Originally posted on Archaeology, Museums & Outreach:

The Spike network is launching a reality series called American Diggers.  National Geographic has a similar reality series called Diggers.  The upshot of these programs is that they are treasure hunts.  The professional archaeological community responded with formal letters of protests and blog posts.  Petitions, newstories, and numerous blogs of outrage are up.

For their part, the Spike network responded saying:

“If property owners sign off, then it is legal–landowners can do whatever they choose with artifacts found on their land. That’s the argument Shana Tepper, spokesperson for Spike TV, made to Science Insider. “Our show is shot on private property,” she said. “They’re getting artifacts that are otherwise rotting in the ground” cited from here.

The private property rationale is reminiscent of the Slack Farm debacle of the 1980s. Of note, National Geographic prominently exposed the Slack Farm looting. (See “Who Owns Our…

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