Code of Conduct

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Archaeology is a profession, and the privilege of professional practice requires professional morality and professional responsibility, as well as professional competence, on the part of each practitioner.

  1. The Archaeologist's Responsibility to the Public

    1.1 An archaeologist shall:

    1. Recognize a commitment to represent Archaeology and its research results to the public in a responsible manner;
    2. Actively support conservation of the archaeological resource base;
    3. Be sensitive to, and respect the legitimate concerns of, groups whose culture histories are the subjects of archaeological investigations;
    4. Avoid and discourage exaggerated, misleading, or unwarranted statements about archaeological matters that might induce others to engage in unethical or illegal activity;
    5. Support and comply with the terms of the UNESCO Convention on the means of prohibiting and preventing the illicit import, export, and transfer of ownership of cultural property, as adopted by the General Conference, 14 November 1970, Paris.

    1.2 An archaeologist shall not:

    1. Engage in any illegal or unethical conduct involving archaeological matters or knowingly permit the use of his/her name in support of any illegal or unethical activity involving archaeological matters;
    2. Give a professional opinion, make a public report, or give legal testimony involving archaeological matters without being as thoroughly informed as might reasonably be expected;
    3. Engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation about archaeological matters;
    4. Undertake any research that affects the archaeological resource base for which she/he is not qualified.
    5. Knowingly be involved in the recovery or excavation of artifacts for commercial exploitation, or knowingly be employed by or knowingly contract with an individual or entity who recovers or excavates archaeological artifacts for commercial exploitation.

  2. The Archaeologist's Responsibility to Colleagues, Employees, and Students

    2.1 An archaeologist shall:

    1. Give appropriate credit for work done by others;
    2. Stay informed and knowledgeable about developments in her/his field or fields of specialization;
    3. Accurately, and without undue delay, prepare and properly disseminate a description of research done and its results;
    4. Communicate and cooperate with colleagues having common professional interests;
    5. Give due respect to colleagues' interests in, and rights to, information about sites, areas, collections, or data where there is a mutual active or potentially active research concern;
    6. Know and comply with all federal, state, and local laws, ordinances, and regulations applicable to her/his archaeological research and activities;
    7. Report knowledge of violations of this Code to proper authorities.
    8. Honor and comply with the spirit and letter of the Register of Professional Archaeologist's Disciplinary Procedures.

    2.2 An archaeologist shall not:

    1. Falsely or maliciously attempt to injure the reputation of another archaeologist;
    2. Commit plagiarism in oral or written communication;
    3. Undertake research that affects the archaeological resource base unless reasonably prompt, appropriate analysis and reporting can be expected;
    4. Refuse a reasonable request from a qualified colleague for research data;
    5. Submit a false or misleading application for registration by the Register of Professional Archaeologists.

  3. The Archaeologist's Responsibility to Employers and Clients

    3.1 An archaeologist shall:

    1. Respect the interests of her/his employer or client, so far as is consistent with the public welfare and this Code and Standards;
    2. Refuse to comply with any request or demand of an employer or client which conflicts with the Code and Standards;
    3. Recommend to employers or clients the employment of other archaeologists or other expert consultants upon encountering archaeological problems beyond her/his own competence;
    4. Exercise reasonable care to prevent her/his employees, colleagues, associates and others whose services are utilized by her/him from revealing or using confidential information. Confidential information means information of a non-archaeological nature gained in the course of employment which the employer or client has requested be held inviolate, or the disclosure of which would be embarrassing or would be likely to be detrimental to the employer or client. Information ceases to be confidential when the employer or client so indicates or when such information becomes publicly known.

    3.2 An archaeologist shall not:

    1. Reveal confidential information, unless required by law;
    2. Use confidential information to the disadvantage of the client or employer;
    3. Use confidential information for the advantage of herself/himself or a third person, unless the client consents after full disclosure;
    4. Accept compensation or anything of value for recommending the employment of another archaeologist or other person, unless such compensation or thing of value is fully disclosed to the potential employer or client;
    5. Recommend or participate in any research which does not comply with the requirements of the Standards of Research Performance.


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