But I really wish people wouldn't put archaeologists into their books without knowing what archaeologists actually do!
Josh and Sophie, the two main characters, have parents who are archaeologists, and this is what Scott says about them:
“They were known worldwide for their discoveries, which had helped reshape modern archaeology. They were among the first in their field to discover the existence of the new species of small hominids that were now commonly called Hobbits in Indonesia. Josh always said that their parents lived five million years in the past and were only happy when they were up to their ankles in mud” (pages 63-64).
The only "discoveries" that would actually reshape the whole field of archaeology are things like figuring out new dating techniques, or new ways to extract information from artifacts and dirt. Discovering a new species of hominid does very little to change the shape of modern archaeology as a discipline.
And perhaps Josh is joking with his comment about five million years in the past, because, since archaeology involves the study of human behavior, archaeologists don't care about things that old. Scott seems to be making the classic oh-so-annoying error of confusing archaeologists and paleontologists, as sh0wn by this remark:
“Dad found a dozen Pseudo-arctolepis sharpi in near perfect condition,” she reported. Josh looked blank. “A very rare Cambrian crustacean,” she explained” (page 64).
This same confusion of archaeologists and paleontologists also shows up a few pages later, with a new species of dwarf dinosaur and 165 million year old dinosaur tracks being given as examples of extraordinary archaeological discoveries.
This could have been avoided, and I would have enjoyed the book more (always an important consideration) if Scott had only asked an archaeologist.
Addendum (as noted by TV in a comment): On page 121 of The Magician, Scott makes the parents paleontologists as well as archaeologists. So someone must have said something to him...
So I am offering, FREE OF CHARGE, my services. As a professional archaeologist, I will read any bits of your book that deal with archaeology, and critique them as to their portrayal of the discipline. This will ensure that, when I have the finished book in my hands, I am not thrown out of your fictional world in a fit of annoyance. Sadly, I can't actually be helpful regarding descriptions of past people, places, and civilizations (real archaeologists specialize--I'm pretty good with 17th-century northeastern America, and a few other times and places, but know almost nothing about, say, the Incas).
The Last of the High Kings, by Kate Thompson, is another book with archaeologists nominated for the Science Fiction/Fantasy Cybils. Thompson does a fine job--archaeologists will not find her descriptions painful to read.
The best fictional portrayal of archaeologists in a children's book, however, is Nancy Bond's Country of Broken Stone (about digging up Romans near Hadrian's Wall). An excellent story, and good archaeology.