Archaeological Ethics / Edition 2

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Looting. Reburial and repatriation. Relations with native peoples. Professional conduct. "Archaeological Ethics" combines compelling articles on these topics written for a general audience with valuable teaching aids. The articles, drawn from recent issues of "Archaeology Magazine", provide a fascinating introduction to the issues faced every day in archaeological practice. The article summaries, discussion questions, suggestions for further reading and resource guide serve as excellent teaching aids and make this volume ideal for classroom use.

Author Biography: Karen D. Vitelli is a professor of anthropology at Indiana University.

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Editorial Reviews

Canadian Journal Of Archaeology
Articles are well-written....Both volumes present important analyses and case studies of ethical issues facing our discipline today.
Articles reprinted from Archaeology magazine and additional material comprise a reader for a graduate/undergraduate course that has been found to attract not only proto-professional and amateur archaeologists, but also a wide range of other students. Looting and collecting, responses to looting, cultural heritage, affected peoples, reburial and repatriation, and professional behavior are covered. Destined to become required reading for first offenders, as an alternative to expulsion from the association. No index. Paper edition (unseen), $18.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Christopher Chippindale
Ethics matter! Archaeology is too important, and what archaeologists do affects too many groups of people: we cannot just push ahead without really thinking through the consequences of what we do. This new edition updates this first-rate guide to what should be in all our minds.
Lynn Meskell
Archaeological Ethics is a central text for our discipline and represents our global engagement with archaeology's many, diverse stakeholders.
Anne Pyburn
Amongst practicing archaeologists, K. D. Vitelli is the premier scholar of archaeological ethics, and her student Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh is following closely in her footsteps. Together they have put together a wholly revised second edition of Archaeological Ethics that is sure to become a standard handbook for both teachers and researchers. The range of articles in the book includes both the classical statements of issues as well as new considerations and theoretical developments, formulated neatly along with presentations of concrete examples of doing archaeology well at the same time that archaeologists 'do good.' Many members of the discipline, both Classical and New World archaeologists, have come to rely on Vitelli as a touchstone for understanding ethics in archaeology; needless to say, with her editorial work on this new volume, she has not let us down.
Alex Barker
Issues in archaeological ethics are rarely black and white; by avoiding simplistic answers to complex issues, this volume teaches rather than preaches. Instead of focusing on answers, it helps archaeologists ask the right questions. It covers a wide range of archaeological issues, and encourages reflection on the reasons underlying them. No archaeologist can afford to ignore the issues this volume addresses, neither can they afford to assume they know the answers to the questions it poses. Steal this book!
Clemency Coggins
The second edition of Archaeological Ethics is as enthralling, timely, and effective for teaching purposes as was the first. Beginning, in the Introduction, with a philosophical discussion of morals and ethics, subsequent chapters consider the facts and the problems of excavations, legal and illegal, in many parts of the world. While perhaps intended for archaeologists, this book provides an invaluable resource for all those who study and teach the history and peoples of the past.
Paul A. Shackel
Vitelli and Colwell-Chanthaphonh have done an outstanding job updating an already significant collection of essays related to archaeological ethics. The authors address a wide span of issues that are relevant to the discipline. This volume is a major contribution to the field and it should become a standard text in the field. It is a must read for students and scholars.
Cornelius Holtorf
With case-studies from around the world, this book demonstrates that archaeology is a field of considerable political currency. Topics discussed include, among many others, the rights and interests of indigenous people; demands for the reburial and repatriation of archaeological finds; looting, fakes, and the ethics of collecting; the archaeology of a Nazi extermination site; archaeologists as secret agents; saving cultural heritage in Afghanistan and Iraq; archaeology and religious fundamentalism; and the depiction of prehistory in Jean Auel's bestselling novels. Well-written throughout, each case-study engages readers far more than the usual academic writing. Challenging questions for discussion after each chapter make Archaeological Ethics an ideal textbook. The book is essential reading for students of many fields within the humanities and social sciences, and it will intrigue a general audience about the politics of the past in the modern world.
Canadian Journal of Archaeology
Articles are well-written....Both volumes present important analyses and case studies of ethical issues facing our discipline today.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759109636
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 2/2/2006
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 910,936
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen D. Vitelli is professor emerita of anthropology at Indiana University, Bloomington. Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh is a visiting scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Archaeology and the ethics of collecting 19
Ch. 2 Trafficking in treasures 27
Ch. 3 Guardians of the dead 34
Ch. 4 The World Wide Web of antiquities 42
Ch. 5 Faking biblical history 49
Ch. 6 Anasazi in the backyard 64
Ch. 7 Celebrating twenty-five years of preservation 71
Ch. 8 The race to save Afghan culture 81
Ch. 9 The war within the war 91
Ch. 10 Beirut digs out 96
Ch. 11 Flashpoint Ayodhya 103
Ch. 12 Cloak and trowel 116
Ch. 13 People without history 125
Ch. 14 When artifacts are commodities 135
Ch. 15 The rape of Mali 148
Ch. 16 Archaeotourism 158
Ch. 17 Burying American archaeology or sharing control of the past 167
Burying American archaeology 167
Sharing control of the past 170
Ch. 18 Banned books 176
Ch. 19 Out of heaviness, enlightenment 178
Ch. 20 Remembering Chelmno 188
Ch. 21 The new Acropolis museum 194
Ch. 22 Archaeology's dirty secret 201
Ch. 23 Intellectual property issues in archaeology? 206
Ch. 24 Lure of the deep 212
Ch. 25 Chronicler of ice age life 217
Ch. 26 Writing unwritten history 225
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