Who needs an osteologist? (Installment 11)

It should really come as no surprise that a TV show called Nazi War Diggers needs an osteologist. That's not a right femur.

Of course, the real problem is that none of the three men who are the on-air "talent" for this show is trained as an archaeologist or forensic anthropologist. After all the brouhaha from archaeologists about other problematic shows, like Spike TV's American Digger (see this NYTimes article, for example) and the NatGeo Channel's Diggers featuring amateur archaeologists -- which the Society for American Archaeology protested in letters to Spike and NatGeo -- it feels like the National Geographic Channel has now just resorted to trolling anthropologists.

*le sigh*  The National Geographic Channel needs an osteologist for many, many more reasons than the correct laying out of a skeleton. This excavation is ethically suspect, and possibly a legal issue as well (although I don't know the EU laws at all).

UPDATE (3/27/14) - NatGeo Channel seems to have taken down both the video and the hundreds of outraged comments following it.  Someone has put a video of the video here on YouTube, though.  And word is that the heads of SAA, EAA, AIA, and SHA are working together to write a position paper against this show. It's not likely to do anything, but at least the archaeological organizations will have taken a stand.

Previous installments of Who needs an osteologist?


mcp said…
I am not an osteologist, and I wonder if you could point me toward a tutorial on the proper arrangement of bones? I get the really obvious stuff, like swapping left for right, but I know there are subleties that I'm just missing.

You can do a google image search for "standard anatomical position." Honestly, the only major subtlety is that in SAP, the thumbs point away from the body (palms out) because then the ulna and radius are uncrossed. And yet so many people screw up laying out a skeleton...

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