I am overwhelmed by the response received in regards to both Spike TV’s American Diggers and National Geographic Channel’s Diggers series. The outpouring of support from archaeologists, professors, curators, students, enthusiast, and legitimately concerned individuals is overwhelming. I want to extend my thanks to everyone who has taken time to show their disgust and anger over what is percolating in the television landscape.
Here is an update across the board as to what is happening:
- A petition entitled “Stop Spike TV from looting our collective past!” has exceeded 15,000 signatures.
- A petition has also emerged to stop National Geographic Channel from airing a similar series entitled Diggers. While falling to second in the headlines, this series is nearly identical to Spike TV’s American Diggers.
- Two Facebook groups have emerged to protest both televised looting series American Diggers and Diggers.
- The Society for American Archaeologists (SAA) released two statements this week “unequivocally opposing” both Spike TV’s American Diggers and National Geographic’s Diggers.
- The President of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) has sent a letters to both NGC and Spike TV protesting televised looting.
- The National Trust has issued a statement protesting these two shows.
- The Society for Historical Archaeology published their take on thes events on their blog.
- The International Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management has also released a statement warning that these two series will establish a fad for looting.
- KTVA in Alaska aired a report on the story. The first episode of the series was filmed in Girdwood, Alaska.
- WSET in Virginia also aired a story, with an emphasis on National Geographic’s Diggers.
- Numerous blogs, seasoned veterans, professors, professionals, and organizations have expressed disgust and opposition both in the media and online, but more is needed. State your argument and then post it on one of the two Facebook groups listed above or on the Sexy Archaeology Facebook Group. Every bit helps.
- ScienceInsider has an article on the threat of televised looting.
Archaeologists may sometimes be divided on their interpretations of history, but one thing has been made abundantly clear these last few days: when it come to threatening the historical record and the science of archaeology, we stand together. Don’t let bad science or non-science ever rear its ugly head in the media because more often than not, what the public sees the public does.