The American Anthropological Association appeals to our Society to do the right thing

More on the controversy about Diggers, a new show on the National Geographic Channel (which is majority owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp):

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Any thoughts, John?

John Fahey National Geographic

Update, 3:30pm: I just called the American Anthropological Association, and asked Joslyn Osten, Marketing & Communications Manager, if they’d heard anything in response from John Fahey or anyone else at National Geographic. Her answer: No.  (I told Ms. Osten that I know the feeling.)

Update, 9:30pm: The Archaeological Institute of America joins the chorus of critics:

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So does the National Association of State Archaeologists:

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And the Montana Historical Society:

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And the Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology (CNHA):

Dr. Karen Metheny, the President of the CNHA, writes:

For shame! … I wish to express in the strongest terms possible our opposition to your upcoming series, “Diggers,” and we urge you to cancel this program before it causes irreparable damage to our archaeological heritage. … Your decision to air the series is irresponsible, unethical, and demonstrates a complete lack of respect for the heritage that you claim as your focus of interest. One would expect the National Geographic Society, one of our most important advocates for conservation, stewardship, research, and education, to understand that the value of archaeology is not monetary but lies in its ability to increase our understanding of the past, to teach us about past daily life. … Further, your choice in programming represents a complete failure with regard to your mission statement; by airing this program, National Geographic encourages individuals to profit from the looting of a heritage that belongs to us all…. Your thoughtless promotion of “Diggers” not only encourages relic hunters and unscrupulous individuals to exploit our collective past, but sends the message to your viewers that it is okay to dig up archaeological sites for profit. The loss and destruction of sites that will follow is unthinkable. We urge you to act responsibly and to cancel this program immediately. {my emphasis}


Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp is the majority owner of the National Geographic Channel, is wreaking havoc with our Society's good name.

NO NEW POSTS will be published here after February 6, 2014. THIS IS WHY.