Crow Canyon

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center Ethics Policy Resolution

WHEREAS, the archaeological record is an irreplaceable record of past human life that can yield enormous amounts of information about human history when carefully studied by properly equipped and qualified researchers; and

WHEREAS, archaeological sites and artifacts often represent important, irreplaceable, and tangible links between present-day groups and their cultural identity and heritage; and

WHEREAS, the buying and selling of archaeological artifacts leads to the destruction of the archaeological record with no regard for its research or heritage value; and this destruction ordinarily entails excavations conducted in search of rare marketable artifacts without proper recording of archaeological contexts or systematic collection of relevant nonmarketable artifacts and specimens, or analysis and reporting of information; and this destruction also frequently involves the desecration of graves and the scattering and loss of the human remains they contained, as well as the violation and destruction of sites and artifacts having important heritage value for present-day groups; and

WHEREAS, the educational and research programs of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center (1) attempt to conserve the archaeological record by making frugal use of it for research purposes; (2) are designed and conducted with respect for the wishes of peoples whose heritage it represents; (3) consistently emphasize the research and heritage values of the archaeological record rather than its commercial value, and (4) consistently communicate to participants the tremendous loss of research and heritage value that occurs when archaeological sites are looted to obtain artifacts for sale or for private collections;

NOW THEREFORE, the Board of Trustees of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center establishes the following policy, effective October 20, 2001:

Employees and board members of the Center will not engage in the buying and selling of artifacts excavated from archaeological sites and will not offer market value appraisals of archaeological artifacts or referrals to dealers in archaeological artifacts. The Crow Canyon Center will not knowingly employ consultants or contractors who deal commercially in archaeological artifacts and will not offer programs or disseminate materials in which buying and selling archaeological artifacts are presented as desirable activities. This policy is not intended to preclude participation in responsible avocational archaeology projects that lead to analysis and reporting of results, or to discourage the study and reporting of artifacts held in private collections in order to enhance human understanding of the past.