All archaeologists have professional and ethical obligations
to share their research findings with other archaeologists
in the scientific community and with the general public.
The Society for American Archaeology’s Principles
of Archaeological Ethics is an important document
that stresses the professional responsibility that archaeologists
have to engage in public education and outreach.
Archaeologists write and publish site reports and
scholarly articles about their research in professional
journals. They also are obliged to share the results
of their work with the general public, by writing for
popular magazines; creating brochures, exhibits, or
web sites about their work; or giving talks at local
schools, libraries, and historical societies. Some archaeologists
invite public participation in surveys, excavations,
and laboratory work and train volunteers to assist in
these areas. These public archaeology programs are becoming
more and more common across the country. The community
archaeology program in Alexandria, Virginia, for
example, is a partnership between city archaeologists,
community volunteers, citizen groups, and students,
all of whom work together to find, study, and interpret
9,000 years of community history. The Yates
Community Archaeology Program in Houston, Texas
is a collaborative community centered project involving
people of all races and classes. Scholars work with
community members and descendants in all phases of the
research on Freedman’s Town—a 19th century
community founded by freed African-Americans after the
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- To Dig or Not to Dig: The Stadium Showdown
This simulation encourages students to examine an ethical public dilemma. Through the use of role play, students examine their personal beliefs and feelings concerning the protection of cultural resources, and evaluate possible actions they might take regarding the protection of those cultural resources. Students will analyze conflicting points-of-view using a discussion format, participate in a group centered decision-making activity focusing on a public issue, articulate personal decisions about issues affecting the individual and community, and explore personal values concerning the preservation of historical resources.
- Find out how to get involved in archaeology in
your community. For information on archaeology fieldwork
opportunities Fieldwork Opportunities and Teacher Training for both teachers and students visit
or contact the Society
for American Archaeology coordinator
in your state.
- Most states celebrate Archaeology Week or Month.
Check out the activities happening in your state during archaeology
month. You can also contact the office
of your State
Archaeologist to find a local archaeological
society and other archaeology activities in your area.
Click here for more Lesson Plans and Activities
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