A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 25, 2016
“Archaeologist: someone whose career lies in ruins”

A popular archaeology pun is:

“Daffynishion: Archaeologist — Someone whose career lies in ruins.”

The joke has been cited in print since at least 1963.


Google Books
September 1963, Boys’ Life, “Think and Grin,” pg. 86, col. 3:
Daffynishion: Archaeologist — A man whose career lies in ruins. — Barry Calder, Visalia, Calif.

30 September 1963, Austin (TX) Statesman, “Fun Time—The Riddle Box,” pg. 22, col. 5:
What is an archaeologist?
A man whose career lies in ruins.

19 July 1965, Greensboro (NC) Record, “Jumble” scrambled word game, pg. A13, col. 4:
Answer: What happened to the career of the archaeologist turned playboy—IT LAY IN RUINS

Google Books
November 1966, Boys’ Life, “Think and Grin,” pg. 90, col. 1:
Daffynishion: Archaeologist — A man whose career lies in ruins. — Doug Day, Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Google Books
Funny You Should Ask:
How to Make Up Jokes and Riddles with Wordplay

By Marvin Terban
New York, NY: Clarion Books
1992
Pg. 57:
Bill: (crying) My career lies in ruins.
Phil: (laughing) Mine too.
Bill: Then why are you so happy?
Phil: I’m an archaeologist!

Google Books
Crazy Classroom Joke Book
By John Byrne
New York, NY: Puffin Books
2001
Pg. ?:
Pupil: I don’t mind what job I get as long as it’s not being an job archaeologist.
Careers Teacher: What’s wrong with being an archaeologist?
Pupil: As soon as I started, my career would be in ruins.

Google Books
Dude, Got Another Joke?
By Bob Phillips
Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers
2002
Pg. 167:
Daffy Dictionary
Archaeologist: A scientist whose career lies in ruins.

Google Books
Get Thee to a Punnery:
An Anthology of Intentional Assaults Upon the English Language

By Richard Lederer
Layton, UT: Wyrick and Company
2006
Pg. 72:
Archaeologist. A man whose career lies in ruins.

Twitter
martim weinstein
‏@martim
Archaeologist: A man (or woman) whose career lies in ruins.
5:10 AM - 5 Sep 2008

OCLC WorldCat record
Archaeology. A career in ruins
Author: Paul Graves-Brown
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: Archaeological Dialogues, v18 n02 (20111226): 168-171
Database: CrossRef

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of Really Silly Jokes
By Geoff Tibballs
London: Constable & Robinson Ltd
2011
Pg. 156:
Whose career lies in ruins?
An archaeologist.

reddit
Why is the archaeologist sad?
submitted January 7, 2016 by g0vern0r
Because his career is in ruins.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Saturday, June 25, 2016 • Permalink