National Geographic Channel viewers who dream of finding treasure may discover exactly what they are seeking with the new citizen science series, Diggers.
Diggers will premiere on the NatGeo Channel on New Year’s Day, with back-to-back episodes, featuring vocational metal detector enthusiasts and amateur historians George “KG” Wyant and Tim “Ringy” Saylor.
Wyant and Saylor will travel the country on Diggers, scouring the U.S. for lost pieces of history, everything from bullets at historic battlegrounds to family heirloom rings and silver coins. Where there is an empty yard, field or beach approved for metal detecting, the duo sees a treasure trove, and will go the distance to uncover “the juice” or “sweet nectar” as they call it, working in close collaboration with a local archaeologist or historian at every site. And, as the following clip demonstrates, one man's ruins is KG and Ringy's treasure:
The premiere season of Diggers features such diverse locations and stories as:
- West Virginia Mine Wars: Blair Mountain is under consideration for surface coal mining and the team is eager to recover artifacts before they’re gone forever. With the help of an archaeologist, the guys discover a machine gun nest used against striking miners during the Battle of Blair Mountain.
- Hardy, Ky., Family Feud: The team uncovers evidence of what happened the night of the infamous Hatfield raid on the McCoys.
- Revolution at Cedar Ridge Tavern in N.J.: A small hail of bullets found by the team point to the actual site of what’s considered the last skirmish of the Revolutionary War.
- New Orleans Gold Digger: The discovery of an 1853 U.S. gold dollar coin in the yard of an historic New Orleans home tells a wild story.
Thrill of the Hunt
While Wyant and Saylor’s finds typically have little monetary value, they are just as typically rich with history. “It’s the thrill of the hunt,” Saylor cheerfully admits of the treasure they find. “We don't make money detecting, but rather lose it. By the time you pay for gas, food, batteries and gear for the hunt, you almost always lose money that day.”
But, that doesn’t mean they do not dream. They are relentless searchers, spending long days in the field and digging countless holes to find a few humble treasures, while dreaming of the rare gold coins they someday hope to stumble upon.
“Diggers speaks to the idea of citizen science coupled with expert analysis that is at the very heart of National Geographic Society’s mission of exploration,” added David Lyle, CEO of National Geographic Channels. “To produce the series, we worked hand in hand with members of the archaeology and historical community to ensure we had metal detector protocols in place so if we happened to uncover an important piece of history, its authenticity could be ensured and shared with the world.”
Diggers is scheduled to premiere on National Geographic Channel on Tuesday, January 1, with back-to-back episodes at 10 and 10:30 p.m. E/P.
Image: National Geographic Channel
Video: National Geographic Channel/Diggers