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Ethics in Archaeology and Art


Archaeologists try to understand human culture through its material remains. But though the material comes from the past, archaeology takes place in the present, and the ethical issues confronted by archaeologists are anything but past. Using the case method, this course aims to provide a forum for informed discussion about cultural property and cultural heritage. We will think about what stakeholders are involved in issues raised by archaeology; what ethical, financial, legal, political (and sometimes military) considerations affect decisions these stakeholders make; what legal statutes, ethical codes, and disciplinary practices are involved. The cases set out ethical dilemmas involving stewardship, commercialization, public education, intellectual property, public reporting and publication, indigenous rights, and more, including issues faced by museums.

Satisfies Philosophical and Religious Perspectives requirement.


Students at all levels welcome. (Spring)