What Truly Motivates an Archeologist in the Field

What is it that motivates archeologists and future archeologists to keep on digging?  There must be some motivation that allows them to endure working in all types of weather from cold biting winds one day, to searing heat and humidity the next.  What is it that keeps them going after a sleepless night caused by severe thunderstorms that flooded tents and gear with water, or worse, blew them over?  And what is it that allows them to endure the the incessant all night noise from a nearby residence’s screaming peacocks?

You might think it is the glorious moment of uncovering some feature or artifact that furthers our knowledge of past cultures.  Or maybe it is the camaraderie amongst your fellow excavators who are sharing in your good times and bad.  These are indeed important events in an archeologist's experience.  But there must be something more.

It has been a long, long time since I have participated in an archeological field school.  But after 30 plus years in the IT field, where change is the only constant, it is heartening to see that some things never change.

A joyous reaction to the announcement of cupcakes being delivered to MSU Field School Excavations at Aztalan. 

A joyous reaction to the announcement of cupcakes being delivered to MSU Field School Excavations at Aztalan. 

What truly excites an archeologist is the call from one of your fellow workers that someone has brought donuts or cupcakes to share with the crew!