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National Geographic Channel International Cancels “Nazi War Diggers”

To AAA members:
This letter was sent on March 31st, 2014, to the National Geographic Society, National Geographic Channels and National Geographic Channel International to protest a program aired in Europe (with a trailer briefly available on YouTube), by the presidents of six anthropological and archeological associations based in the United States and Europe, including the AAA. The effort was spearheaded by Jeff Altschul, President of the Society for American Archeology. The content of the letter provides, I think, sufficient information for you to understand why this program is of concern to all anthropologists. Shortly before the letter was sent, Dr. Altschul received the following statement from John Francis, Vice-President of National Geographic:

“National Geographic Channels International, in consultation with colleagues at the National Geographic Society, announced today that it will pull the series Nazi War Diggers from its schedule indefinitely while questions raised in recent days about allegations about the program can be properly reviewed. While we support the goal of the series, which is to tell the stories of long lost and forgotten soldiers, those left behind and still unaccounted for, and illuminate history working in concert with local governments and authorities, we also take seriously the questions that have been asked. National Geographic Channels is committed to engaging viewers in the exploration of the world and all of us associated with National Geographic are committed to doing our work with the highest standards. We know the same holds true for our producing partners, including our partners on this series.”

We look forward to their response to our letter, and will indicate to them our willingness to work with them to ensure their programming meets the highest professional standards.

Best,

Monica Heller
President, American Anthropological Association

 

AAA Member Honored with Distinguished Explorer Award

2011 Distinguished Explorer Award Winner

Congratulations to Steve Lekson!

Lekson is the first archaeologist to receive the Distinguished Explorer Award by the Roy Chapman Andrews Society.

A professor and curator of anthropology at the University of Colorado, Dr. Leckson has been discovering and digging ancient sites for nearly 40 years. Before moving to the University of Colorado, he served as President and CEO of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, Colorado, and as an archaeologist with museums in Arizona and New Mexico. His explorations have been supported by the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, and National Park Service.

His most recent excavations have been at Black Mountain pueblo, a huge ruin in the bleak Chihuahua Desert of southern New Mexico. The site may be a “missing link” between the famous Mimbres and Casas Grandes cultures of the Southwest.

To read more about Lekson’s award acceptance program, click here.

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