Saturday, May 14, 2005


'The Ethics of Archaeology'


Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology (AIMA) Monash Asia Institute School of Geography and Environmental Sciences, Monash University.

Sunday 15 May 2005, 10.00 am - 3.00 pm

Ramada Hotel, Waterview Function Room
Level 10, 342 Flinders St, Melbourne 3000 (Melway Ref 1A G10)

This half-day seminar will have speakers from a variety of schools and disciplines presenting papers on the internationally accepted conventionsand codes of ethics that guide archaeological investigations and excavations, and the problems faced by archaeological sites all over the world as they continue to be destroyed for commercial gain.

An auction in Melbourne in 2004 of Chinese export porcelain from the Vietnamese shipwreck Binh Thuan, and accompanying media attention, raised questions about thefundamental principles that separate archaeology from commercial salvage and the marketing of archaeological artefacts.

Through the media the public generally understands the accepted principles and ethics that guide medical research, journalism, law and government.

However, the ethics of cultural heritage site management and archaeology are often not as coherently perceived.

Other ethical dilemmas and problems faced by archaeologists include undertakings not to reveal information about sacred sites versus their duty to research, publish and disseminate information, facing pressure from pro-development lobby groups (and employers in the case of consultants), and being involved in work that may be legal in the state or country, but unacceptable according to certain international conventions (that may or may not be signed by that state).

Significant underwater heritage sites such as the RMS Titanic are at risk as they are in international waters, where no country is able to protect them individually from the removal of artefacts or destruction.

The UNESCO Convention of the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage (yet to be ratified) states the internationally recognised principles that guide the management of underwater cultural heritage sites. The background and aims of the Convention will be discussed as Australia proceeds towards its signing, and ultimately its ratification worldwide.

Speakers and their subjects include:
· Dr Lyndel Prott, expert on the UNESCO Convention on Underwater Cultural Heritage, will speak on the UNESCO Convention.

· Mr Cosmos Coroneos, President of the Australasian Institute of Maritime Archaeology and Director of Cosmos Archaeology, will discuss the ethics of archaeology and maritime archaeology.

· Dr. Andrea Di Castro, Monash Asia Institute, Monash University, will speak on issues relating to heritage conservation and development in China and Nepal.

· Dr Colin Hope will discuss the dilemmas of archaeology, tourism and development in Egypt.

· Mr Bill Jeffery, PhD Candidate Archaeology and Lecturer in MaritimeArchaeology, James Cook University, Townsville, will speak on underwater heritage of Chuuk Lagoon, Federated States of Micronesia & Galle Harbour, Sri Lanka.

· Dr Ian McNiven, Senior Research Fellow, School of Geography & Environmental Science, programme for Australian Indigenous Archaeology, Monash University, will discuss the ethics of indigenous archaeology and seascapes in Torres Strait.

The seminar is sure to provoke thought and stimulate discussion about the inherent social, spiritual and economic values of cultural heritage, and provide an insight into the issues faced by practicing archaeologists in the modern world.

Time will be provided for questions following the speakers.

Registration and Enquiries: Sanjeev Veloo at (Please use "Archaeology seminar" in subject line of email message).

Tel: 03 9905 2124

Cost $10 per head (includes morning tea and light lunch). Bookings essential. Payment at the door.


Cassandra Philippou
Maritime Heritage UnitHeritage Victoria
Level 17, 80 Collins Street
MelbourneVictoria 3000p:
+613 9655 9752f:
+613 9655 6406e:

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Source: Subarch


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