The Ethics of Archaeology: Philosophical Perspectives on Archaeological Practice

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The Ethics of Archaeology: Philosophical Perspectives on Archaeological Practice


Scarre, Chris and Scarre, Geoffrey

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Cambridge University Press

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Cambridge, UK

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Edited Volume


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The question of ethics and their role in archaeology has stimulated one of the discipline's liveliest debates. In this collection of essays, first published in 2006, an international team of archaeologists, anthropologists and philosophers explore the ethical issues archaeology needs to address. Marrying the skills and expertise of practitioners from different disciplines, the collection produces interesting insights into many of the ethical dilemmas facing archaeology today. Topics discussed include relations with indigenous peoples; the professional standards and responsibilities of researchers; the role of ethical codes; the notion of value in archaeology; concepts of stewardship and custodianship; the meaning and moral implications of 'heritage'; the question of who 'owns' the past or the interpretation of it; the trade in antiquities; the repatriation of skeletal material; and treatment of the dead. This important collection is essential reading for all those working in the field of archaeology, be they scholar or practitioner.

Introduction, Chris Scarre and Geoffrey Scarre
Cultures and the ownership of archaeological finds, James O. Young
Who guards the guardians, Robert Layton and Gillian Wallace
Moral arguments on subsistence digging, Julie Hollowell
Human subjects review and archaeology: a view from Indian county, Jeffrey C. Bendremer and Kenneth A Richman
Trust and archaeological practice: towards a framework of Virtue Ethics, Chip Colwell-Chanthanphonh and T.J. Ferguson
Truthfulness and 'inclusion' in archaeology, David E. Cooper
Ethics and Native American reburials: a philosopher's view of two decades of NAGPRA, Douglas P. Lackey
Stewardship gone astray? Ethics and the SAA, Leo Groarke and Gary Warrick
Can archaeology harm the dead?, Geoffrey Scarre
Archaeological ethics and the people of the past, Sarah Tarlow
A plea for responsibilitiy towards the common heritage of mankind, Sandra M. Dingli
The ethics of the World Heritage concept, Atle Omland
What value a unicorn's horn? A study of archaeological uniqueness and value, Robin Coningham, Rachel Cooper and Mark Pollard


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