As I was watching this video, I couldn’t help but feel appalled at this show. If I had watched this show seven weeks ago, I would have not realized that these men are completely missing the point of archaeology. Archaeology is meant to uncover material remains in order to have a better understanding of the past. These men were mostly digging for artifacts in order to gain fame and fortune.
Before I watched this video, I thought I wouldn’t find any behavior that violates any of the principles that we learned about this week until at least 5 minutes through the video; however, I was mistaken. Within the first minute I had already found an example. One of the men had found an 1887 Indian Head penny. On the corner of the video, they wrote down what they had found, and also its potential value as 3 dollars. Then they went on to say that they were on the hunt for something even older. What surprised me the most about this part was how they had started off listing its potential value. Also, they seemed more interested in the fact that they found the coin and less interested in talking about what that coin meant at the time and the history behind it.
Another example was when one of the guys mentioned something along the lines of “We are trying to solve a mystery that no one else has been able to crack”. This is okay, but they are missing the point. The point of finding these artifacts is to share the information with others so that we can better understand the past.
Principle No. 3 talks about how commercialization can destruct the archaeological record because now, the information that is needed to understand the archaeological record is missing. Archaeologists may find that the fact that these men seem to be pricing these artifacts is unethical because of this principle. Even just pricing these objects without the intent to sell them can be promoting unethical behavior even if they are not exactly engaging in these unethical activities.
In addition, Principle No. 1 states “as they investigate and interpret the record, they should use the specialized knowledge they gain to promote public understanding and support for its long-term preservation”. The “Diggers” did not seem to care about long term preservation at all. This is the kind of media that misinforms the public about archaeology and what archaeologists do. The media plays a strong role in the public perception of archaeology, so I see why other archaeologists may be upset about this TV show.