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'Indiana Jones'? I Don't Dig It, Archeologist Declares

June 05, 1989|JAMES MARNELL

--Nicholas Bellantoni occasionally wears his Indiana Jones-type hat at various archeological digs. But that's where the similarity between the Connecticut government's first full-time archeologist and the dashing movie hero Indiana Jones--played by Harrison Ford--ends. "It concerns me that the Indiana Jones movies seem to encourage people to be treasure seekers and to loot or vandalize archeological sites," said Bellantoni, 40. "What looks like fun and excitement is really destruction of critical information for real archeologists." While he acknowledges that the Indiana Jones films help promote the profession of archeology, Bellantoni bemoans the image of an adventurous peripatetic archeologist in search of a single artifact. "In truth, we're more like cautious detectives," Bellantoni said. "Most spectacular archeological achievements are the result of grueling labor, rigorous excavation procedures and scientific analysis."

--Barbara Johnson says her decision to help prevent the permanent closing of the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, by investing $100 million to form a joint stock company was inspired by President Bush. "My idea is to implement President Bush's appeal of last April . . . in which he asked for active participation, for economic help for Poland, because favorable political conditions have been created," she said. The Bush speech was prompted by the signing of a Solidarity-government agreement on political and economic reforms, including the legalization of Solidarity and free elections. In fact, the first parliamentary elections took place Sunday. The Polish-born Johnson, 49, heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune, said: "I trust in the success of this investment because I trust in Poland. . . . I think this will be a good example for others."

--Perhaps one of the best examples of an individual clearly making a key difference is Rosa Parks, the black woman who did nothing more than seek a seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala., in 1955. Her refusal to move to the back of the bus spawned the civil rights movement, culminating in the landmark rights case, Brown vs. (Topeka, Kan.) Board of Education. "When I got on the bus, I only wanted to come home," she said at a press conference in Topeka, where she was honored at a reception commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision, leading to the desegregation of the nation's schools. "I just knew that as far as I was concerned, I would never ride on a segregated bus again." Parks, 76, said all schools may not be desegregated today, "but it is far better than it was in 1954."

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