W7 Reflection Post

I can totally understand why some archaeologists might think that the show “Diggers” and the methods used are archaeologically unethical.  On top of that, I can also see why they might think that the show itself was completely unethical based off the purpose and reasoning why these guys are digging things up around the country.


Although the show was pretty interesting, it is clear that it does not even come close to depicting what real archaeology is like.  One of the major things they do that violates normal archaeological records is that they put a price on everything that they find.  They were commercializing their findings and that goes against traditional archaeological ethics.  Real archaeologists do not put any monetary value on any artifacts that they find while excavating. The men in the video also went out simply for their own gain.  They tried to find the coolest stuff and even made it a competition between each other to see who could find the most valuable artifact.  Real archaeologists do not do anything of this nature.  In fact, they find the real value in what information the artifact can bring and how it could help them understand our culture and history in vast areas around the world.


Another thing that archaeologists might find unethical is that the men in the video were using metal detectors to pick out the spots where they would dig.  Archaeologists do a ton of research before they choose a spot to investigate.  Sometimes they even go as far as searching for things on foot in the area before they officially choose to excavate an area.  On the same note, when the metal detectors went off, the guys just dropped to their knees and starting digging immediately.  Normally archaeologists will run several strategically placed test excavations, rather than simply digging up anywhere they wanted.  Archaeologists also have very careful methods and procedures when they are excavating.


The men in the show do try to justify their actions by visiting historical sites such as the battlefields in that particular episode.  The major thing archaeologists are trying to do is use the artifacts they find to gain more information about our past to further understand human history.  However, even though these guys were visiting historical areas, they do not try to contribute any information to our history based off their findings.  Overall, although they are doing the same things as archaeologists in some sort of way, they do not have the purpose and therefore it is archaeologically unethical.