Cable Reality Show Comes Under Fire from Anthropologists

Mar 21, 2012  •  Post A Comment

A cable reality show has come under fire from anthropologists, reports Bill Carter in The New York Times. The show is Spike’s "American Digger," which features former wrestler Ric Savage and his team digging up lawns in search of artifacts.

In a letter sent to Spike, the American Anthropological Association explained its concerns about the program. The letter reads in part: "This program wrongly represents archaeology as a treasure-seeking adventure, in which our collective heritage is dug up and sold for monetary gain."

The letter also urges Spike to consult with "the appropriate archaeologists" on the legality and ethics of the actions shown on the show, and to hire a Registered Professional Archaeologist as a consultant.

Spike said it had met with representatives of professional archaeological groups, and is exploring how to "take more direct advantage" of the community’s insights and expertise, according to the story.

“You’ve got two groups of people who want to be part of history, to dig it up and hold it in their hand. The only difference is I’m doing it to make a living," said Savage, according to the story. "They’re doing it to write papers and make it to associate professor and get tenure.”

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