In China, graduates of archaeology used to be employed by museums, which could not pay them much. Many now end up in commercial cultural relic identification – a much more lucrative trade with millions of dollars at stake.
So, as a client who has a potentially very expensive piece for identification, how to tell whether the archaeologist you are looking to is a real expert, or not?
A newbie (probably fresh out of university)
“This is fake! Everything is fake!”
– because they are very eager to prove themselves (and probably telling the truth too)
An experienced archaeologist
“This is real. Everything is real.”
– they have learnt some life lessons.
A real expert
“Well this looks fascinating, complicated. I do not know whether it is real or not.”
– They have mastered understanding of live human beings.