SAA Reiterates Its Concern Over Re-Branded "Nazi War Diggers" Television Show Now Premiering in Britian and Australia
The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) is dismayed to learn that Nazi War Diggers, a television show the archaeological community successfully halted in the United States, has been re-branded and is scheduled to air in Britain, Australia, and New Zealand.
SAA would like to stress that re-branding the show from Nazi War Diggers to the less provocative Battlefield Recovery in no way diminishes our concerns, which were clearly stated in an earlier joint letter.
In response to more recent protests, Clearstory, the London production company responsible for Battlefield Recovery, has issued a statement (which you can read here) that pointedly leaves out any mention that professional archaeologists were involved in the production and which fails to address archaeological concerns.
Clearstory’s statement is so carefully couched in generalized terms—“in accordance with the relevant guidelines” and “fully compliant both legally and editorially”— as to be nearly meaningless. In fact, while assuring the viewing public that there are no “…compliance issues with the content and there never have been,” the statement then fails to name one organization, respected or not, that assisted them with the delicate task of excavating historical sites containing human remains and artifacts.
Clearstory asks that the archaeological community “…at least views the series, should it become available in the UK, before making a swift judgement.” But the series is in the can, and that’s the problem. Any damage has been done and there is no going back.
Update: Since SAA issued its statement, Battlefield Recovery has been dropped in Australia and New Zealand.
January 6, 2016
Illinois State Museum Closure
Writing on behalf of SAA's nearly 8,000 members, President Diane Gifford-Gonzalez strongly opposed the closure of the Illinois State Museum in a Chicago Tribune Letter to the Editor. Read her Letter to the Editor here.
September 8, 2015
In Memoriam; Khaled al-Asaad
We join with the world in condemning the barbaric, violent death of Syrian archaeologist Khaled al-Asaad. We are horrified that his commitment to preserving, protecting, and understanding the history of the ancient city of Palmyra has led to his death. We have lost an important scholar, visionary, and friend.
Archaeologists uncover the past so we can all glimpse our shared story as citizens of the world. The knowledge Mr. al-Asaad contributed to field of archaeology and to the world cannot be silenced or erased by terrorism or any other means. As we mourn his passing and honor his memory, we take comfort that his dedication to and enthusiasm for sharing the wonders of Palmyra will continue to resonate for generations to come.
August 20, 2015
SAA's Update on National Geographic Channel's Diggers
National Geographic Channel's (NGC) Diggers series Season 4 will air beginning on July 20.
In late 2014 and early 2015, the SAA Executive Committee and an excellent team of volunteer members reviewed and commented on 16 episodes of Diggers - nearly all of Season Four. NGC and the show producers screened both rough and fine cuts of each episode so that SAA could see how its comments had been addressed.
In addition, SAA’s then-President Jeff Altschul engaged in a conference call with NGC and the production company staff to engage with specific issues of concern that emerged during production, including context, site location, and landowners' rights. We believe that SAA’s advice did improve presentation of a number of the episodes so that they represent archaeologists' concerns more clearly.
Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) President Charles Ewen goes into more depth about the archaeological field’s concerns about Diggers and how NGC has responded in his recent blog Diggers Done Right. Along with SAA, SHA also worked with NGC and the production company to address the concerns of the archaeological community. SAA member Kristina Killgrove has written about Diggers and how SAA and SHA have influenced the program in her recent Forbes magazine column, 'Diggers' Returns Tonight With Better Collaboration With Archaeologists. NGC has also posted its own article, Responsible Metal Detecting, on the Diggers site.
On July 20th at 10:30 P.M. EDT, Diggers will feature SAA member and Montpelier Archaeologist Matt Reeves's collaborative project with many metal detectorists to explore vanished structures and activity areas on the grounds of Montpelier, the home of James Madison, fourth president of the United States. This program, which we stress was developed by Reeves, exemplifies best practices for collaboration between archaeologists and metal detectorists. Find out more about the episode here.
July 20, 2015
SAA President Diane Gifford-Gonzalez responds to "Stop Paying for Stupid Science," a Los Angeles Times op-ed that calls for cuts in National Science Foundation funding for social science projects. Read her Letter to the Editor here.
July 9, 2015
Get ready for our 80th Annual Meeting! See the press release here!
Feburary 24, 2015
Announcing a new field school scholarship! The Historically Underrepresented Groups Scholarship (HUGS) will be available for summer 2015. Two scholarships are available. Click here for more information.
November 6, 2014
SAA launched the new web-based Career Center. For job seekers the Career Center offers free and confidential resume posting to employers in the archaeology industry, automated weekly email notification of new job listings, and the ability to save jobs for later review just to name a few of the many benefits. On the employer side, the biggest change is a flat-fee based service of $295 with no maximum word count. The Career Center also gives employers targeted access to quality professionals, along with quick and easy job posting and online job activity reports. http://careers.saa.org/
August 6, 2014
As health problems prevented Joe Joaquin, the Cultural Resource Specialist from the Tohono O'odham Nation, from attending the SAA Business Meeting in April to receive his Public Service Award, SAA’s President Jeff Altschul brought the award to the Legislative Council Chambers of the Tohono O'odham Nation in Sells, Arizona.
August 5, 2014
The SAA sent a letter to key Senators in opposition to a provision in a transportation bill that would undermine protections for cultural resources. http://www.saa.org/Portals/0/SAA/GovernmentAffairs/BOXER_VITTER_LETTER.pdf
July 10, 2014
Advances introduced the new How-To Series in Advances in Archaeological Practice: A Journal of the Society for American Archaeology. The first article in this series is open to all. To read this article, written by William (Fred) Limp and Adam Barnes, please visit http://saa.metapress.com/content/277675721jtu1774/fulltext.pdf .
June 18, 2014
Archaeological and preservation groups send a letter of concern to National Geographic urging the reworking or cancellation of a new NatGeo TV program.
March 31, 2014
SAA files comments in opposition to FCC proposed Section 106 exemptions for the nationwide installation of Positive Train Control equipment.
March 25, 2014
Coalition of preservation groups send letter opposing H.R. 1459, Ensuring Public Involvement in the Creation of National Monuments Act.
March 24, 2014
SAA submits comments on a proposed rule “to expedite the environmental and historic preservation review of new wireless facilities” and on related procedures.
February 3, 2014