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At last! The first & only official exhibition of Indiana Jones

David Goran

Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology was an exhibition that ran from April 28, 2011, until September 18, 2011, in Montreal, Canada, before touring cities worldwide. (Valencia, Spain/Discovery Science Center, Santa Ana, CA., USA/Fort Worth Museum, Fort Worth, TX., USA/TELUS World of Science, Edmonton, Canada/National Geographic Museum, Washington DC, USA). The exhibition featured real fascinating archaeological artifacts, along with an extensive collection of original Indiana Jones film materials.

It showcased props and behind-the-scenes information from the four Indiana Jones films as well as delving into the real-world background that forms the movies’ stories and emphasizing the hard science and archaeology behind it all.

Archaeology equipment props from from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Archaeology equipment props from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

 

Young Indiana Jones scout hat from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.

Young Indiana Jones scout hat from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.

 

Tibetan bar props from drinking competition scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Tibetan bar props from drinking competition scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

 

The mystical Sankara Stones from the feature film Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom.

The mystical Sankara Stones from the feature film Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom.

 

The evil priest's headdress from the feature film Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom.

The evil priest’s headdress from the feature film Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom.

 

That's a carpenter's cup! The true Grail from the feature film Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.

That’s a carpenter’s cup! The true Grail from the feature film Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.

 

Steven Spielberg's incarnation of the Ark of the Covenant from the feature film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Steven Spielberg’s incarnation of the Ark of the Covenant from the feature film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.

 

Short Round's elevator shoes from the feature film Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom.

Short Round’s elevator shoes from the feature film Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom.

 

Sean Connery's spectacles and watch from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.

Sean Connery’s spectacles and watch from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.

 

Russian camp props from from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Russian camp props from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Presented by the National Geographic Society, made possible by Lucasfilm Ltd. and produced by Montreal’s X3 Productions, Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology takes you on a journey into the fascinating science and history of field archaeology. This is a rare opportunity to see ancient artefacts from the National Geographic Society and the Penn Museum, along with an extensive collection of Indiana Jones film props from Lucasfilm Archives.

Mutt Williams' (Shia LaBoef) Harley Davidson from from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Mutt Williams’ (Shia LaBoef) Harley Davidson from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

 

Mutt Wiliams' (Shia LaBoef) comb, gum and switchblade from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Mutt Wiliams’ (Shia LaBoef) comb, gum and switchblade from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

 

Mask prop from from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Mask prop from  Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

 

Irina's dossier from from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Irina’s dossier from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Lucasfilm’s exhibitions manager, Kyra Bowling, spoke at Skywalker Ranch in Northern California in early September 2012 to prepare the U.S. for the Indiana Jones exhibit’s first American stop, at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, California. She explained that the event was inspired by the year 2011 being the 30th Anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark. As the character of Indiana Jones is so beloved and multi-generational, they thought that using him would be a great way to educate people of all ages about science and archaeology.

Indiana Jones famous bullwhip.

Indiana Jones famous bullwhip.

 

Correspondence props from from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Correspondence props  from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

 

Conquistador's Spanish sword from from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Conquistador’s Spanish sword from  Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

 

Closeup portrait of the Egyptian sarcophagus prop from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Closeup portrait of the Egyptian sarcophagus prop from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

 

Closeup of the ritual staff of the high priest from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Closeup of the ritual staff of the high priest from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Kyra Bowling said, “besides all the wonderful things from the films, which includes over 100 objects and props, we also wanted the exhibit to be about hard science and archaeology.” The exhibit highlights thirteen different adventures that Indy went on and compares the factual and fictitious surrounding those adventures and the history of the objects. Bowling also mentioned that although the interactive treasure hunt quest is geared towards kids, adults in Montreal and Valencia had been thoroughly enjoying it. She also said about the tour, “as you wind your way through the archaeology zones, there is a video companion for every visitor, so each person can customize their visit with over 2 hours of content. So you really get to pick and choose what might excite you in the exhibit.”

 

Photos: Mary Harrsch/Flickr