Kris Rodgers has been kind enough to give an initial reply to the alarm, horror, disbelief, pessimism, disgust and gifs, the reviews/studies, background checks, ethical suspicions, queries, analyses and questions of many, many archaeologists, osteoarchaeologists, osteologists, anatomists, historic landscape officers, military historians (including those who are relatives of missing persons), television professionals, archaeology and anthropology students and other citizens… (Incidentally, he’s actually got good reason to be away from the keyboard, so we should be patient with him, if not his employers.)
The professional/public archaeology community – including archaeological institutes, research programmes, archaeological societies, anthropological associations, archaeological consultancies, volunteer organisations, (archaeological) community groups and (community) cultural heritage activists – are unanimously against the ‘disgrace’ that conflict archaeologist Tony Pollard and others ‘advised against‘. (Even some metal detectorists are cautious.)
Rodgers accepts that National Geographic, ClearStory and/or the programme team have chosen to advertise their show internationally with a ‘very bad’ clip. But he reassures that they are preparing a Q&A, which will reveal ‘all the archeologists we have to have with us, watching our every move’. ‘Trust me,… it was done properly.’
If it was done properly, why has it been filmed in a way that shows violations of decades-long standard operating procedure? If I had tried to excavate a skeleton like that, I would have been stopped by my supervisor (or my trenchmates). If these excavations are supposed to constitute training, who trains amateurs with the disarticulated remains of bomb victims?
Since they’re still preparing the Q&A, they can save themselves some time and answer my twenty questions.