W7 Reflection Post

This episode of diggers is frankly insulting to archaeologists everywhere.  These two looters claim that they are the “kings of the universe” because they are finding all these valuable artifacts and claim that they have found the first, second, and third bullets of the civil war when they haven’t even used any sort of dating technique to make this claim.  They also show no concern for their methods of digging and carelessly dig into any spot where they think they have found “nectar” or precious artifacts.  Their digging methods could potentially be very harmful to the stratigraphy or other artifacts/structures around them.  They also seem to be taking these artifacts for themselves as K.J states “another weirdy in the poc” meaning he is pocketing these artifacts even when he has no idea what it is.  They obviously share no concern for the important historical information that all of these artifacts could provide.  They seem to only care about monetary value for they refer to these artifacts as “nectar” and display a potential monetary value of each find on the screen.  But not only are they taking these artifacts from their primary context but they aren’t recording any information about them and are not mapping out where they found each artifact.  But what is very ironic about these looters is that one of the men says to the camera “we must be very careful not to dig up or harm these tulips which are about to bloom”.  These diggers seem to offer more concern and caution towards these flowers than they do for the valuable historical artifacts that could offer very important information about our history.  The man who hired these diggers hired them to see if he should launch a full scale investigation but he should have hired real archaeologists who would have conducted these test digs in a much more appropriate manner.

Archaeology is much different than whatever these diggers were conducting.  Archeology places the potential knowledge gained from artifacts over the monetary value of them.  These looters obviously cared much about their possible profit as stated earlier.  Real archaeologists would have conducted much more careful test digs and would have recorded every find and its related information without first removing the artifact.  Real archaeology is about trying to recover lost information about the world’s past and in order to do this, you must record every bit of information about found artifacts, unlike what these men did.  These men carelessly dug into the ground, removed artifacts, kept them for profit, and had no sort of records of any of this.  Real archaeologists would have been very careful as to where they were digging, they would have recorded information about artifacts before removing them, and they would not keep any artifacts for their personal gain.

2 thoughts on “W7 Reflection Post

  1. I agree with your analysis of the two men. The average person does not have a huge amount of background knowledge on archaeology, and we often get our limited knowledge from the media. This show is a very poor resource and misleads people about what archaeology really is. Just as you summarized in your post, archaeology and its artifacts belong to everybody as they are parts of our shared pasts. These men are only concerned with personal profit and have no regard to preserving these items or sharing their finds with the public. Fortunately as a result of this class we will be able to spot such poor sources in the future.

  2. The entire beginning of your post (& all of it really) was excellent! I love that you pointed out that there was absolutely no way that they could have known just by looking at it the items they found and that dating techniques would be necessary (even then I don’t think they could prove that it was the first shot fired exactly).

    I also love that you brought up the fact that they are running around carelessly digging all over, and suddenly want to be careful of the…. tulips? I was shocked and really felt that it was honestly like a stab towards archaeology and maybe was thrown in there in response to some criticism they had received previously.

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