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Archaeologists Rise Up Against “Heavy Metal”

 Our contenders in the ring of Diggergate’12 are…

Susan Gillespie, an American academic anthropologist and archaeologist, noted for her contributions to archaeological and ethnohistorical research on pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures, in particular the Aztec, Maya and Olmec.  This champion holds many titles: Associate Professor at the University of Florida, AAA Executive Board Member, 1990 Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin Prize from the American Society for Ethnohistory and the 2002 Gordon R. Willey Prize.

Ric Savage, retired professional wrestler and history hobbyist, noted for his contributions in the independent wrestling circuits under the ring name “Heavy Metal”. Savage also hold titles: GAWF Southern Heavyweight Championship, two-time NCW World Tag Team Championship and two-time SWA World Heavyweight Champ.

The Play:
Savage’s new reality TV show, American Diggers, travels across the country digging up American treasure. In classic Heavy Metal fashion, Savage attempts to spike piledriver our nation’s history.

Bill Carter, journalist for The New York Times, interviews Gillespie as she speaks on behalf of her fellow members at AAA:

Our main issue is that these shows promote the destruction and selling of artifacts which are part of our cultural heritage and patrimony.

Savage’s Vice President for Development at Spike TV, Sharon Levy, replies with:

He has a right as an American citizen to do this…He’s not going anywhere he shouldn’t be. He’s not digging up the pyramids.

While Savage’s sunset flip might be one of his signature moves in wrestling, his unethical profiteering practices are not one for the books.

Read Carter’s article: TV Digs Will Harm Patrimony, Scholars Say

Special Note: *The great phrase DiggerGate’12 was started by our friends at The Wenner-Gren Foundation. Thanks!

2 Responses

  1. Levy’s response is a perfect example of the under-appreciation for American archaeology and heritage – our emphasis on (and romance with) “the pyramids” in popular culture apparently leads her (and those in defense of Savage’s show) to believe that American artifacts are less culturally significant. Not to mention that “the pyramids” is kind of a general phrase, but assuming she meant the Egyptian variety: I think they already made a show where people dig up Egyptian heritage with little (conspicuous) regard for provenience.

    Chasing Mummies 2: The Amazing Adventures of Ric Savage! :P

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