Friday, April 13, 2007

Famous Fictional Archaeologists: Daniel Jackson

Born: July 8, 1965
Education: University of Chicago
Specialty: Egyptology, alien artifacts
Likes: Abydos, Sha-Re
Dislikes: violence, getting killed

Although ostensibly an Egyptologist, Daniel Jackson exhibits a strong case of Omniscient Archaeologist Syndrome. We find that he is fluent in 23 languages (including Spanish, Russian, Mandarin and German) and can almost instantly grasp texts written in most obscure alien dialects. His most famous decoding involved the symbols on the Stargate itself, which allowed its use as an interstellar portal.

We first see Daniel Jackson at a lecture in a large lecture hall (presumably in New York or Chicago), attempting to convince a group of stuffy archaeologists that the pyramids were not built by the Egyptians, but are much older. It is interesting that in the snippet of lecture we hear, Jackson provides not a shred of evidence for this contention. On the other hand, a fuddy-duddy archaeologist stands to ridicule Jackson for this belief. The argument he uses, it might interest the reader, is perfectly legitimate, in that the pyramid contains an inscription with Khufu's name (discovered by Sir Flinders Petrie in 1883, but only confirmed in 2001). It is not clear what response Jackson would make to this, as his lecture dissolves in the midst of his reply. Sure enough, his theories are verified by the discovery of the Stargate. However, I feel sympathy for his well-meaning interlocutor.

Jackson's interest in Egyptology derived from his parents, who worked for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In a tragic accident, both died while installing a new exhibit when they were crushed by a large stone sculpture. Haunted by the event, Daniel briefly considered becoming an Egyptology-themed super hero ("The Mummy") before enrolling in the University of Chicago and following a more conventional academic career.

Hint for young archaeologists: hone up on your marksmanship and spacecraft piloting skills. You never know when you might be scooped up by a super-secret Air Force program combining archaeology and travel to different planets.


Anonymous said...

This was a well stated and oddly interesting and humorous take on Daniel Jackson, I was watching and episode of SG-1, when Daniel says, if you don't believe me, Google I did :)...I got you, and I'm glad that I did, it was this ficticious character that got me intersted in Archaeology in the first place, now at the age of 57 I am an Undergraduate Sudent at Harvard, in Anthropology and Archaeology. Love the Web site. SLW

pharmacy said...

Well like you said, fictional there's anything to talk about and the show it works "stargate" sucks it's very bad.