Skip to main content
Presentation
Is Duty-Bound Good Enough? Considering Archaeological Ethics beyond Codes and Laws
Conference for New England Archaeology (2010)
  • Angela M Labrador, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Abstract

As archaeologists we are bound by professional codes and legal statutes, which typically presume the primacy of the archaeological record and grant us some level of authority over it. Some scholars have critiqued this normative core by questioning who the archaeological record serves and to what greater goods archaeologists should contribute. Such critiques have led to wider acknowledgement and consideration of the social responsibilities that archaeologists have toward various stakeholders. However, in practice, archaeologists often become de facto managers of stakeholders, complicating the archaeologist’s own position as stakeholder and the multiplicity of moral codes that the stakeholders bring to the table. This paper probes the often veiled normative philosophies that underlie archaeological ethical codes by focusing on the examples of stakeholder management and the ideal of stewardship. In what ways are our traditional duties to the archaeological record and its representative cultures not “good” enough?

Keywords
  • archaeology,
  • ethics,
  • bureaucracy,
  • stakeholders
Publication Date
March 27, 2010
Citation Information
Angela M Labrador. "Is Duty-Bound Good Enough? Considering Archaeological Ethics beyond Codes and Laws" Conference for New England Archaeology (2010)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/angela_labrador/4/