Consulting archaeologist

Benjamin Jones completed a Master of Arts in Anthropology and is now a consulting archaeologist with Clough & Associates.

Bejamin Jones and his team performing an archaeological dig.

Key facts

Career: Consulting archaeologist
Programme: Master of Arts
Subject: Anthropology

“I am an archaeologist working as a consultant for Clough & Associates. This involves working with archaeological remains — the remnants of New Zealand’s history.

“I am constantly looking into the past and getting paid for it.

“My main area is monitoring and survey, where I investigate in old documents, in the field or on a construction sites for the possibility of material remains left by people in the past. I get to do this because disturbing or modifying an archaeological site is a criminal offence.

"Particular highlights of my job revolve around working in the different rohe of iwi/tangata whenua. My latest achaeological excavation involved working with Patuharakeke. The knowledge they provided helped inform the archaeological work being done.

“In these ways, I am very much grounded in the present, as consultation work is 30 percent archaeology and 70 percent working with people across a diverse group of professions, agencies, iwi and tangata whenua who are all interested in how to deal with the remains of the past.

“I love cartography — especially old maps and plans. Part of my job is using these to understand how buildings and streets were laid out in the past, so I am constantly exposed to them.

The courses and network in the Faculty of Arts provide a robust framework for archaeological careers. 

"You are exposed to the archaeological work being done in New Zealand and the Pacific. This is an excellent starting point to understand what you want to do and what you need to gain work in your field of study.

“The ability to question and understand a large quantity of information in a short period of time is the most important skill I have gained from my Arts study. Being able to scrutinise information, evaluate it and reconvert it into useful knowledge to whoever is asking me my opinion on that information is a skill I use almost every day with my clients.

“Arts study also teaches you to break down whatever you looking at and consider it from every angle. This is very useful outside of university, as Arts graduates always look to innovate and find a better way of doing things.”