Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Ethics of Commercial Archaeology: Brazil

  • José Roberto Pellini
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_124


There are two distinct speeches in Brazilian archaeology, an official discourse and an unofficial discourse. In the official discourse, spoken at conferences, in publications, and in classrooms, everything is fine. There are jobs for everyone, archaeological work is being performed, and cultural heritage is protected. Unofficial discourse, comprised of informal conversations that take place in the corridors of Congress, outside the classroom, during the fieldwork, says just the opposite, i.e., that chaos is installed in Brazilian archaeology. The chaos in this case has a name, Contract Archaeology or Commercial Archaeology.

As happened in many other countries, the growth of commercial archaeology in Brazil also resulted in a change in archaeological practice; the difference is that in the Brazilian case, the change was radical. The numbers are impressive. It is estimated that commercial archaeology in Brazil represents about 90 % of all archaeology practiced in the...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Beaudry, M. 2009. Ethical issues in historical archaeology, in T. Majewski & D. Gaimster (ed.) The international handbook of historical archaeology: 17–29. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  2. Bradley, R. 2006. Bridging the two cultures: commercial archaeology and the study of British prehistory. Paper presented to the Society of Antiquaries of London. Available at: www.sal.org.uk/downloads/bridging-two-cultures.
  3. Chadwick, A. 2003. Post-processualism, professionalisation and archaeological methodologies. Towards reflexive and radical practice. Archaeological Dialogues 10: 97–118.Google Scholar
  4. Edgeworth, M. 2003. Acts of discovery. An ethnography of archaeological practice (BAR International series 1131). Oxford: Archaeopress.Google Scholar
  5. Funari, P.P.A. & E. Robrahn-González. 2008. Ética, capitalismo e arqueologia pública no Brasil. História 27: 13–30.Google Scholar
  6. Hamilakis, Y. 1999. La trahisondes archéologues? Archaeological practice as intellectual activity in postmodernity. Journal of MediterraneanArchaeology 12: 60–79.Google Scholar
  7. Lima, T. (org.). 2002. Atas do simpósio:aarqueologia no meio empresarial. Goiânia, 28 a 31 de agosto de 2000. Goiânia: Instituto Goiano de Pré-História e Antropologia/Sociedade de Arqueologia Brasileira.Google Scholar
  8. Lucas, G. 2001. Critical approaches to fieldwork. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Tilley, C. 2004. The materiality of stone. Explorations in landscape phenomenology. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  10. Zanettini, P. 2009. Projetar o futuro para a arqueologia Brasileira: desafio de todos. Revista de Arqueologia Americana 27: 71–87.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Sociologia e AntropologiaUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil