Post-Apocalyptic Archaeology: Introduction

by battleaxebunny

So life in your post-apocalyptic world has been a bit bumpy, what with all the running from zombies, vampires, dragons, mad fairies or opportunistic other survivors. Not to worry, though, it won’t be long until it’s quiet enough to build yourself a safe place to live long term, and gather together likeminded people to create a new and, hopefully, relatively sane civilisation. And since knowledge of the past means you’re less likely to be doomed to repeat it, enter the archaeologist!

There are many different types of archaeology you can do in the post-apoc world, some of the more popular are:

Rescuing past artefacts and preserving them in new (and heavily defended) museums
Get in early to preserve all things historical otherwise your new civilisation is going to lose the benefits of all those centuries of scholarship and investigation. Museums, like libraries, are a must-have in your up and coming survivor-town.

Collating information on what’s been happening where and to whom to document your apocalypse-that-has-just-been
Not just handy for historical record, but can also be tied into gathering intelligence on your neighbours or establishing news and trading networks and building links with other friendly communities.
Also a necessary thing if you need to find out why the apocalypse happened in case there’s some underground lab somewhere with an antidote, or a handy mythical artefact that can switch off the armies of the undead.

Collecting treasures to take advantage of the local evil overlord’s art fetish
Because, let’s face it, there’s always going to be one tyrant isn’t there. And once they’ve settled into their heavily guarded fortress and used their army of gun-waggling thugs to make everyone else in their territory work to provide them with essentials, well, they’re going to start getting pretensions of grandeur. This usually means an interest in collecting some rare thing to enhance their status – could be art, could be antiques, could be fancy underwear or cigars or expensive booze. Whatever it is, if you can get your hands on an example, you have something to trade. (Just watch out for the inevitable double cross.)

Playing at Lara Croft while you’re ducking the zombie hoards
It’s not all work, work, work. You might be inclined to take yourself off on an adventure to find the lost treasures of under-London or the fabled drowned city of Calais. We’re not judging. We might even join you. Just remember to load up on weapons for the inevitable hijnx and try not to set off any booby traps.

Luckily for the post-apocalyptic archaeologist, a lot of the skills and tools you’ll need to do the job are also useful for basic survival (see digging and combat especially) so by the time you’re ready to go off on an expedition you and your team should be well prepared for the essentials. For the rest, stay tuned to this series as we look at where to go, what to look for, how to get at it and what to do with it when you’ve got it.

battleaxebunny out.

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