More Than a Pair of Hands: the Education and Rights of Local Field-Workers

Author(s): Matthew Litteral

Year: 2017


The archaeologist abroad must be held responsible for the fair treatment of his/her locally sourced workers. Fair treatment should go beyond providing a pay check comparable to standards in the United States. Archaeologists should feel ethically obligated to provide a wealth of knowledge to local field-workers. There remains much inconsistency in adherence to SAA principles of ethics. Particularly principles 2 and 4, as they relate to the accountability to local peoples and comment to public education. In recent years, archaeology has made great strides in the realm of community outreach. Nevertheless, the rights and education of local field-workers are still frequently overlooked. Educating locally sourced workers is often far from being the top priority of the archaeologist abroad. What is uncovered through fieldwork is, first and foremost, the heritage of the community. Ensuring that the community is informed should be a primary goal of archaeologists, not only due to ethical concerns, but because the local population is an invaluable resource. In this paper, I present data on the prevalence of proposed local education components in US-funded archaeology projects abroad. I then propose methods which may be employed for effectively informing locally sourced workers.

Cite this Record

More Than a Pair of Hands: the Education and Rights of Local Field-Workers. Matthew Litteral. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431727)


Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16365