I watched the latest instalment of 'Bonekickers' with total dismay and disgust. As a fellow academic of Professor Horton I have some sympathy for his occasional minor inaccuracies in the representation of human history in this latest episode. For the sake of superficial popularist TV, I can see how he was led astray by the writers into a world of fiction that leaves FACTS hard to come by! I suppose this is just about acceptable if archaeology is to appeal to anyone other than a few obsessives, but it leaves a nasty taste in my mouth.
However, I CANNOT forgive his abysmal knowledge of current US political affairs. The episode misleadingly portrayed a US presidential candidate as Senator Simon Joy. Regardless of this, the bare facts as all know who have seen the long-running documentary the West Wing are as follows: President Josiah Bartlet was succeeded in 2006 by fellow Democrat Matthew Santos, the first Hispanic US president. None of this was mentioned in tonight's archaeological documentary that grossly distorted this complex political situation. Please Mark, get your facts right or please bow out of these feeble attempts to deal with the modern world. People love archaeology and need the facts to be correct. You clearly have trouble separating fact from fiction!
RIP Leo McGarry,
Dr Howard WilliamsSenior Lecturer in ArchaeologyDept of History & ArchaeologyUniversity of ChesterParkgate RoadChester CH1 4BJTel: 01244 512161Email: [log in to unmask]: http://www.chester.ac.uk/historyandarchaeology/hwilliams.html
> Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 22:10:34 +0100> From: [log in to unmask]> Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Bonekickers> To: [log in to unmask]> > Dear List,> > Well Mark, you have absolutely excelled yourself this evening with the latest episode of Bonekickers!> > If list members wish to read the background to the enthralling nonsense tonight I suggest you read:> > Barrow, P., 1998, Slaves of Rapparee: The Wreck of the London, The Lazararus Press, Bideford, Devon ISBN 1 -898546 - 25 - 8> > Pat Barrow was an amateur archaeologist who shortly after 1971 discovered the bones of possible 'slaves' at Rapparee Cove, Ilfracombe, North Devon. Over the following years he was castigated and scapegoated for having suggested they could have been the bones of slaves. Bristol University carried out a study of the bones and I understand the results of the study were never published, or indeed the bones returned to North Devon.> > Pat's book is an interesting read - but who do we believe, the amateur, or the academics? I believe I know where the truth lies!> > This evening episode has done nothing at all for archaeology. It was sickening to watch, was total fantasy, and Dr. Mark Horton as advisor to the programme should be ashamed of himself and has absolutely no right at all to call himself an archaeologist!> > Well done Pat Barrow for having the courage to stand up against those who should know better.> > Kindest regards,> > Trevor > > http://www.cmsmrps.org.uk - a community archaeology initiative.
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