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    Posted April 6, 2011 by
    bingothehutt
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    'Raiders' turns 30: Your archaeology adventures

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    My Hero!

     

    I was really too young to appreciate the original  movies when they were in theaters, but I have loved the character of  Indiana Jones all of my adult life. I guess you might say he’s my hero.,  or more correctly, he’s my role model whose daring and undying  curiosity I try to call on from time to time. When presented with an  historical riddle or treasure hunt, I ask myself, “OK, how would Indy  approach this?”

     

    The “my story” I usually tell people is a testament to the fact that Indy's far-flung adventures set me on the course that would become my life's work. I’ve  always loved the King Arthur legend, and was a big fan of the Indiana  Jones movies. However, it wasn’t until I saw a History Channel special  about someone going to look for the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem,  claiming to have found a chamber where it might have been kept, that it  ever occurred to me there might be a real archeological object behind  some of these legends. So, it was a natural progression for me to follow  my interest in King Arthur and combine it with the Grail legend  presented in The Last Crusade. I read everything I could find about King  Arthur and the Holy Grail, and the more I learned, the more I found I  needed to learn.

     

    Although  I’m not an archeologist, I am a historical researcher, and I’ve spent  almost 20 years doing it. I’ve published 2 books so far, and am about to  publish a third dealing with the Joseph of Arimathea tradition at  Glastonbury, based largely on a trip my wife and I made to the UK in  2008. The ruins  of Glastonbury Abbey are my own personal “Indiana Jones” spot. I had  studied it and read about its history for so many years, it felt surreal  to be standing there, looking at the place I had wanted to see for so  long. As if this were not amazing enough, I was actually granted  permission to spend a couple of hours there completely alone after the  grounds had closed. I carried around a big brass “skeleton key” and a  little padlock key in my pocket all day until it was time to begin my  private investigation. I can remember the sound of the key in the old  lock as it turned, and the creak of the imposing cast iron gate as I  pushed it open, walking into the abbey grounds just as the sun was going  down. The only thing missing was the foreboding John Williams music.

     

    In  my few hours there, I was entrusted with a site of incredible  historical significance, and I felt genuinely honored. It felt like I  scoured every inch of the ruins and its grounds, but now looking back on  it, it still find myself wishing I had taken the time to look here, or  taken better pictures of there. However brief a time it was, I learned  more while I was there than I ever could have just reading about it  here. I was able to get some measurements, make some sketches, and take  precise pictures, but best of all, I got to just stand down there alone  in the darkness of the crypt under the Lady Chapel and experience the  place one-on-one, imagining what it was like when it was alive and  whole. It really was an opportunity of a lifetime for me.

     

    I  may not a professional, but I’ve probably “logged more hours” on this  one subject than most Ph.D.’s would ever consider. Whatever becomes of my study, I  am the richer for it, and it’s all because of the Man in the Hat! So thanks, Indy. Thanks for taking a contently ignorant kid and putting  the hat on my head that I wear today. And to all those who brought my  hero to life, and all you who keep him alive in our society's  imagination to inspire the youthful adventurers of tomorrow....my  thanks.

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