research archaeologist has a
responsibility to attempt to design and conduct projects that will add
to our understanding of past cultures and/or that will develop better
theories, methods, or techniques for interpreting the archaeological
record, while causing minimal attrition of the archaeological resource
base. In the conduct of a research project, the following minimum
standards should be followed:
has a responsibility to prepare adequately for any research project,
whether or not in the field. The archaeologist must:
the adequacy of her/his qualifications for the demands of the project,
and minimize inadequacies by acquiring additional expertise, by
bringing in associates with the needed qualifications, or by modifying
the scope of the project;
herself/himself of relevant previous research;
a scientific plan of research which specifies the objectives of the
project, takes into account previous relevant research, employs a
suitable methodology, and provides for economical use of the resource
base (whether such base consists of an excavation site or of specimens)
consistent with the objectives of the project;
the availability of adequate and competent staff and support facilities
to carry the project to completion, and of adequate curatorial
facilities for specimens and records;
with all legal requirements, including, without limitation, obtaining
all necessary governmental permits and necessary permission from
landowners or other persons;
whether the project is likely to interfere with the program or projects
of other scholars and, if there is such a likelihood, initiate
negotiations to minimize such interference.
In conducting research, the archaeologist must follow
scientific plan of research, except to the extent that unforeseen
circumstances warrant its modification.
Procedures for field survey or excavation must meet
the following minimal standards:
specimens are collected, a system for identifying and recording their
proveniences must be maintained.
entities such as environmental or cultural features, depositional
strata, and the like, must be fully and accurately recorded by
appropriate means, and their location recorded.
methods employed in data collection must be fully and accurately
described. Significant stratigraphic and/or associational relationships
among artifacts, other specimens, and cultural and environmental
features must also be fully and accurately recorded.
records should be intelligible to other archaeologists. If terms
lacking commonly held referents are used, they should be clearly
as possible, the interests of other researchers should be considered.
For example, upper levels of a site should be scientifically excavated
and recorded whenever feasible, even if the focus of the project is on
During accessioning, analysis, and storage of specimens
and records in
the laboratory, the archaeologist must take precautions to ensure that
correlations between the specimens and the field records are
maintained, so that provenience contextual relationships and the like
are not confused or obscured.
research records resulting from a project must be deposited at an
institution with permanent curatorial facilities, unless otherwise
required by law.
The archaeologist has
responsibility for appropriate dissemination of the results of her/his
research to the appropriate constituencies with reasonable dispatch.
reviewed as significant contributions to substantive knowledge of the
past or to advancements in theory, method or technique should be
disseminated to colleagues and other interested persons by appropriate
means such as publications, reports at professional meetings, or
letters to colleagues.
from qualified colleagues for information on research results directly
should be honored, if consistent with the researcher's prior rights to
publication and with her/his other professional responsibilities.
to complete a full scholarly report within 10 years after completion of
a field project shall be construed as a waiver of an archaeologist's
right of primacy with respect to analysis and publication of the data.
Upon expiration of such 10-year period, or at such earlier time as the
archaeologist shall determine not to publish the results, such data
should be made fully accessible to other archaeologists for analysis
contractual obligations in reporting must be respected, archaeologists
should not enter into a contract which prohibits the archaeologist from
including her or his own interpretations or conclusions in the
contractual reports, or from a continuing right to use the data after
completion of the project.
have an obligation to accede to reasonable requests for information
from the news media.