Indiana Jones may regularly come across lost cities and mystical artifacts. But what is it that real-life career archaeologists find?

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NEW YORK — Indiana Jones, movie-theater archaeologist and hero of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” may regularly come across lost cities and mystical artifacts. But what is it that real-life career archaeologists find?

“One of the most important discoveries made this year was fossilized human feces found in Oregon, with the oldest preserved DNA in North America,” said Kevin Vaughn, an assistant professor of anthropology at Purdue University, in an article on the school’s Web page.

“Obviously our lives are not as exciting as Hollywood makes them,” said Vaughn, who studies the Nasca civilization of Peru.

He also said that more than half the jobs are in “cultural-resource management,” working to make sure that projects comply with various cultural heritage-preservation laws, with a smaller number of jobs at museums or universities.

Careerwise, that would reduce the adventure quotient but also the potential for running into snakes on the job.