Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Ethics of Collecting Cultural Heritage

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1175

Introduction

Perspectives on rights and responsibilities related to studying, collecting, and owning cultural artifacts, or objects of cultural heritage, are at the heart of many debates among scholars, collectors, descendant communities, institutions, and governments. The loss of cultural heritage due to looting, war, development, and other destructive forces has led to a body of laws, international conventions, and other protective measures, particularly since the mid-twentieth century, and has helped shape the codes of ethics that inform how archaeologists, museum professionals, and heritage managers do their work (Lynott 2003).

Definition

Cultural objects from the past are variously referred to as “antiquities,” “cultural property,” “cultural resources,” and “cultural heritage,” with usage changing over time and often weighted with political and social subtext. These terms reflect different understandings of ownership, value, and meaning. They suggest whether we think first of...

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References

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Further Reading

  1. Archaeology Magazine for discussions of recent court cases and examples of restitution of cultural objects.Google Scholar
  2. Codes of ethics on websites of professional archaeological organizations (including Society for American Archaeology, Archaeological Institute of America), and international organizations, such as the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).Google Scholar
  3. International Journal of Cultural Property Google Scholar
  4. Journal of Field Archaeology Google Scholar
  5. Publication series, including Duckworth Debates in Archaeology; Perspectives on Collecting, Ashgate Publishing Co.; Key Issues in Cultural Heritage, Routledge; Research in Museum Studies, Routledge; One World Archaeology Series; World Archaeological Congress Research Handbooks in Archaeology.Google Scholar
  6. Websites for UNESCO conventions on cultural property, tangible and intangible heritage.Google Scholar
  7. Website of U.S. Department of State Cultural Property Advisory Committee and corresponding governmental agencies of other countries.Google Scholar
  8. Writings of foundational leaders in the field, including Henry Cleere, Clemency Coggins, David Lowenthal, Patrick O’Keefe, Lyndel Prott, Colin Renfrew.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Advanced StudyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA