« Return to SAT Home

Sign up for Southwest Archaeology Today


Search SAT

Recent Posts

Park Service Considering New Rules for Deaccessioning Archaeological Materials

Clovis-Era Infant Burials Documented in Alaska

Artifacts from Little Bighorn Highlight Curation Dilemma

Museum of Northern Arizona Selects New Director

Woman Vandalizes 10 Western National Parks and Posts the Evidence on Instagram

Archives

Archaeological Looting as Reality TV

Spike TV Launches Reality TV Program Featuring Archaeological Looting
Spike TV ventures around the country in search of historical treasure buried in the backyards of unsuspecting citizens in the new unscripted original series, “American Digger.” Premiering Tuesday, March 20 at 10:00 PM, ET/PT, “American Digger” follows the American Savage team, led by former professional wrestler-turned-modern- day relic hunter Ric Savage as they scour target-rich areas, such as battlefields and historic sites, in hopes of striking it rich by unearthing and selling rare pieces of American history. http://aroundthenetworks.com/spike-tv-announces-unscripted-show-american-digger/

Online Petition Drive Aims to Stop Production of “American Diggers”
“American Diggers,” as described, encourages and glorifies looting and the antiquities trade at the expense of American history. Although the items pilfered by the team are acknowledged to have “great historical and cultural significance,” these items are sold for individual profit. Simply plucking valuable historical items from the ground removes these items from their context. If excavated systematically by a team of trained archaeologists these sites could prove invaluable to our cultural history. The team and Spike TV are clearly more interested in turning a quick profit than in history and education, but by glorifying these irresposible actions they are encouraging the public to follow suit. http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-spike-tv-from-looting-our-collective-past

National Geographic Channel to Feature Program Promoting Archaeological Looting
KG and Ringy will indeed be starring in the ultra-fantastic (sic) new National Geographic Channel TV show known as Diggers! Yes, you heard right — National Geographic. As you might imagine, the new show promises to be a very formal and painfully educational program about careful digging techniques and artifact preservation, narrated meticulously in a serious monotone by a ninety-three year old man sitting in a fancy red-velvet Queen Ann chair. http://www.anacondatreasure.com/diggers.html

Online Petition Drive Aims to Stop Production of “Diggers!”
The promo (http://www.anacondatreasure.com/diggers.html) for the television show Diggers! makes it clear the people behind the television show are not concerned with truth, historical accuracy or the importance of context in understanding historic and prehistoric artifacts. This show appears to present a “Beavis and Butthead do archaeology” approach to excavating sites. This will only encourage others to engage in similar acts, including acts that may be illegal (such as the excavation of archaeological sites on public land, and the excavation of burials). National Geographic used to be a well-respected name, but, this show damages the National Geographic brand and should be canceled ASAP. http://www.change.org/petitions/national-geographic-society-wwwnationalgeographiccom-stop-airing-the-television-show-diggers

Join Archaeology Southwest for an Archaeology Cafe Discussion of the Consequences of Urban Renewal in Tucson
On Tuesday, March 6, 2012, Lydia R. Otero will speak about Tucson’s first major urban renewal project and the conflicts it created. Dr. Otero will share the stories of displaced residents and the neighborhoods that were lost. http://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/event/la-calle/

Special Second Archaeology Cafe Scheduled for March 13 – The Latest Word from 1540
Just added! Archaeology Southwest Research Associates Richard and Shirley Flint will lead discussion of The Latest Word from 1540: People, Places, and Portrayals of the Coronado Expedition. The Flints will be joined by fellow Coronado scholars Bill and Gayle Hartmann and Don Burgess.  As always, we begin gathering on the patio of Casa Vicente after 5:00 p.m. Outdoor seating is limited, open, and unreserved—be prepared to share tables and make new acquaintances. You may order your own refreshments from the outstanding menu. We begin our informal presentations by 6:15 p.m. Moderated discussion and Q & A follows the opening presentation. http://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/event/the-latest-word-from-1540/

Your Chance to Comment on America’s Summit for National Parks
It has only been a few weeks since America’s Summit on National Parks and more than two dozen organizations have already signed on to the National Park Principles. Help us keep the momentum going! If you have not already done so, click here to sign on.  We also need your help to ensure that we have accurately captured the highlights from each of the breakout sessions at the summit. Please review each of the sessions to make sure the information accurately reflects the discussions, and let us know by close of business (ET) on February 24th whether anything is missing. This information will help to guide us in shaping an action plan that supports and builds upon the Park Service’s 5-year-plan. Click here to review and comment on the highlights.

National Parks Asked to Defer Maintenance in Proposed 2013 Budget
America’s national parks would have to hire fewer seasonal staffers and put off all but the most pressing maintenance work under President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget, advocates say. The president’s $2.6 billion request for the National Park Service is $13.5 million higher than what Congress gave the agency in fiscal 2012. http://www.newsleader.com/article/20120226/NEWS01/202260335/More-lean-times-Park-Service

March Is Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Month
Every March, Arizona celebrates its ties to the distant past with Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month, featuring tours and events at the state’s ruins, rock-art sites and other treasures. There are activities for all ages. Some are free; others have admission fees. For a complete list of activities at museums and state and national parks, see http://azstateparks.com/find/arch_calendar.html http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/arizonaliving/articles/2012/02/17/20120217arizona-archaeology-month-events.html

Arizona Archaeology Expo to Be Held Saturday, March 3
The kick-off event for Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month is the ARIZONA ARCHAEOLOGY & HERITAGE EXPO (Expo). The Expo will offer many educational attractions for archaeology and history buffs, and will be held on the lawns in front of the Senate and House buildings at the Arizona State Capitol. The event is open to the public and is FREE. Download Archy Expo Flier (PDF Document 1 MB PDF). The Expo provides a special opportunity for visitors to learn more about why it is important to preserve archaeological sites and historic places, what archaeologists, historians, and tribal members do in their jobs, and about the prehistory and history of Arizona. Archaeology- and/or history-related, hands-on activities, craft demonstrations, and other fun and educational events will be featured.

Arizona Archaeology Month Activities at Tuzigoot and Monument Valley
Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments have scheduled many activities throughout March to coincide with Arizona Archaeology Awareness and Heritage Month. Activities are tailored for different age groups and will take place during the month of March. http://verdenews.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=46406

Archaeology Students Explore Ancient Technologies in Eastern New Mexico
Eastern New Mexico University and Texas Tech students brought out their primitive skills Saturday afternoon, shaping obsidian rock into stone tools, a process called flintknapping.  Flintknapping was just one of the activities students practiced during the 13th annual Cynthia Irwin-Williams Lecture Series/Conference at ENMU sponsored by ENMU’s anthropology club and department. http://www.pntonline.com/news/students-28405-flintknapping-primitive.html

O’odham Festival Moved to Florence
After a brief stay at the Pinal County Fairgrounds and Coolidge, O’Odham Tash is coming to Florence.  The 45th annual O’Odham Tash Rodeo and Fair is planned for Canyon Moon Ranch, tentatively in early May.  http://www.trivalleycentral.com/articles/2012/02/25/maricopa_monitor/news/doc4f47dabae6a0b851929820.txt

Analysis Finds Positive Impacts of Historic Preservation
An analysis of three historic districts in the state suggests that historic designation increases property values, which shifts the potential role of historic preservation as a statewide strategy. Historic preservation need not only be thought of in aesthetic, cultural or historical terms, but can be included in the discussion by economic development practitioners and neighborhood stabilization and revitalization advocates, as a potential addition to these professional toolkits. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-study-demonstrates-economic-impact-of-historic-preservation-in-pennsylvania-140005763.html

Canyon de Chelly Remains an Important Place in Navajo History
The trouble started over a horse. An American colonel named John Washington had led his troops deep into Navajo country and summoned some chiefs to sign a treaty. As the council ended, a soldier spotted a stolen mount among the Navajo warriors. Washington ordered the horse returned, tempers flared and the colonel told his men to fire while the suspected horse thief rode for the hills. When the dust cleared, seven Navajos were dead or wounded, including Narbona, the aging, though still influential, chief. http://www.azcentral.com/travel/articles/2012/02/24/20120224canyon-de-chelly-navajo-history.html

Lecture Opportunity – Cortez, CO
The Hisatsinom Chapter of the Colorado Archaeological Society is pleased to present Laurie Webster to discuss New Research with the Earliest Perishable Collections: The Green and Lang Collections at the Field Museum on Tuesday, March 6 at 7:00 PM at the Cortez Cultural Center.  The presentation will highlight some of the remarkable perishable artifacts encountered during her 2011 research and present new insights gleaned from the study of these early collections from southeastern Utah. Laurie Webster is an anthropologist and specialist is Southwestern perishable material culture.  She is a visiting scholar in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arizona and a Research Associate at both the American Museum of Natural History and the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.   Contact Bob Bernhart @ 970-739-6772 with questions about this, or any, program.

Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Dr. Timothy Kohler will present “Prehistory of the Pueblo Peoples: How We Learn and What We Know” at the Hotel Santa Fe, tonight (Feb 27) at 6pm. Admission is 12 dollars for this Southwest Seminar’s program.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Archaeological Looting as Reality TV”

  1. Statement | Archaeology Southwest Says:

    [...] Here at Archaeology Southwest, we were deeply dismayed to learn that the National Geographic Channel and Spike TV are airing two new reality series that promote the willful destruction of our shared heritage. We brought this disappointing news to Southwest Archaeology Today readers earlier this week. [...]