Santa Ana’s Discovery Science Center teams up with the National Geographic Society to bring the exciting exhibit Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology.
The public can now see the extensive collection of Indiana Jones film material and props up close and personal while learning about archeology with real artifacts from Penn Museum.
The exhibition is presented through a guided listening tour with a fancy set of earphones and a snazzy touch screen device.
The introduction of the tour is a delightful greeting from Indiana Jones himself, Harrison Ford.
With archeology, we have the ability to “discover who we are by discovering who we were,” said Ford in the introduction.
This exhibition is the best place for any Indy fan to dork out. Each film in the series is sectioned off in its own area so you can go through them chronologically.
The very first room has the signature hat, whip and costume sported by Jones along with one of four paintings by comic illustrator Jim Steranko, who was commissioned by George Lucas.
This charismatic portrayal of Indy was created to capture the visual persona of Indiana Jones.
The franchise has had a loyal fan following for three decades, and the story of this adventurous college professor has not been forgotten since.
There’s a sense of nostalgia walking through the exhibit and seeing props, costumes, paintings and clips from the films; let’s face it, a lot of you grew up with Indy.
One of the most exciting pieces in this exhibition is the Ark of the Covenant from Raiders of the Lost Ark where there is only a layer of glass between the viewer and this legendary film prop.
The listening tour has a special segment on several Indiana Jones props that represent real historical items.
The segment is called “Fact vs. Fiction” and it takes the props such as the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol from Raiders of the Lost Ark and explains the historical significance of the real idols and how accurate the Lucas films really are.
Another exciting collection is the one with the outfits worn by Indy and Short Round in Temple of Doom at Club Obi Wan.
Yes, even the little wooden blocks worn on Short Round’s feet are included in the collection; if that’s not precious, I don’t know what is.
This section also includes pieces such as Thuggee leader Mola Ram’s headdress and a small model of Indy, Willie Scott and Short Round in the mining cart sequence.
Filmmakers also received permission from Disneyland Resort to close down the park for a full day to record audio on roller coasters to get the most realistic sounds for the mining cart escape scene from Temple of Doom.
These little teasers are just a few of many fun facts about the creation of the Indiana Jones world. There are fun and exciting stories that you wouldn’t have imagined before going to the exhibition.
Lucas even had to sneak snakes into a country at one point to get the scenes he fully intended to shoot. Lucas you sly dog. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade includes major film props such as the Holy Grail and tablets.
There are a couple of rooms that have true ancient artifacts found and studied by real archeologists, dating as far back as 2500 BC.
There are also photos from the 1940s of real findings by Matthew Stirling. He discovered mysterious and colossal basalt heads later named “Olmecs” for the location they were found in Mexico.
These Olmecs have an origin and fate that are still unknown. There are also photos from Hiram Bingham’s expedition to Peru in 1911 when he explored the ruins of Machu Picchu.
The last collection is from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Although it is widely viewed by fans as a subpar Indiana Jones film, the items are still really fun to look at with their historical accuracy.
Head shaping was a common practice among the Mayans, which explains the shape of the crystal skull. The exhibition goes into the extra terrestrial theories and raises the origins of such reasoning.
Lastly is Henry “Mutt” Williams’ Harley-Davidson. It doesn’t matter if you liked Kingdom of the Crystal Skull or if it makes you cringe at the mention if its name—that Harley-Davidson will always be gorgeous.
The Indiana Jones exhibition is a fun way to geek out over a classic series of films while learning about the practices of archeology.
It’s kid-friendly, offering plenty of games for the little ones and hey, who says adults can’t go treasure hunting as well.
It’s a great way to wind down from the madness of finals week. Tickets go for as little as $10, so go out and find an adventure!