptology is called an Egyptologist. The Wikipedia defines Egyptology as “The study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, architecture and art from the 5th millennium BC until the end of its native religious practices in the 4th century AD.”
Now you must be eager to know what this niche career option has in store for you. Here’s a list of advantages of being an Egyptologist that would certainly make you jump in joy:
Know about Egyptian Mythology:
Egyptian mythology is one of the ancient and richest mythology where one could learn about various gods and goddesses which ancient Egyptians believed in. You might find their paintings at ruins, temples and tombs. Understanding their stories would give deeper knowledge about this glorious ancient culture.
Explore Egyptian Pyramids:
If you are reading this article then I am sure you have always dreamt of going inside Pyramids which were built thousands of years ago with mesmerizing engineering skills which still baffle us. You could explore many pyramids and live your childhood dreams.
Learn ancient Egyptian art and Language:
Egypt had one of the ancient civilization which used various art forms and hieroglyphics language. Studying that you can go deeper into this exotic culture and see the world through the eyes of native egyptians.
Travel to places:
Being an Egyptologist is an adventure by itself. Digging into the Egyptian history is some kind of adventure which one craves for his entire life. Now here is the fun part, adventure for some people is your way of living. Doesn’t that fascinate you by itself? There are some archeologists who travel to foreign countries and live there for months.
Being an Egyptologist, you may have to acquire a lot of skills. Mostly linguistic skills are required before hand. There are many skills you learn while you are on the job. Like living in extreme conditions around excavation sites, developing interpersonal skills and also again sometimes living inhospitable conditions.
You contribute towards the society in not one but many ways. You help in discovering and expanding historical sites for general interests for travel and tourism. At the same time you help the government in the same manner.
The field of Egyptology is to increase at a rate faster than the other fields as a whole. This makes it very profitable in terms of rate of growth.
You can also serve as a Tour guide for people like you who wants to explore the land of pyramids, and earn some extra income. (A savior for those not-so-good days!)
Before you get interested let’s see what it takes to be an Egyptologist:
Like any other course or field a Bachelor’s Degree is the first and for most requirement to specialize in this stream. Unfortunately there are only a few universities offering so. Secondly there might be some programs which would require you to learn French or German to read research texts. Your bachelors’ degree should be in the field of archaeology, anthropology, or Egyptian history.
The next step is to have a Master’s Degree. Now the thing is, one may be able to get his first field work just after acquiring it. The master’s degree would require you to learn ancient or middle Egypt. The fact that you get to do field work is one of the most exciting parts of studying further to be an Egyptologist.
Although you might get work just after acquiring your master’s degree, in the 21st century having a PhD is a recommendation of the leading Egyptologists. This is a year or two program having you to do coursework and other field work.
Having a Post Doctoral Fellowship is like having icing on the cake. In the competitive society that prevails today having the same will gave you a boost into your career and as well as make you a step higher than your colleagues. Sometimes doing a fellowship, you might get to work under established Egyptologists. This is possibly the best way to learn a few tricks of trade and hear amazing work experience stories.
Now there’s one question that’s certainly to Pop up in most of your heads. ‘But where do I study?’ So here’s your answer:
Some of the top listed universities of Egyptology are –
Ancient History Department
Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, and Egyptology
American University in CAIRO
3. United Kingdom
Faculty of Oriental Sciences
University of Cambridge
4. United States of America
Department of Egyptology
I know, I know, You all are very curious to know this – ‘How Much will you earn?’ (Don’t worry it’s a pretty decent amount)
This is very lucrative field. There are a few reasons for the same. The supply is very low as compared to the demand for Egyptologists. Hence the average salary for them is around $60,000 annually. But for those who still want to earn more, can work under the government and get an amount of $75,000 annually.
Before you get ahead here’s an insight into the life on an Egyptologist to give you better perspective of what you are getting into.
As said before being an Egyptologist is very exciting. So there isn’t any such thing as a typical day or a 9-5 job. It varies every day or every project or sometimes every hour. There is to learn something new every day. Some days you may learn to use tools like long tailed shovels, spades, wheelbarrows and mattocks. There is always a strange joy on learning such things.
However, an Egyptologist has to deal with harsh weather conditions, having its own ups and downs, but the fact that he gets other advantages, compensate for the same. Working as an Egyptologist is basically working in a crew. This helps to keep your morale up, moreover you need to be calm, patient and passionate as there will be days when you will be drenched in the rain, thirsty in the heat, and will have soil in your sandwiches.
Now since we have reached the end of the amazing unconventional career option, I have to tell you this was so much fun to write! So until the next time we meet – Dream Egypt, Talk Egypt and Love Egypt.