The EAA Executive Board has composed and
adopted the following Principles, which are to read alongside the EAA Code of
1. EAA PRINCIPLES
FOR ARCHAEOLOGISTS INVOLVED IN CONTRACT ARCHAEOLOGY
The EAA Executive Board has adopted the following Principles.
The principles outlined here apply equally to all
kinds of contract archaeological work, although many points are intended to
address issues arising from a commercial developer-funded contract system of
archaeology. Archaeology is often carried out under contracts of various kinds,
even though it may not be a highly profitable commercial activity.
1. Archaeological contracts should be awarded on the basis of quality and not
on price alone. Guidance for the quality assessment of contract bids could be
managed by, for example, a State or local government authority.
2. Archaeologists involved in managing contract
archaeological work should be conscious of their obligations regarding the pay,
occupational health and safety, conditions of employment and training, and
career development opportunities of archaeologists, for example in relation to
any negative effects that competition between archaeological organisations can
have on these aspects of employment.
3. The salaries of archaeologists should reflect their
level of education and experience, their responsibilities, and the demanding
conditions of the work. The lowest paid archaeologists working on a contract
should receive, as a minimum, pay in line with the real cost of living.
4. Archaeologists should ensure that they understand,
and operate within, the legal framework within which the regulation of
archaeological work takes place in that country.
5. Archaeologists should ensure that they give the best possible advice to
developers and planners with archaeological interests in mind, and should not
advise on matters beyond their knowledge or competence.
6. Archaeologists should ensure that they understand the structure of
archaeological roles and responsibilities, the relationships between these
roles, and their place in this structure.
7. Archaeologists should avoid conflicts of interest between the role of giving
advice in a regulatory capacity and undertaking (or offering to undertake) work
in a contract capacity.
8. Archaeologists dealing with contractors,
sub-contractors and suppliers need to remain fair and impartial.
9. Where the market for
archaeological services is not big enough to support profitable competition,
smaller archaeological units should be encouraged to collaborate with each
other to ensure substantial developer contracts can be met.
10. Archaeologists should not offer to undertake
contract work for which they or their organisations are not suitably equipped,
staffed or experienced.
11. Archaeologists should maintain adequate project control systems (academic,
financial, quality, time) in relation to the work which they are undertaking.
12. Archaeologists should adhere to nationally recognised professional
standards for archaeological work, and should ensure the quality of their work
throughout the duration of the project.
13. Archaeologists should adhere both to the relevant
law and to ethical standards in the area of competition between archaeological
14. Archaeologists involved in contract archaeological work should be enabled
to report their results fully and make them publicly available. For example,
commercial archaeology units can be encouraged to upload their full reports to
a central online data repository for archaeological ‘grey literature’, where
the public can freely access the data for research purposes.
15. Archaeological contracts should include
comprehensive costs, explicitly including costs for the production of reports,
the publication and dissemination of results, and the archive deposition of
finds and documentation.
16. Archaeological information should not normally be
suppressed (e.g., by landowners, developers, or by archaeological contractors),
and archaeologists involved in contract archaeology should use their best endeavours
to prevent this happening.
17. Archaeologists involved in contract archaeological work should be conscious
of the need to maintain the academic coherence of archaeology, in the face of a
tendency towards fragmentation under a contract system of organisation.
involved in contract archaeological work should recognise the need to
demonstrate, to developers and to the public at large, the benefits of support
for archaeological work.
19. Where contract archaeology is common, all archaeologists - especially those
in positions of influence - should promote the application of this Code of
Practice, and promote adequate systems of regulation, in order to make the Code
work effectively. Regulation should be formalised and implemented in co-operation
with State or municipal authorities, although professional archaeological
associations also have a crucial role to play.
EAA PRINCIPLES FOR ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH
EAA Executive Board has adopted the following Principles.
Anthropogenic materials, human remains, and animal and
plant remains are all unique in their context and carry irreplaceable
information. Throughout the project planning, survey, and excavation process,
as well as when carrying out post-excavation research, archaeologists should
recover, investigate and document as much contextual information as possible.
Archaeologists are invited by the EAA to follow the ethical principles
described here, irrespective of EAA membership.
1. Archaeologists should carry out their work to the
highest professional standards recognised by their peers. They have the duty to
keep themselves informed of methodological developments in archaeology and
disciplines related to their work.
2. Archaeological research often relies on the collaborative
work of experts in different fields. Archaeologists are, therefore, encouraged
to involve colleagues with the relevant interdisciplinary skills and experience
in their research projects.
3. Archaeologists must follow all national legal
regulations in the places they work and from which materials are derived. EAA
recommends written permission for the use of original materials and the
inclusion of the source in any publication.
4. Archaeological research projects require a detailed
research plan with clear descriptions of objectives, procedures, and long-term
curation plans for data, finds and samples, to be agreed with all stakeholders.
5. Archaeologists should engage with other stakeholders
and ensure respect and sensitivity to stakeholder perspectives.
6. Archaeologists must always seek to minimise damage to
materials analysed with destructive techniques.
7. Archaeologists are encouraged to preserve in situ
as much of the archaeological site as possible, with provision being made for
on-going protection, conservation, and management, in accordance with the
Valletta Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage.
8. Archaeologists consider human remains a particularly
important source of information about the past. Human remains shall be treated
with dignity and respect during the whole process of archaeological research.
9. Archaeological research must be recorded in durable
form and made accessible to the archaeological community with minimum delay.
The EAA recommends that project results are published within a maximum of 10
years. Primary data should be openly available for others to critically
re-examine scientific findings after publication, in which co-authorship rights
and obligations are mutually agreed and transparently reported.
10.Archaeologists must fairly acknowledge the
contribution of colleagues to their work, regardless of their employment status
and position in the academic hierarchy. The EAA recommends the formulation of a
project-specific memorandum of understanding in which co-authorship rights and
obligations are mutually agreed.
11.Archaeologists have the obligation to make their
findings available to the wider public through appropriate dissemination, e.g.,
on websites, through exhibitions, and in local languages.
treatment of archaeological human remains
with the UNESCO 1967 Statement and 1978 Declaration on Race and Racial
Prejudice, the EAA affirms that all human beings belong to a single species and
are descended from a common stock. Individuals are born equal in dignity and
rights and all form an integral part of humanity. The division of anatomically
modern humans into supposed ’races’ was arbitrary and is based on superseded
concedes that various anthropologists and archaeologists have, in the past,
formulated research designs and hypotheses based on the racist fallacy that
culture is inherited biologically, and thus that culture is linked to
superficial physiological characteristics (such as, for example, skin
pigmentation). Any theory which implies that people of different physiological
appearance are culturally superior or inferior, or more or less advanced in
evolution, has no scientific foundation.
are called upon to vigorously reject any study or display of human remains that
seeks to portray non-European people as examples of “primitive” (in the sense
of uncivilised) culture. The differences between cultural groups are
attributable to, for example, geographical, historical, political, economic,
and social factors.
archaeologists conducting research on non-European human remains should be
aware that the view of Indigenous communities in some States may be that the
remains of all humans are considered ancestors. Thus, according to this view,
there should be no need for stakeholders to prove linear descent or demonstrate
kinship or affiliation, other than a geographical association, with a
samples are collected from human remains for DNA research, laboratories must
have guidelines in place in advance regarding Data Sovereignty. For example,
Indigenous nations and communities may not approve DNA research if samples are
to be retained in comparative DNA libraries for further research and
publication without notification or consent.
dignified treatment and proper conservation of human remains in archaeological
research should include secure storage of the material in an area of the
archive or facility that is designated solely for human remains.
Post-excavation examination and sampling of human remains should take place
within the designated area.
dignified treatment and proper conservation of human remains in archaeological
teaching and training should include limiting the handling of remains to the
post-excavation analysis of the assemblage. In order to avoid the repeated
handling of exhumed remains, teaching collections could comprise, for example,
3D printed copies of archaeological human remains, and virtual anatomy and
pathology teaching systems.
acknowledges that from an anti-racist perspective, archaeologists should
respect the fact that remains are of individual persons, and cannot be
presented as typical or exceptional of whole national, cultural, geographical,
or chronological groupings.
EAA recommends, from a decolonisation and anti-racist perspective, that
remains in museums should be displayed in a dignified way and should
only occur in cases where the actual display of physical objects is
considered necessary to convey understanding of the archaeological
narrative. Actual human remains can be replaced with replicas (clearly
labelled as such).
2c. Ethical practice in expert
evaluation of archaeological material
recognises the key role that scientific research plays in the advancement of
understanding of cultural heritage. The EAA is concerned about the traffic in
stolen, forged, clandestinely excavated, and illegally exported cultural
heritage materials, as well as the fact that some countries openly encourage
the sale of legally decontextualised archaeological objects on the art and
- The EAA draws attention to how the financial market value
of particular objects can be stimulated by any archaeological expert
appraisal and scientific analysis reports as providing proof of an
artefact’s provenance or genuine nature, thus making such objects more
desirable to purchasers.
- Archaeologists and
heritage science practitioners are thus called upon to be mindful of their
ethical responsibilities when carrying out research on archaeological
material in connection with private owners, and objects of potential
contested ownership, as well as material offered for sale on the art and
antiquities market. All archaeologists, scientists, conservators, and any
other professionals engaged in heritage science analyses and expert
evaluation are invited by the EAA to follow the ethical practice described
here, irrespective of EAA membership.
- In recent years,
archaeologists and scientists have experienced increasing demands for
scientific examination and expert appraisal of archaeological artefacts
and samples. These requests derive not only from archaeological field
units, public museums, local or regional authorities, universities or
other publicly-funded research institutions, but also from clients such as
antiquities dealers, auction houses, privately owned collections, and
individual owners or their representatives.
- Private clients
requesting expert evaluation often seek to use the results as a
“Certificate of Authenticity”. These documents typically focus on
scientific measurement of the approximate age of the object by
archaeometric dating methods, or evidence for possible forgeries;
specialists might also be approached for assistance in sampling and to add
affirmation to the studies of other experts. Presentation of data from
scientific analyses, or an expert archaeological appraisal, can help to
enhance the saleability and to increase the financial value of the object.
Hence the ultimate result is to support the commercial trade in
archaeological material on the art market. This contradicts the statutory
position of the EAA.
- The EAA aims to promote interest in archaeological remains as evidence of the human
past and as contributing to our knowledge of human culture, and to
discourage a focus upon any commercial value that may attach to such
material (Art. II. 7). The EAA aims to work for the elimination of any
form of illegal detection and collection, and the damage it causes to the
archaeological heritage (Art. II. 8).
- In archaeological
research, ‘value’ is not a quantifiable attribute inherent in objects
themselves; rather, it is the context and cultural meaning of an artefact
that comprises its entire value and defines its significance. Scientific
analyses and expert appraisal contribute evidence to the archaeological
interpretation of an object’s use and meaning. The use of scientific
techniques in the study of privately-owned material for “authentication”
consequently raises similar ethical issues to those acknowledged for many
years by conservators.
- Contemporary professional
practice in archaeological conservation advocates for investigation and
treatment methods that are reversible, involve minimum intervention, and
result in no permanent alteration to the original material. If extensive
restoration or reconstruction of missing components is carried out – for example
to aid the public in understanding an object that will be on display in a
museum – the new conservation work should be easily distinguishable from
the original material.
- The approach concerning
artefacts offered for sale on the art market differs from the customary
principles of archaeological conservation. Extensive restoration of
artefacts to make them appear as complete as possible, and to appear
consistent with other items of comparable type, date, or style that have
likewise been detached from their archaeological context, and are now
being presented as decorative ‘art objects’, is often desired by private
clients who are conscious of the commercial investment and resale value of
associations of art and antiquities dealers emphasise the importance of
provenance and documentation in their Code of Ethics, Code of Conduct, or
Rules; therefore, any member of such a body should naturally follow its
regulations. However, many of these Codes and Rules do not stress the
importance of the ethical aspects of providing expert appraisal,
scientific analyses, and investigative conservation reports in support of
archaeological documentation and provenance attribution. It is therefore
necessary to improve the response of the Archaeology sector, and to call
for due diligence when analysing archaeological materials, in particular
in the case of artefacts that are being offered for sale.
- The ICOM
International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods provides
some helpful commentary on due diligence and ‘good faith’. According to
this, any purchaser of a cultural heritage object must be able to
establish where it came from, and when and how it left its country of
origin and as well any intermediate country. Hence, they must be in possession
of documents such as, for example, an export licence from the country of
origin, a catalogue or inventory, photographic evidence, family
correspondence, or excavation field notes. These documents can help to
demonstrate the art historical provenance, or more precisely, the
collection history, of an object. It must be acknowledged that the
prevalence of forged documents is a familiar and complex problem.
Moreover, a certificate issued by a registry of stolen or lost cultural
objects cannot be taken as positive proof of provenance.
- It is important to
note that while art- historical provenance is based on connoisseurship and
documentary evidence, archaeological provenance refers to either the find
site of an artefact, or to the geographical location where the object was
made, or where its raw materials were sourced from. Most heritage science
analyses that are carried out to “provenance” archaeological artefacts aim
to identify a so-called ‘chemical fingerprint’ in the material, that can
be matched to a well-characterised geological deposit (e.g. of clay or
minerals) in a particular region that, based on the archaeological
context, can be postulated to have had some social or economic connection
with the find site.
- It is of course
impossible to account for all potential ancient raw material sources; it
can even be hard to conclusively characterise a particular raw material
source, as these may be highly heterogeneous in chemical composition. The
situation naturally becomes more difficult when one looks at, amongst
other examples, prehistoric objects or long-distance trade and exchange,
such as with metal ingots. Production and exchange could have involved
quite complex trade routes and minor (by modern industrial standards) and
surface deposits that are long-since exhausted. Scientific provenance
studies cannot, therefore, be presented as definitive or independent proof
of the archaeological or geographical origin of an object, nor can a set
of chemical analyses be said to positively confirm the “authenticity” of
If, as a minimum, the pre-1945
collection history of the archaeological material cannot be established to the
point of initial entry into a collection (whether public or private), then it
should not be accepted for archaeological expert evaluation or scientific
analysis. In the case of objects that are of contested ownership, the material
may be accepted for analysis if the client can provide evidence that all of the
parties concerned have given informed consent for the scientific study.
Material that lacks evidence of provenance and/or ownership must not be
forwarded to another scientist or laboratory for analysis.
Documentation regarding the identification of the
object or sample should be provided by the client prior to agreement to carry
out scientific work. This documentation should be accessible to third parties;
a Non-Disclosure Agreement, for instance, should not be signed. Documentation
i) Statement of the country or territory of origin; archaeological
find site if the material was excavated after 1945; collection history if the
material initially entered into a collection (whether public or private) prior
to 1945; import/export papers if the material is coming from a foreign country;
declaration of who is the legal owner of the material.
ii) Photographs of the object, including scale, and
detailed images of distinguishing features; brief written description.
iii) In the case of samples already removed, a
description of sample details and sampling procedure should be provided in
addition to the above information.
15. Conflict of Interest
Heritage scientists and
archaeological experts must abstain from any action that could create a
conflict of interest regarding their work, such as acquisition of objects for
financial gain. They should not accept any form of reward from, for example, an
auction house or dealer, that may be offered to them as an incentive to
purchase archaeological objects or to pass on objects to other purchasers, or
as an inducement to take, or to refrain from taking, official action (such as
informing relevant authorities or police).
16. Legal notification
In the case of reasonable doubt regarding the
provenance and/or ownership of an object, the analyst or archaeological expert
should raise the matter immediately with the client, and maintain the right to
inform law enforcement agencies about the object. In the case of material of
potential contested ownership, heritage science practitioners should take care
to be aware of the national law of any third-party country, as well as to
respect international treaties and legal instruments.
17. Heritage professionals in
each State are relied upon to promote public awareness that the true value of
cultural material does not rest in its financial worth. Archaeologists,
scientists, and conservators should not generate data for private clients,
knowing or suspecting that such data will be used to create or to enhance a
financial valuation, or be used to facilitate the sale of archaeological
artefacts of uncertain provenance on the art market.
18. In order to encourage
inter-laboratory exchange and support, the EAA Community has established a
closed mailing list group, to permit heritage professionals to ask questions
and to share experience about objects suspected to have been illicitly traded,
or requests coming from owners, purchasers and sellers of archaeological
material. All those interested should contact the EAA Community on the Illicit
Trade in Cultural Material.
2d. Publication of
decontextualised archaeological artefacts
artefacts are objects that have been removed without archaeological
recording or excavation documentation from a depositional environment,
site or monument. Examples of decontextualised artefacts can include:
metal-detected finds, objects from the art market, or objects without
excavation records that come from, for example, old collections.
- The publication of decontextualised
artefacts is a difficult matter and treated differently by various
archaeological associations and institutions. Publication can effectively
sanction the further decontextualisation of as yet undiscovered finds, and
can, directly or indirectly, add to the financial valuation of such
artefacts. EAA members should not normally participate in the publication
of undocumented antiquities, unless the work is intended to i) highlight
suspected forgeries offered for sale on the art market; ii) contribute to
the investigations of relevant authorities (e.g., the police or State
archaeological agency); or iii) clarify the collection history and
provenance of the artefacts.
- It is well-known that forgeries are
fraudulently sold and bought as originals on the art market. References to
or publication of decontextualised objects should mention any possibility
of a forgery. In this way, the publication itself may reduce instead of
increase the monetary value of the object. Prior to publication, local
laws will have to be addressed; for instance, in Italy, the Soprintendenza
has to be informed before the publication of the object. If the
archaeologist has a reasonable suspicion that offences against the law
were committed and have not already lapsed under eligible statutes of
limitation, they should report the case to the relevant authorities, who
can properly investigate the matter.
- A decontextualised object
can still bear relevant information, and hence might be of interest for
archaeological research. If clear information of doubtful, illicit or
unknown find circumstances is provided, together with a clear statement of
the problems associated with the provenance, publication of such objects
might be justifiable. In this case, publication can prevent later
falsified provenance by, e.g. art market dealers, indicate looting or
illicit acquisition, and help States to eventually make claims for
restitution and repatriation of the object. By providing all details about
the doubtful origin of artefacts, archaeologists can raise public
awareness about the irretrievable loss of archaeological context, the
dynamics of the art market, and the history of collecting.
2e. Indigenous heritage
The EAA acknowledges that Indigenous communities in
many places have remained committed to the stewardship of their lands over the
centuries. The historic environment has been cherished and protected, as elders
have instructed the young in their communities through generations.
Archaeologists are honoured and grateful to conduct research on indigenous
cultural heritage. The EAA undertakes to further develop this Code of Practice
through outreach to Indigenous communities in many countries.
- Indigenous populations
maintain cultural heritage traditions in many States where:
i) there is a history of
European colonisation, mainly in the 16th to 20th centuries AD, and there is
now a majority European settler descent population, such as Australia, Canada,
and the United States;
ii) there is a history of
European-descent colonial domination but a majority African, Asian, North
American or South American descent population;
iii) there is a dominant
majority culture, but a group who inhabited the region prior to the
establishment of present State boundaries are a minority culture. A European
example of such an indigenous population is the Sámi in Finland.
- Living cultural traditions practised by
indigenous people are defined according to the UNESCO Convention for the
Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Intangible cultural
heritage includes: language, religion, social customs, economic and political
systems, and artistic expression, including traditional music, song,
dance, dress & fashion, and cooking.
- Craft techniques and objects made and used
in traditional ways that are associated with living cultural practices are
also components of intangible heritage. There was extensive acquisition by
European and European descent collectors of Indigenous cultural material
deriving from intangible heritage traditions, in the 18th to 20th
centuries AD in particular.
- Tangible heritage includes sites, monuments,
and excavated archaeological objects found or created in a particular
place in the past. There is a history of excavation and collection of
archaeological material in countries under colonial domination.
Archaeologists have a duty to inform themselves of the Indigenous
narrative relating to the material, monuments, or sites that they are
- Engagement with an Indigenous community
should start at the inception of a research project and continue
throughout the scientific process. Initial engagement would include, for
example, developing research questions and securing funding. Consent and
concurrence on fieldwork activities - in particular on survey and
excavation locations and methodologies - must always be sought in advance
of project commencement.
- Funding for research on indigenous
heritage should include financial compensation for the Indigenous
community. Participation in archaeological research consultation requires
a significant time commitment, and generally benefits the researchers
disproportionately to the Indigenous community. Reliance on specialised
expertise from the community should be acknowledged financially.
- Archaeologists intending to carry out
research that involves scientific analysis (whether the techniques are
destructive or non-destructive) or conservation work on Indigenous
heritage objects held in art, archaeological, and ethnographic collections
must ensure that the contemporary Indigenous nation or community in the
place of origin of the material have the opportunity to give informed
- Indigenous nations or communities might
not have the sovereignty to make requests for repatriation of cultural
objects, as international treaties commonly recognise just the signatory
State as the party that can make an application. Archaeologists involved
in decolonisation research have an advocacy role in supporting Indigenous
restitution and repatriation claims.
2f. Restitution and
repatriation of contested heritage objects
- Archaeologists continuously conduct research that leads to
reconsideration and amendment of established prehistorical and historical
narratives. The term “contested heritage objects” refers here to artefacts
that are of disputed ownership. Objects that were acquired under
inequitable circumstances, e.g., in a period of foreign colonial rule or
military occupation, and are claimed back by, for example, an individual,
a State agency, a museum, or by the nation or community of origin, are
examples of contested heritage.
- Restitution refers to the
legal process of restoring contested heritage objects to an owner
determined by a court or tribunal, and relinquishing any profits that may
have been unlawfully obtained. The party making the restitution claim will
typically be a family representative, descendent, or institution connected
to the previous owner of the object. Art objects, archaeological
artefacts, and ethnographic material collected during colonial rule in the
16th to 20th centuries AD, and objects looted during war or military
occupation, are examples of contested heritage that can be subject to
restitution claims. A prominent example of restitution concerns cultural
material that was confiscated, subjected to enforced sales, or stolen
during the Nazi era in Europe.
- Archaeological artefacts
and ethnographic/intangible heritage objects should be considered to fall
under public, collective, or community ownership. Repatriation refers to
the return of archaeological and ethnographic material to the nation or
community of origin, rather than to a previous private individual or
- The role of
archaeologists in the restitution and repatriation process primarily
involves research and publication. Archaeologists may be asked to share
the results of their research as expert advice to, e.g., State agencies,
police forces, or customs and excise departments. The publication of
contested artefacts that are also decontextualised should follow the
principles outlined under section 2d of this Code.
- Archaeologists working in museums should
encourage their institution to engage with stakeholders who are contesting
the ownership of cultural heritage objects. The archaeologists’ input can
include conducting inventories and
producing research summaries of material in collections.
- Archaeologists should have the confidence
to participate in advocacy; for example, campaigning on decolonisation and
for the payment of reparations to aid in the ongoing conservation and
curation of repatriated artefacts.
3. EAA PRINCIPLES FOR ARCHAEOLOGISTS
INVOLVED IN TEACHING AND TRAINING
The EAA Executive Board has adopted the following
3a. Academic Teaching and
Archaeologists are invited by the EAA to follow the
ethical practice described here, irrespective of EAA membership.
being a scientific endeavour that produces novel and sometimes uncomfortable
insights into the past, intellectual freedom, freedom of research and the free
expression of archaeological results should be fully respected within legal
research and teaching should respect legal standards regarding intellectual
research and teaching should follow the relevant sections of the EAA Code of
overseeing archaeological teaching and training in research or academic
institutions need to meet the requirements of holding a minimum of a bachelor's
degree in Archaeology or a related field.
involved in academic education and training should carry out their
teaching/training duties to the highest scientific, pedagogical and ethical
standards, and in accordance with recent developments in the field of
teaching and training in Archaeology should be reflective and critical, relying
on the examination of the beliefs, judgments and practices of those involved in
the research process, and of the political, social and economic contexts in
which they operated, in order to understand how these may have influenced the
results and the way the past is presented to students. Moreover, reflexivity in
archaeological teaching should be characterised by openness, encouraging
students to question their own assumptions about the past.
teaching and training needs to be undertaken in a secure and empowering
environment, with respect to the legal
standards that should foster safety and health for students and
teaching/training staff alike.
3b. Fieldwork Training
Practical training should only be undertaken by those
competent to provide the particular training offered (e.g. field survey, excavation,
geophysics, laboratory expertise, site visits, interviews, archival
research). Where possible they should have recognised professional
documentation of their competence.
Documentation provided to participants and potential participants should state
- Who are the competent people running the project
are and their professional and training qualifications.
specific training will be on offer (e.g. field walking, excavation,
finds processing, drawing), and to what level (where this can be
- The date of the site and its nature.
- Which categories of student or volunteer are being catered
for. This can vary from people for whom the project is a working
holiday with an educational aim, school children wondering whether to
study archaeology at university, students fulfilling requirements for the
courses, or young professionals seeking professional training. All
these groups have very different needs.
- What kinds of students or volunteers are being catered for (e.g.
the level of previous experience, those with disabilities, age
- The way in which teaching will be carried out, and the proposed programme for carrying it out (e.g.
lectures, on-site training, site documentation, mentoring by competent
- Ratios of competent staff to students.
- A statement of the methods to be used, where possible with specific
reference to manuals and textbooks.
- A guide on the length of the course.
- Clear advice on, for example, living conditions, personal
insurance, hazards, equipment to be provided.
- A statement of what is expected of the participants.
The project must be fully insured for
accidents, professional indemnity, etc. It should maintain legal
standards of Health and Safety, e.g. in working conditions, protective
clothing, first aid training, provision of first aid kits. Every member
of the team should know what to do in an emergency, e.g. telephone numbers of
medical services, where to find the local doctor or hospital.
Field projects should conform to the legal
requirements of the country in which they are carried out (e.g. for permits,
legal access to land, deposition of finds and archives, publication, etc.).
This will also normally involve carrying out an official ‘Risk Assessment’.
There should be concern for the local social and
political environment in which work is being carried out (e.g. students should
not be seen to have privileged access to historical sites from which local people
are excluded). It is the responsibility of the participant to enquire
about the working languages for the course, and ensure that they have
sufficient command to participate fully.
Given the destructive nature of archaeological
excavation, due concern should be given to heritage preservation.
Archaeological sites should not be destroyed merely to provide training
only. Preferably sites which are threatened, or where there are pressing
research interests, should be chosen rather than unthreatened sites.
Students and volunteers should not be used as an
unwaged workforce or as a source of research funding if participation fees are
charged. Moreover, their work should be acknowledged as contributing to
archaeological knowledge. Equally training excavations should not be used as a
means of undermining professional activities, e.g. by offering cut-price rescue
excavations when these should be properly funded under state and European
Any certificates given out should be endorsed by
recognised institutions, such as Higher Education institutions (universities,
research centres), museums, professional associations, etc.
Participants should be asked for feedback on their
experiences, and proper consideration be taken of complaints and suggestions. Where
possible these should be passed on to the relevant institution overseeing the
Any participants should be informed where they can
make formal complaints if they are dissatisfied with their training and
treatment in terms of safety, equality and diversity (e.g. the professional
institute, university, etc.).
4. EAA PRINCIPLES FOR THE ROLE OF
ARCHAEOLOGISTS IN CLIMATE ACTION
The EAA Executive Board has adopted the following
acknowledges that the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis form one of the
biggest challenges of our time. The climate crisis transcends political,
national or organisational agendas. Archaeologists have a moral and
ethical responsibility not simply to react to the impacts of climate change on
cultural heritage but to address climate change in all aspects of their work,
regardless of statutory requirements. Archaeologists can provide
leadership and act as exemplars in climate action and should take a proactive
approach to the climate crisis. To this end, EAA encourages members to
join the EAA Climate Change and Heritage (CCH) Community.
4b. Climate change
1. In its Kiel 2021 Statement on
Archaeology and Climate Change, the EAA has committed to playing its part in
responsibly working towards UN Climate Change goals, net-zero emissions and
limiting the rise in global temperature to 1.5℃. Archaeologists should take
practical steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated by their activities,
for instance through choosing lower carbon modes of heating and transport and
reducing waste in their operations. Organisations should consider
developing and publishing a Carbon Management Plan.
2. It is not just natural assets that
provide an opportunity to sequester carbon long-term. Recent research shows
that heritage assets also carry this inherent capacity, and this should inform
archaeologists’ approach to heritage management. Cultural heritage must
be seen as part of the solution to climate change, rather than a barrier to
addressing it, and there should be a presumption in favour of retention of
cultural heritage assets.
3. Where there is a perceived
conflict between natural and cultural heritage conservation, for instance in
peatland restoration and tree planting for carbon sequestration, archaeologists
should work across disciplinary boundaries to ensure that the value and
contribution of cultural heritage is recognised.
4c. Climate change
- EAA is a signatory to the Statement on Social
Archaeology of Climate Change (SACC) launched at the SACC Summit in
Kiel/online in 2021, which stresses the role archaeology has in informing
climate change adaptation. Archaeologists are skilled at reading the
landscape, interpreting evidence and using it to tell stories about the
past, about how humans changed their environment and adapted or failed to
adapt to environmental and climatic conditions and challenges over
millennia. These are tools that we can and should use to inform
current and future policy; help today’s communities understand the reality
and severity of human-induced climate change; and imagine scenarios of how
society might adapt.
- As stated in the 2021 Kiel Statement on Archaeology and Climate
Change, climate change puts archaeological remains at risk. Those
working in archaeological conservation should fully consider climate
change impacts and risks and develop adaptation measures to prevent
irrevocable loss of heritage.
- Archaeologists should work to understand the full range of impacts
of climate change on cultural heritage and its values and its associated
industries such as tourism. Researching and understanding hazards
and risks associated with climate change can inform resilience and
adaptation in the historic environment and ensure that cultural heritage
forms part of adaptation planning.
- Some level of loss of cultural heritage is inevitable as a result
of climate change. Archaeologists should be having discussions both within
the profession and with local communities about this loss, about what
communities value, what they are prepared to lose, how they adapt to
change and what they will focus efforts on retaining.
4d. Climate justice
- Climate change disproportionately affects the
world’s most vulnerable communities. Research indicates that in
times of crisis or disaster, which could include the climate emergency, it
is cultural heritage (tangible and intangible) that brings communities
together and enables resilience, cohesion and hence recovery.
Archaeologists should adopt a holistic approach to cultural resilience
that recognises that archaeological principles and practice can be applied
in many contexts, including both tangible and intangible heritage.
- Archaeologists should bring both scientific and traditional
practice and knowledge to the conservation of cultural heritage, notably
in the sustainable use of natural resources.
- Archaeologists should involve local communities in decision-making
processes and work with them to build capacity in the management of
1. These Principles were prepared by an EAA Task
Force and agreed by the EAA’s Executive Board. They were approved and adopted per rollam by Members of the Association 15 September 2022, and they replace all earlier versions. The EAA Code of Practice and
associated Principles are published in English. However, the EAA welcomes their
translation into other languages and has set translation guidelines that can be
obtained through its General Secretariat.
2. The Board may advise on particular issues which may
arise, e.g. by referring them to the relevant EAA Advisory Committees.
3. Queries regarding the Code of Practice and Principles
may be raised by contacting the Secretariat, which will put the matter to the
Board if necessary.