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The Real Indiana Jones

The Real Indiana Jones

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

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Archaeology departments may want to write thank-you notes to Harrison Ford, who brought George Lucas' Dr. Henry Walton Jones, Jr., alias "Indy," to life on the silver screen.

Already, the Indiana Jones franchise has earned many millions of dollars. Last weekend, the newest installment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, made $126 million. Surely some of those young devotees, eager to pay $10 for a ticket, have thought, "Gee, this guy is cool. Maybe I should be an archaeologist, too." Little do they know, though, that most archaeologists don't wear leather or fight fascist enemies. They spend most days in the hot sun, using spoons to unearth pieces of pottery. OK, that's oversimplifying things...

We'll talk with archaeologist Fred Hiebert, an archeology fellow at the National Geographic Society. He is the curator of a new show, on display here in Washington, called Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul. It opened yesterday.

What questions do you have for Hiebert, a real archaeologist? Does he carry a bull whip? Does he sport a rakish fedora?

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