Ethics of Public Archeology

It’s good to not have tunnel vision on when working with sights. Our westernized training in archaeology can sometimes neglect what the people want. It would be nice to take a little bit of everything and make something great from it. However, it can be hard to figure out where to draw the line in what is allowed and what someone does not want. For example, while it can be invaluable information to excavate a Native American burial ground, it would be disrespectful and even shameful to do so without any kind of blessing or permission from the people who claim to own close ancestors to that sight. With our cemetery project the exact opposite has occurred. We have actually received a welcoming embrace from the community in hopes of finding lost loved ones. Here if feel that as long as we respect people wishes we can continue on an ethical path.

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