thinking about archaeology

Metal detecting in the US

There’s been a debate in the States involving serious issues, prompted by two TV series. One of them, a pilot that appears to have at least temporarily been shelved, was made by National Geographic, the other by Spike TV, creator of  “1000 Ways to Die” (“true stories about those who succumbed to the grim reaper in the most unorthodox of styles”, with “full re-enactment” and “fun historical tidbits”) and “Deadliest Warrior” (what would have happened if Joan of Arc had fought William the Conqueror?). The programmes were not as different from each other as you might have expected. There has been huge disquiet in both the professional archaeological and detecting communities about both series. I wrote about the issues for a guest editorial in Anthropology Today, and the publisher John Wiley have kindly made the whole text accessible for free and open to comment. You can find it here.

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