Anyone who has ever watched an Indiana Jones movie has had the thought of becoming an archaeologist flash through their mind.


For archaeology student Ellen Tonscheck her love of history and the outdoors outweighed the token Indy hat and khaki pants.

The passion to unearth stories from the past led her to study Archaeology at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) this year.

“From when I was very small I knew this was the field I wanted to be in,” Miss Tonscheck said. “I was always outside, digging things up, and asking questions. I probably didn’t know what an archaeologist was when I was little, but knew that I wanted to do something with history and the hands-on field work really interested me.”

Miss Tonscheck grew up near Highfields, and acknowledged early on, that an office job was not for her.

“I grew up on a farm, maybe that has something do with needing to be outside,” Miss Tonscheck said. “My dad was always into history as well, reading and passing on his knowledge, I think that fuelled my passion.”

Miss Tonscheck has completed her first year of the Bachelor of Arts (Archaeology) at USQ Toowoomba.

“I am really excited that I am finally studying the things that can get me to my dream career,” she said.

“To have this degree available in my hometown is an awesome opportunity.

“USQ is so big for archaeology right now.

“I am studying under some pretty incredible people and I am very privileged to be studying here.”


In her first year, the 19-year old has opted to major in Indigenous Archaeology, which has opened up a world right under her nose, and reiterated the importance of conveying the stories from the past to the rest of the world.

“Archaeology is not all about the classical civilisations, even though I love that as well, but I am enjoying being opened up to the possibilities that indigenous archaeology can offer.”

via USQ