Durham University

Department of Philosophy

Staff

Publication details for Professor Geoffrey Scarre

Scarre, Chris & Scarre, Geoffrey (2006). The ethics of archaeology: philosophical perspectives on archaeological practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

The question of ethics and their role in archaeology has stimulated one of the discipline's liveliest debates in recent years. In this collection of essays, an international team of archaeologists, anthropologists and philosophers explore the ethical issues archaeology needs to address. Marrying the skills and expertise of practitioners from different disciplines, the collection produces fresh insights into many of the ethical dilemmas facing archaeology today. Topics discussed include relations with indigenous peoples; the professional standards and responsibilities of researchers; the role of ethical codes; the notion of value in archaeology; concepts of stewardship and custodianship; the meaning and moral implications of 'heritage'; the question of who 'owns' the past or the interpretation of it; the trade in antiquities; the repatriation of skeletal material; and treatment of the dead. This important and timely collection is essential reading for all those working in the field of archaeology, be they scholar or practitioner.

• Explores one of the most engaging debates in archaeology today, that of the role of ethics in archaeological research

• Takes an interdisciplinary approach which embraces archaeology, anthropology and philosophy

• An international team of specialists in their fields offers fresh new insights into the issues generated by the current debate