10 Real-Life Archaeologists More Badass Than Indiana Jones

They have the hat, the gumption, the Nazi-punching...plus they're actually real.

Look, nobody is debating that Dr Henry Walton €œIndiana€ Jones isn't impressive. He's pulled off some major feats in his career, from discovering lost treasures like the Ark Of The Covenant, the Holy Grail, and whatever it is he was after in Temple Of Doom (Hearts? Monkey brains? A small Asian boy?). There's even that more recent expedition nobody likes to talk about. Along the way he bested the burgeoning Nazi party at every turn €“ and gave the USSR a good what-for as well €“ and bedded a bevvy of beauties, all whilst finding the time to return to the University of Chicago and give lectures that were presumably somewhat more dry when discussing archaeology, cutting out the bits with the whips and the snakes and the snakes used as whips. The only problem is...well, he's not real. Indiana Jones is a composite character of every pulp hero, every star of an old movie serial, every story of real-life adventurers Steven Spielberg and George Lucas devoured growing up, a fallible human being who was also a mythic legend. What's more impressive than that? Well, the people who did it all for real, for a start. The character has a number of real-life inspirations, predecessors, and even modern-day adventurers who follow in his footsteps (and choice of headwear). From the man who tricked the Nazis into helping him find the Grail to the two-fisted archaeologist still alive today, here are ten real-life archaeologists more badass than Indiana Jones.

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Tom Baker is the Comics Editor at WhatCulture! He's heard all the Doctor Who jokes, but not many about Randall and Hopkirk. He also blogs at http://communibearsilostate.wordpress.com/