of Ethics. What is the archaeological
code of ethics that Burton was so concerned about? Is it “universal” or
subject to local opinion? Burton used to work with British-Kenyan paleoanthropologist
Louis S. B. Leakey, and she insists that there is a universal Code of
Ethics for Archaeologists, "because archaeology is a science." She
said the code requires that archaeologists must coordinate: Archaeologists
planning to examine an area must inform other archaeologists already
working in that area. Burton has been working in Huluga and vicinities
I haven't seen one "universal" code, if
by "universal" we mean a constitution-like set of rules for
all archaeologists. But I've seen several, similar codes published
in websites. They support Burton’s call for outside archaeologists
to coordinate with resident archaeologists: The Code
of Ethics of The Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA) states
that an archaeologist must “Communicate and cooperate with colleagues
having common professional interests; 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; Determine whether the project is likely to interfere with
the program or projects of other scholars ....”
of Ethics of the American Anthropological Association also requires
that an anthropologist must "consult actively with the affected
individuals or group(s), with the goal of establishing a working relationship
that can be beneficial to all parties involved". This
requirement is similar to the Code
of Ethics of the Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists,
Inc: "A member shall respect the professional interests of
colleagues ... The consultant should not knowingly compete with another
for employment to the detriment of professional standards."
Moreover, the Canadian
Archaeological Association Principles of Ethical Conduct states: “respect
colleagues, and cooperate with them.”
Perhaps, the Archaeological Studies Program (ASP) can claim exemption from these requirements
by saying it does not have a code of ethics. It may even claim ignorance
of the subject. Indeed, its website does not show that the teachers
of the ASP follow a set of archaeological ethics. But, curiously, the Archaeological
Society of the ASP, which is composed of students, claim to follow
such a code. What this
code contains, however, is not shown online.
Moreover, nine days before the ASP dug in Huluga without
permission from the landowners, and without coordinating with local
archaeologists, KAPI had held a workshop on archaeological code of
ethics on October 20, 2004. Many members of the ASP are also members of
Solheim Foundation Bulletin, October
to December 2004 issue, has this report about the workshop:
"Finally, a code of ethics the Philippine archaeological
community can call its own. A workshop for the completion of the Code
of Ethics was held last October 20, 2004, at the National Museum,
along with the annual Katipunan Arkeologist ng Pilipinas Inc. business
"Presided over by National Museum archaeologist
Amalia dela Torre, KAPI members from all over the Philippines discussed
and debated the proposed code of ethics that was adapted from the
codes of the Society of American Archaeologists [sic] and the Society
of Professional Archaeologists.
"The draft includes eight principles archaeologists
should adhere to: stewardship, accountability, commercialization,
public education, intellectual property, publication, records and
preservation, and training.” At the end of the workshop, the
proposed code was turned over to the KAPI Executive Board for fine-tuning
and final approval."
The Solheim webpage appears to have disappeared, but a copy of the bulletin is still available.
I placed “sic”
because the correct name is The
Society for American Archaeology (SAA). The SAA code of ethics states: "Archaeologists should reach out to, and participate in cooperative efforts with others interested in the archaeological record with the aim of improving the preservation, protection, and interpretation of the record." The
Society follows the code of ethics of the RPA.
HCA has no copy of the KAPI code of ethics, so we
don’t know what KAPI adopted from the RPA code. But in February
2005, Angeles met Montalvan in Manila. Angeles said, "I told Sandy
Salcedo and Victor Paz that you (Salcedo and Paz) have broken archaeological
ethics in Cagayan de Oro because archaeological ethics dictates that
local archaeologists always enjoy primary preference." Dr. Salcedo
is also a faculty member of the ASP.
Rally in Obsidian Hill, September 30, 2003, during the inauguration of the bridge that split the Huluga archaeological site.
Cast your vote: Do you want Manila archaeologist to ignore local scholars when doing work in the provinces?