Anthropology | Archaeological Ethics
P509 | 27780 | Pyburn
Archaeological Ethics is a required course for students in the
Archaeology and Social Context PhD Program, but any interested
graduate student is welcome to join the class. This class focus is on
the ethical issues raised by archaeological research, data curation
and preservation, community impact, and public visibility. Political
and cultural developments all over the world have led to laws and
ethical codes that challenge the traditional practice of archaeology
as an academic discipline. The causes of these challenges, as well as
the consequences, are transforming archaeology into a very new field
for some archaeologists. Other archaeologists continue to productively
define their field in terms of a modernist agenda that they identify
with responsible science.
The class will approach the issues encompassed in archaeological
ethics as a series of debates. We will begin with a discussion of the
moral philosophical and scientific underpinnings of ethics in
archaeology and in social science in general. Then we will discuss the
history of archaeology and its changing goals over the past century.
Over the course of the semester we will consider community engagement,
nationalism, looting and the art market, repatriation, identity and
the world system, and issues of group representation in popular media.