W7 Reflection Post

Besides being absolutely annoying and obnoxious, the show “The Diggers” was also exceptionally immature in regards to the way they handled the artifacts they claim to have found and archaeology,, really as a whole.  It seemed to make a mockery of what it really means to be an archaeologist and devalued the items they (again, claimed to have) found.

In looking at the principles of ethical archaeological behavior, the first one is Stewardship, and was clearly not possessed by either of these two men, their crew, producers, etc. Archaeologists should be caretakers and advocates for the artifacts, as well as take extreme precaution to preserve them. As I actually mentioned in one of my comments on another student’s blog, their sudden appreciation for the tulips seemed to be an offhanded comment almost making fun of archaeology or used as a silly response to some possible previous criticism.

These men also clearly gave no regard to whether or not they were commercializing the items they found as they blatantly listed a possible price point for each and every item. While most of these items held very little monetary value (according to the show), it still gives the allusion to the public that these finds are meant to be found and then sold for personal gain, which is truly against the core of archaeology.

Some other things I noticed, but that didn’t directly go against the principles we studied, were in regards to them promoting unethical behavior in the general public. They fantasized archaeology in making it seem that priceless and exciting artifacts are found every day, which is not the case. You aren’t just going to go digging around everywhere you go and find something with great historical value every time, or even possibly ever. This may give some people the idea to start digging up the Earth in abundance, rather than preserving it.

They also at one point used the term, “we’re going to tear it up!” which clearly is not the right attitude when going into an archaeological find. Archaeologists do not simply “tear” anything up, and aim to be as careful as possible, often taking years and years to excavate any given site.

Lastly, did it seem to anyone else that their artifacts were only a few inches into the ground? Although we learned about the different processes that can occur which mix up the strata or cause erosion, I find it hard to believe that they really found all those things in the locations they stated, and truly feel that most of the show is fabricated for entertainment (and I use that term loosely) purposes.

2 thoughts on “W7 Reflection Post

  1. I really enjoyed your post! You definitely highlighted everything that I found insensitive and highly annoying about the show. It was crazy how just in the first few minutes the hosts seemed to have gone against most, if not all, of the principals of ethical archeology that we had learned about. I can definitely understand why archeologists would be extremely mad about these pseudo-scientists basically making a joke of archeology. I can understand a show wanting to make something a little more dramatic, but the extent they took it to was too extreme. I really hope that people who watched this show did not take it seriously and use it as a example of what archeology really is.

  2. I had the same reaction to watching “The Diggers”, and exclaimed your same point in my post! I can see how this show can entertain and attract viewers, however after taking this class and learning the principles of ethical archaeological behavior, I know recognize how disrespectful these men were against the archaeological record and the professionals in the working field. One of my first thoughts while watching the show was whether they had permission from professional archaeologists to dig up historical sites, and whether they were actual archaeologists themselves, which I highly doubt. What they were doing was basically treasure hunting.

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