Nigeria is among the countries in sub-Saharan Africa that have experienced professional archaeologists, these professionals to a large extent are promoting the discipline in both theory and practice.
An archaeologist is an expert trained on how to study the history of the people by digging out and analysing pre historic materials and more, made or left behind by our ancestral fathers.
Such materials include artefacts, monuments, and inscriptions, the main work of archaeologists is to discover record, interpret and preserve archaeological objects for generations to come.
Learning archaeology in higher institution
Archaeology is studied as a course in some universities in Nigeria and some other institutions of high learning for the duration of 3-4 years depending on the school and is required of any interested candidate to at least have a credit in English, Mathematics, and any other 3 science subject.
Archaeology department of Nigerian universities from time to time carry out project research by excavating a prehistoric site which is believed to be some of our ancestors lived.
This is done to educate them on the importance of prehistoric artefacts in determining the culture of the people during the primitive days.
What Nigerian Archaeologists do
Nigeria archaeologists perform a lot of functions which has continued to help in building a better society.
These functions include using a befitting approach in surveying sites to discover what is obtainable in the location.
This can be achieved through field walking, geophysical surveys or aerial photography.
Furthermore, Nigerian archaeologists work as a team on the field; employing the requisite tools and equipment in excavating artefacts discovered to have been buried on the site.
Career in Archaeology
Archaeology as a profession is vast; therefore taking a career out of the discipline depends on one's area of specialization.
Although some people see archaeology as an inferior discipline, this is false considering that archaeologists are making a good living more than their counterparts in other disciplines.
This is the type of carrier where an archaeologist is working for a developer to uncover, dig out, record and then preserve the ancient artefacts left in the area generations ago.
Research/ Academic Archaeology
This entails discovery of archaeological artefacts which will be used for empirical research and for academic purpose.
This type of research takes long duration before arriving at a conclusion.
This is a kind of carrier where archaeological findings usually sponsored by a professional organization.
Unlike other types, public archaeologist requires the assistance of the public in arriving at a credible conclusion.
This is the most common type of archaeology carrier in Nigeria. It allows one to specialize in a particular field such as artefacts, geography, history and other archaeological related topics.
Qualified archaeologists work as lecturers in Universities and other institutions of high learning.
They also present educational talks on this area of specialization, generate publicity materials and publish articles about research and site interpretations.
Moreover, an archaeologist can be self-employed which literally means that he or she can decide to operate a non-governmental business; digging out artefact and selling to museums.
Also, there are high opportunities for professional archaeologists to take a career abroad as no much competition will be involved.
Nigerians should as a matter of facts understands that only archaeologist can guarantee a comprehensive history of a particular location.
Also, one can easily make a good living out of this discipline than relying on the so called lucrative discipline for a job which is not forth coming.