Harrison Ford, Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom

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The Archaeological Institute of America knows Harrison Ford only plays a bullwhip-toting, intrepid scholar on the big screen, right?

Either way, because of what the movie star's role as the iconic Indiana Jones has done for the field, the Boston-based organization has elected Ford to its board of directors.

Understanding the past helps in "dealing with the present and future," Ford said in a statement released by the AIA, which, per its website, "exists to promote archaeological inquiry and public understanding of the material record of the human past worldwide."

The institute's professional members have conducted field research around the globe and have founded research and learning centers in seven countries.

It's unclear what duties Ford will fulfill, but surely even the pros can use refresher courses from time to time on escaping snaky situations and riding an inflatable raft through the snow.

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