Angry about TV archaeology

I’m angry. I was looking forward to a documentary on BBC4 about archaeological discoveries in Jerusalem that challenge accepted interpretations of the Jewish exodus from Israel. Now I see the BBC have pulled the programme and replaced it with a repeat documentary about Flinders Petrie, one of the founders of Egyptology. Archaeology has important things to say about the world we live in. Its role in political debate needs to be recognised and embraced. I wasn’t looking to see any bashing of one political point of view or another but an intelligent exploration of the political relevance of archaeology. Who pulled the programme and why? I can only assume it was for political reasons. Is the BBC so craven and cowardly as to lose its nerve?

It’s been simply announced as a change to the schedule to whet our appetite for an archaeology season on BBC4 billed as how archaeologists have revealed the past. Ha! Archaeology is not about the past. It is part of the present. The original programme on Jerusalem would have been a better introduction than any.

I need to do some shouting!!


About donhenson

I am freelance consultant archaeologist specialising in public archaeology, interpretation, education and the media.
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3 Responses to Angry about TV archaeology

  1. Hi Don, please think about allowing email subscription to your blog? (It’s a widget). Sorry if it is somewhere here and hidden. Best, Spence (CBAY and Teesside Arch Soc)

    • donhenson says:

      Spencer, thanks, a good idea. I didn’t know it was an option. How do I do it? I’ve rummaged around the tools and settings and haven’t seen anything obvious.

  2. ‘Is the BBC so craven and cowardly as to lose its nerve?’

    Alas, Don, I think it is! You make a really good point here that I’ve seen dredged up so many times by other archaeologists, but never by anyone outside of the profession. I’m afraid that only us archaeologists and those in journalism know the true power archaeological discourse holds as a political tool.

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