Anthropologists complain about TV show "American Digger"

Historians in the News

Ric Savage is accustomed to wrestling, but for most of his career it was against guys named the Junkyard Dog and Skull Von Krush.
Now he’s facing opponents like Susan Gillespie, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Florida who is on the board of the American Anthropological Association.
That’s because Mr. Savage, known as Heavy Metal in his pro wrestling days, is on different turf now. Or, to be more precise, he is digging into different turf as the star of a new show that has its premiere on the cable channel Spike on Wednesday night: “American Digger.”
The series, which Spike hopes will be a hit along the lines of its tattoo competition “Ink Master,” features Mr. Savage and his team traveling the country, digging up people’s lawns in search of historical artifacts.
That sounds a bit like the work of archaeologists and anthropologists, and both groups are, in the words of the letter they have sent to Spike, “deeply concerned” by the show....

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