Was there a real-life Indiana Jones? Take the famous archaeologists quiz!


The opening of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) might be the ultimate guide for what NOT to do in archaeology. Jones reduces a temple to rubble and makes off with a priceless treasure. Most real archaeologists explore ancient sites with less mayhem.

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Question 1 of 20

In 1922, archaeologist Howard Carter made headlines when he discovered the location of this ancient site.

Machu Picchu
King Tut's tomb
City of Troy

... Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun buried beneath the tomb of Ramesses VI. The most remarkable thing about his discovery is that Tut's tomb was still sealed, and had not been disturbed by looters.


Question 2 of 20

Adventurer Percy Fawcett disappeared in 1925 while exploring this region.

Australian Outback

... Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon looking for the "Lost City of Z.." Fawcett believed that people in the Amazon once lived in large cities, similar to those found in Europe. He and his son disappeared while exploring the Amazon in 1925 and were never heard from again.


Question 3 of 20

In 1911, Hiram Bingham arrived at Machu Picchu, an ancient city built by these people.


... Machu Picchu is an extraordinary city built by the Inca people. Bingham made it to the city high in the Andes with the help of a local guide, and though the site was already known to the local population, Bingham's "discovery" was considered an important revelation to the rest of the world. The area is now a UNESCO World Heritage site as well as a popular tourist destination.


Question 4 of 20

Which American president explored a Monacan burial mound during the late 18th century using a revolutionary archaeological technique?

John Adams
George Washington
Thomas Jefferson

... Jefferson studied a burial mound left by the Monacan tribe by cutting a wedge-shaped section out and examining the layers of earth, or strata. While modern archaeologists typically study strata to date and research artifacts, archaeologists during Jefferson's time rarely bothered with this type of study.


Question 5 of 20

British archaeologist Frederick Mitchell-Hedges is perhaps best known for owning one of these legendary artifacts.

crystal skull
death mask

... The larger-than-life Mitchell-Hedges was not only a world explorer, but also a rumored spy for both the U.S. and Britain. He was also the owner of an "ancient" crystal skull, as seen in the fourth "Indiana Jones" film. The authenticity of these skulls as genuine pre-Columbian artifacts is considered highly questionable by the archaeological community.


Question 6 of 20

The Smithsonian Channel suggests that archaeologist Roy Chapman Andrews served as a possible inspiration for Indiana Jones. Which of the following did Andrews unearth?

Egyptian mummies
dinosaur eggs
humanoid skulls

... Andrews spent years exploring the Gobi Desert, and is recognized for discovering some of the first dinosaur eggs ever found. He also served as the Director of the American Museum of Natural History from 1935 to 1942.


Question 7 of 20

Archaeologist Otto Rahn joined the Schutz-Staffel (SS) under the Nazi Party so that he could secure continued funding as part of his search for this object.

the Death Mask of King Tut
Salazar Slytherin's Locket
the Holy Grail

... As part of his quest to find the Holy Grail, Otto Rahn joined the SS. When the Nazis made it tough for Rahn to leave the organization, he committed suicide without ever locating the sacred treasure he spent his life searching for.


Question 8 of 20

Before Italian explorer Giovanni-Battista Belzoni became an archaeologist, this was his profession.

circus strongman

... Belzoni was a circus strongman before he traveled to Egypt in 1815. There he used his muscle to remove heavy -- and valuable -- artifacts from ancient tombs.


Question 9 of 20

University of Chicago archaeologist Robert Braidwood is credited with finding the earliest known sample of this artifact.

dinosaur eggs
human blood
human skull

... Braidwood not only discovered the earliest known sample of human blood, but also ancient scraps of cloth and hand-worked copper. He is perhaps best known for his contributions to archaeology as a science. Unlike many others in the profession, Braidwood sought out the help of teams of scientists with different skill sets so that he could extract as much information as possible from various artifacts and dig sites.


Question 10 of 20

In addition to his archaeological work in Syria, this legendary archaeologist also served as a political voice for the Arab people.

Sir Flinders Petrie
Percy Fawcett
T.E. Lawrence

... T.E. Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia, not only searched for ancient artifacts, but also devoted his life to the establishment of an independent Arab state in the Middle East.


Question 11 of 20

Archaeologist William McGovern managed to sneak into this country disguised as a native Sherpa.


... When local authorities refused to let him enter the country, William McGovern managed to sneak into Tibet disguised as a Sherpa. He is also remembered for his work in Peru and the Amazon.


Question 12 of 20

What contribution did Danish archaeologist Christian Jurgensen Thomsen make to the field in 1836?

Three Age System
Grid System
Licensing System

... Thomsen introduced the Three Age System, a method of classifying artifacts based on whether they were made during the Stone Age, Bronze Age or Iron Age.


Question 13 of 20

What "Father of Modern Egyptology" is known as much for his contributions to archaeological record-keeping and dating as he is for his discoveries in the field?

Giovanni-Battista Belzoni
Sir Arthur Evans
Sir Flinders Petrie

... Sir Flinders Petrie not only excavated the ancient city of Amenhotep IV, he also made important contributions to archaeological dating and record-keeping.


Question 14 of 20

John Mulvaney is best known for his archaeological work in this nation.


... John Mulvaney is known as the Father of Australian Archaeology. His work helped to redefine what we know about ancient people of Australia.


Question 15 of 20

What famous site did Heinrich Schliemann excavate?


... Schliemann developed a fascination with Troy, thanks to an image he saw in a history book when he was just 7 years old. Decades later, he located and excavated the ancient city.


Question 16 of 20

Thanks to his explorations at the city of Knossos, Sir Arthur Evans introduced the world to this ancient civilization.


... Sir Arthur Evans found evidence at Knossos of a Bronze Age Minoan society, with its own distinct culture that was quite different from that of the mainland Greeks.


Question 17 of 20

With the help of her husband Louis, archaeologist Mary Leakey located a superb example of this type of artifact.

dinosaur egg
humanoid skull

... Mary Leakey and her husband Louis were best known for unearthing ancient skulls and bone fragments that helped to redefine our understanding of human evolution. Much of her work took place in Tanzania.


Question 18 of 20

A 2001 New York Times article referred to explorer Kira Salak as a "real-life" version of this fictional adventurer.

Lara Croft
Indiana Jones
Benjamin Gates

... Just like Lara Croft of "Tomb Raider" fame, Kira Salak is a tough female explorer who travels the globe, often touring places like Papua New Guinea.


Question 19 of 20

Sure, Indiana Jones managed to save priceless artifacts, defeat the Nazis and outrun that giant rolling rock, but he still had a major fear of this.


... Despite his tough and rugged exterior, Indy had a life-long fear of snakes.


Question 20 of 20

What do George Lucas and Steven Spielberg cite as their inspiration for the Indiana Jones character?

their fathers
adventure film stars

... Lucas and Spielberg were inspired by the adventure films of their youth when creating the Indiana Jones franchise. Many of these older films were inspired by famous archaeologists and explorers.


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