TROY, Ala. (TROJANVISION) — The Anthropology Club got in the Halloween spirit with its latest Bad Movie Night showing of “The Mummy.”
The club’s Bad Movie Night series showcases films that play into a common misconception that anthropology involves hunting for treasure across the world and raiding tombs for lost artifacts as traps try to kill intrepid adventurers. But anthropology experts and students say that is an invention of Hollywood movies such as “Indiana Jones, “The Mummy” and “Tomb Raider,” which represent the field in a way that is wildly different to reality.
“It fails to accurately depict foreign areas,” said junior Gage Alen. “With archaeology, it’s not about raiding tombs, it’s about learning about people. Not just going after items to put in a museum, it’s about creating and learning about history.”
Anthropology studies is a complicated subject: people. It’s a broad field that covers biology, linguistics, culture, and archaeology but sometimes Hollywood can make the field look vastly different than reality.
“Hollywood’s depiction of anthropology is very romanticized and it piggybacks off the Indiana Jones effect of being exotic, going to these abroad places and doing these things,” Alen explained.
Although there may not be as much tomb-raiding and treasure hunting, anthropology allows people to study those outside their culture.
“Anthropology is very important because it’s the study of people and people are what make this world a world,” said Anthropology Club President Madisen James. “It’s important to know different cultures and to understand what other people are going through, their perspectives and to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes while at the same time still understanding your own culture.”
The Anthropology Club does not just do Bad Movie Nights, members also go on trips to archaeological sites as well as anthropology conferences. The club also hosts events on campus throughout the semester such as lectures from Troy alumni and International Archaeology Day.