Archaeology and Wonder Girl #1

This week’s Wonder Girl #1 one-shot has a fair bit of archaeology in it. Wonder Girl, aka Cassie Sandsmark, is the superpowered daughter of archaeologist Helena and Zeus. Yes, The Zeus from Greek mythology (how’s that for a job perk?). In this story, Cassie is visiting her mother at an archaeology conference taking place at the Natural History Museum in London (the location is not explicitly stated but the drawings are identical to pictures from the official website). Below is a clip (click to enlarge) where Wonder Girl describes why archaeology is important, but then dumps on in the interestingness of flotation.

Later in the issue, Cassie is gazing at an image of Zeus on a Grecian urn when a passerby remarks “Seems out of place doesn’t it… Greek mythology in a museum of natural history.” That line stood out for me because I do find it interesting that when many of these natural history museums were built, the prevailing mindset was that human artifacts should be housed under the same roof as dinosaurs and animal specimens. For example, large portions of the American Museum of Natural History are devoted to human culture. In contrast, the San Diego Natural History Museum leaves the anthropology to the nearby Museum of Man. I agree more with the excising of human culture from natural history because culture is to be not natural in the sense of being part of the natural sciences. In fact, if human cultural is natural, than the world natural loses its meaning.

As I was doing web research for this blog post, I found another interesting tidbit: the Natural History Museum in London actually doesn’t have Greek artifacts! Like the case in San Diego, there is another museum for human artifacts in London: the British Museum. So the comic actually fudges the truth to make the point that Greek culture is not natural history. Or, perhaps in the DC universe the Natural History Museum does in fact have a classical archaeology collection. Crazier things have happened there.

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