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Codes of ethics and archaeology in practice: "communal archaeology" and citizen science towards the advancement of the discipline

Author(s): Isabel Rivera-Collazo

Year: 2015

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Adherence to codes of ethics is central to successful and respected practice of archaeology. The SAA’s Code of Ethics includes eight principles that address critical broad issues, including the importance of in-situ long-term conservation and protection of archaeological sites (Principle 1), establishing beneficial working relationships with all parties (Principle 2) and the importance of public outreach (Principle 4). Even though, as members of the SAA, we agree that these principles are the best standard to which we should all aspire, in practice it is not that simple. In this presentation I argue that the practice of community archaeology, from the Latin American perspective of "communal archaeology", and the opportunity of informal education provided by citizen science, can help us comply with all the Principles. While practicing communal archaeology, the archaeologist as expert can demonstrate ethical behavior to the public without restricting access to the archaeological heritage or the production of knowledge. I propose that this approach can help reduce destruction of sites by shifting public perception of archaeology from a selfish endeavor (go, excavate and disappear) to a communal work for the recovery of lost pieces of history that belong to the community, and they are part of the process.

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Codes of ethics and archaeology in practice: "communal archaeology" and citizen science towards the advancement of the discipline. Isabel Rivera-Collazo. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395883)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America