National Trust Joins Outcry Over Television Programs that Put Vital Historic Resources at Risk

Statement by David J. Brown, Chief Preservation Officer and Executive Vice President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Two cable networks are currently promoting new television series that jeopardize the integrity and preservation of historic sites, including Revolutionary War and Civil War battlefields, by encouraging the indiscriminate digging for historic artifacts. The National Trust for Historic Preservation joins the Society for American Archaeology, the Society for Historical Archaeology, and thousands of Americans in raising concern over these shows’ impact on America's irreplaceable historical and archeological treasures. The following is a statement by David J.Brown, Chief Preservation Officer and Executive Vice President of the National Trust:

"We certainly understand the networks’ desire to bring the thrill of archeological discovery to the American viewing public, and appreciate that these series showcase our country’s rich historic treasures. However, we owe it to past and future generations to treat our history with greater respect and care than as open-air digging grounds for artifact hunters. We urge the networks to promote the proper treatment, study and appreciation of our precious historic resources, and not to glorify the destructive artifact-hunting techniques demonstrated in these shows.”

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BACKGROUND ON “American Digger” and “Diggers” Television Series

The National Geographic Channel’s “Diggers” and Spike TV’s “American Digger” programs target privately-owned historic sites, including Revolutionary War and Civil War battlefields, for artifact hunting. As stated on Spike TV’s website, the show host will lead a search for “high-value artifacts and relics, some of which have been untouched for centuries” by convincing “reluctant homeowners to let his team dig up their property…” for financial gain.

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately-funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places to enrich our future. PreservationNation.org

 

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.
PreservationNation.org