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 Recent News in Archaeological Ethics Minimize

The Committee on Ethics often discusses current events related to archaeological ethics. Important events throughout the year are inspiration for sessions at annual meetings, the creation of ethics resources, and even Ethics Bowl cases. Check out these recent news links:

Relic Hunters Seek Treasure, Find Trouble (4/30/09)
A Marine Corps News story about protecting historic archaeological sites and artifacts on Quantico Marine Base, Virginia.

Is UNESCO Damaging the World’s Treasures? (4/29/09)
Some in the conservation community believe UNESCO is failing in its duties to conserve the world’s treasures. But, what is to be done?

Cambodia and Thailand Border Dispute (4/29/09)

The two countries refuse to remove their military presences after a violent dispute began due to the Preah Vihear Temple being declared a U.N. World Heritage site.

Hundreds of Afghan Artifacts Repatriated from Britain (4/7/09)
Antiquities confiscated at Britain’s Heathrow Airport were returned to Kabul in a massive shipment.

As West Virginia Coal Mining Expands, Graves go Missing (3/9/09)
Unmarked historic graves are being destroyed by West Virginia coal mining operations.

Terror Victims seeking Persian relics in court (2/22/09)
The lawyer for survivors of a suicide-bomb attack in Jerusalem in 1997 wants the courts to allow the sale of Iran-owned ancient artifacts to pay for the $412 million judgment the survivors were awarded by the U.S.

Geronimo’s Kin Sue Skull and Bones Society (2/18/09)
Geronimo’s descendents are suing the Skull and Bones secret society claiming that members of the society stole Geronimo’s remains decades ago.

Gold Rush: The Battle over Sunken Treasure (1/28/09)
The USA Today brings the battle over sunken treasures to the general public in a “Science Snaphot”.

AIA Endorses UNESCO Underwater Convention (1/12/09)

Murder, Mayhem, and Museums (1/6/09)
“While Iraq struggles to return to peaceful normality, the British have been working to restore some of the country’s pride in its past – with a museum.”

St. Louis Art Museum Egyptian Mask Still at center of Legal Battle (12/14/08)
The Ka-Nefer-Nefer mask has been at the center of an ownership battle between Egypt and the St. Louis Art Museum for years. Now, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is involved, researching the provenance of the piece.

The Conflict between Yale University and Peru Continues (12/7/08)
Hiram Bingham (a Yale-Explorer) removed thousands of artifacts from Peru that modern Peruvian Government officials want back.

Germany returns 18 Aboriginal Skulls (11/14/08)
A German medical museum returned 18 Aboriginal Skulls in its collection since the 1800s.

Can Ancient Babylon be Rescued? (11/11/08)
Global institutions led by the U.N. are documenting the damage caused to the ancient site of Babylon during the recent conflicts in Iraq.

Archaeologists and Collectors in Opposition after a 4,000 year old artifact turns up at O’Hare (11/9/08)

Egypt Hopes to Strengthen Cooperation in Archaeological Excavation in China (11/6/2008)

Tribes say NAGPRA Money Could be Better Spent (10/31/08)
An article from “Indian Country Today” where Native American groups comment on the left-over money in the NAGPRA fund from 2008.

Applying NAGPRA in Hawaii (9/26/08)
An article from “Indian Country Today” about NAGPRA and its successes for Native tribes and archaeologists.

U.S. Senate Gives its Advice and Consent to the 1954 Hague Convention (9/25/08)
In September, the U.S. Senate gave its advice and consent to the ratification of the 1954 Hague Convention, joining 121 other nations in this important step to protect cultural heritage during war.

Conference held on “Acquiring and Maintaining Collections of Cultural Objects” (10/08)
In October, 2008 a conference was held on “Acquiring and Maintaining Collections of Cultural Objects: Challenges Confronting American Museums in the 21st Century” at Depaul University.

American Association of Museums calls for Publicly Available Records of Ancient Art
“Museums should make ownership history records publicly available for all ancient art and archaeological artifacts in their collections and rigorously research new acquisitions, according to guidelines released Monday by the AAM”

Energy Boom in West Threatens Indian Artifacts (8/2/08)
A new project to drill for carbon dioxide threatens sites near Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in the U.S. Southwest.