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Archaeological Ethics

1) Stewardship: Archaeologists must properly conserve and protect the resources that they encounter.

2) Accountability: Archaeologists must take responsibility for their actions and the ramifications of those actions.

3) Commercialization: It is unethical for an archaeologist to put a price on antiquity.

4) Public Education and Outreach: It is a goal and a priority of archaeologists to inform the public of their actions and educate the population about their investigations.

5) Intellectual Property: No one owns the past. All information collected is to be shared to the best extent possible.

6) Public Reporting and Publication: All information collected should be shared promptly by the reasearcher. (This is to protect information loss from untimely death. When an archaeologist dies, all the information that he or she failed to publish dies too).

7) Records and preservation: Both the artifacts and the records of the artifacts must be preserved and kept safe.

8) Training and Resources: Future archaeologists too have a right to the past. As archaeological treasures are non-renewable resources, we must conserve for future generations.

This version of the ethical Archaeologist statement are from the teachings of Dr. Dean Snow, professor of Anthropology, Penn State University.

The Ethics of Science in General

United States