ABSTRACT

Archaeology is a discipline carried out by people in the present. That may seem a statement of the obvious. But there are important consequences that follow from this that archaeologists tend to ignore. People in the present have many non-archaeological concerns. These can affect archaeology. In turn, archaeology can affect present-day issues. Archaeologists are not simply people investigating the past for its own sake, for fun and excitement. They have relevant things to say to the present, and have a duty towards people today to help them benefi t from archaeology. An ethical archaeology takes into account the context of archaeology: its responsibilities to the rest of society. It also understands archaeology as a process of mediation between people today and in the past.