This week lessons we learned about ethics in archaeology. To see how unethical archaeology look like we watched an episode of “Diggers”. After learning and studying archaeology I was beyond insulted, disgusted and flabbergasted. I’m not even an archaeologist so I can only imagine how they feel about this. These two men broke every principle that archaeologist believed in, in 22 minutes.
Archaeologists first principle is Stewardship. That principle was about preservation, knowledge gain from finding and the ability to promote public understanding. Archaeologists put so much time and work in researching before they start excavating. These looters didn’t show no interest in promoting the public knowledge. They were more interested in selling it to the public. There was no thought process or nothing behind their findings. They wasn’t careful in digging up the a artifacts.
For principle 2, accountability, it states professionalism and consulting affected groups. When searching for artifacts they just went anywhere and start digging. When they were call upon to search for where a blacksmith shop was located they were so unprofessional in the digging process. There were holes everywhere.
For principle 3, commercialization, it states that archaeologist do not exploit the price value of the object. Archaeologists try to show the value of the object to human kind not how much it will cost to keep it on your shelf. All throughout the show when they found an artifact it had a price tag to it. I felt like that was the most unethical thing they did. History should not have a price. It should be shared with everyone not just to one person who you sell the artifact too.
Intellectual property is principle 5. I learned that archaeological resources are linked to the archaeological record. Whenever they found something they showed possession. You have found it but it’s not your personal property.
Principle 7 was about records and preservation. Archaeologists work towards preservation and long term access to archaeological collections, records and reports. The people in the video just threw the artifacts in a bag. They treated the artifacts any type of way. Archaeologists are careful and make sure they preserve the artifacts correctly so they won’t get damaged.
The last principle these men didn’t go by was principle 8, training and resources. As we can see these men had no qualification in field work. They had a little knowledge of what they were looking for but not enough to be qualified. They used a metal detector and a small shovel to look for artifacts. The way they treated these artifacts was so disrespectful. They basically just dig until they hit something. Then when they find something they assume where it came from, how important it was in history etc. Like the bullet in the civil war. There’s no way they can prove that them were the first bullet shot in the civil war. For them to even think like that was unorthodox.
I really hope this show goes off air. They should get no type of recognition for what they are doing. They are sending the wrong message to the people. Archaeologists are nothing like that and it’s a disgrace.