Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Excavating the FutureArchaeology and Geopolitics in Contemporary North American Science Fiction Film and Television$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Shawn Malley

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941190

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941190.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 14 October 2019

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Chapter:
(p.95) Chapter 5 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Source:
Excavating the Future
Author(s):

Shawn Malley

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781786941190.003.0006

This chapter transposes the analogical investigation of ancient astronauts as a source of geopolitical meditation in Ancient Aliens to a SF film that make this connection explicit: Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull (2006), which adapts the cinematic antecedent of 1950s B SF movies—in which aliens function as a trope for governmental conspiracy, atomic anxiety, and Soviet hysteria—into ancient astronaut discourse. An interesting subtext of Spielberg’s nostalgic throwback to SF film history is the nature of the aliens themselves. As archaeologists and collectors, they replicate the kinds of colonial archaeology that Jones and even the audience may take for granted. These beings function within the SF métier as an external threat, but they simultaneously sanction the civilizing activities undertaken by democratic institutions like the British Museum, Louvre and Metropolitan Museum. The film thus neatly closes the hermeneutic circle on the Indiana Jones franchise by mining its latent SF tropes: the intrepid figure of colonial archaeology is reinvigorated through the exotic adventures of technologically-advanced beings from outer space. Archaeology is a device for manifesting threats that can be foiled by the very scientific structures and geopolitical forces that inform the entertaining world of action and adventure.

Keywords:   science fiction film and television, archaeology, geopolitics, ancient astronaut theory, atomic age, Mayan calendar, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.