Henry Walton Jones Jr. (later known as Indiana Jones and Doctor Jones) received an undergraduate degree in archaeology according to this site.

But since he is refered to as Dr. Jones he also must have graduated with a PhD later on.

He has a doctorate in archaeology, but is there any information or source about what the specific topic (e.g. title) of his doctoral thesis was?

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    "Bullwhips in 20th Century archaeology - A historical and ethnological study"
    – Valorum
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 6:54
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    Not an actual answer, I'm afraid. ;-)
    – Valorum
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 7:23
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    @Randal'thor - That question asks what degrees he holds. This question asks about his Doctorate title. They're related but not, I think, duplicates
    – Valorum
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 7:31
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    Kaadzia and @Valorum: OK, it wasn't clear from the question whether you were interested in the general topic (which is answered in the dupe) or specifically the thesis title (which may not be known from canon, but in any case isn't a dupe). My mistake; I'll edit the question to clarify and reopen it.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 7:39
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    Tomb Raider : Appropriating and Smuggling Cultural Treasures while Maintaining the Perception of Being Heroic. Commented May 1, 2019 at 17:42

1 Answer 1


In Indiana Jones and the Peril at Delphi we learn that Indy was the first archaeologist to discover and work on translating the Omphalos, a fabled stone that represents the 'navel of the world' in Greek mythology. His mentor advises him that he can spend a year studying it as an object and translating its text and a further year contextualising the tablet and writing his thesis.

Belecamus pushed her plate to the side. "Look, Indy, if the tablet that has been discovered at Delphi is important, and I have the feeling it is, you'll be able to use it as the basis for your Ph.D. With your background, I'd say you can have your doctorate easily in two years. One year of intense study, then your thesis, and you'll be an archaeologist. If it doesn't work out, you fall back on linguistics."

While we have no specific (canon) description of his PhD work, I suspect that the study title would be something along the lines of

"An ethnographic and translative study of the Delphic Omphalos"

Since that basically describes (in fancy terms) what he's just been told to do.

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    Considering the penchant in both archaeology and linguistics of coming up with punny titles for theses, I suspect your proposed title is more likely to be the subtitle (and I think philological would be more likely than translative in this context). The full title might then have been something like Delphic navel-gazing: An ethnographic-philological study of the Omphalos of Delphi. Commented May 1, 2019 at 12:14
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    Important question: is this book considered "canon"? (Does the Indiana Jones universe have a clearly defined concept of canon?)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 16:39
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    Randal'Thor - Given that the films (arguably the highest canon element) aren't internally consistent amongst themselves, it's quite hard to argue that book x is more canon than book y (or TV show z). That being said, I'm pretty sure the makers of the films aren't obliged to take any interest of the books, which suggests that they are indeed of a lower canon
    – Valorum
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 17:15
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    @JanusBahsJacquet: I feel like punny names are a relatively new phenomenon in academia. In the 1920s, when Indy would have written his thesis, academia was still pretty dour. Commented May 1, 2019 at 17:37
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    @MichaelSeifert That may well be true. It’s not a recent phenomenon as such (I know of examples from the 1960s at least), but the 1920s is probably a bit early. Missed opportunity, then! Commented May 1, 2019 at 18:10

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