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New Worlds: Ethics in Contemporary North American Archaeological Practice

  • Neal Ferris
  • John R. Welch
Chapter
Part of the Ethical Archaeologies: The Politics of Social Justice book series (ETHARCHAEOL, volume 1)

Abstract

Any overview of archaeological ethics in North America and how responsive or not it is to broader, global multicultural ethical discourses in large part must acknowledge that archaeology today is a practice that massively occurs beyond academic settings. While there still is a strong intellectual commerce in scholarly pursuits of knowing the past, far exceeding that form of archaeology are the various iterations of commercial management arising from the conservation of archaeology within development lands. This practice, which commodifies both material remains and intellectual valuation of social worth, along with the gross accumulated output of this consumptive paradigm, has radically transformed and made much more multi-sided the question of ethics in archaeology. This chapter considers how archaeological ethics have become transformed as a result of this very dominant form of archaeological practice in North America, and how it has made those ethical questions of much greater social import that in turn is transforming the very notion of what archaeology is and can be in North American society.

Keywords

Ethics North American archaeology Applied archaeology Sustainable archaeology CRM Heritage Commercial archaeology Canada USA 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We’d like to thank our many colleagues who have offered us the chance over the last many years, separately or together, to reflect on the contemporary practice of North American archaeology, especially our compatriots participating in and thinking about an activist archaeology, and colleagues helping to work towards a sustainable archaeology. As well, opportunities to frame and explore the concept of a sustainable archaeology, separately or together, have been supported through funding by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Ontario Research Fund and our respective institutions.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyWestern UniversityLondonCanada
  2. 2.Department of ArchaeologySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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