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July 26 , 2010

After Ethics

Ancestral Voices and Post-Disciplinary Worlds in Archaeology


While books on archaeological and anthropological ethics have proliferated in recent years, few attempt to move beyond a conventional discourse on ethics to consider how a discussion of the social and political implications of archaeological practice might be conceptualized differently. The conceptual ideas about ethics posited in this volume make it of interest to readers outside of the discipline; in fact, to anyone interested in contemporary debates around the possibilities and limitations of a discourse on ethics. The authors in this volume set out to do three things. The first is to track the historical development of a discussion around ethics, in tandem with the development and “disciplining” of archaeology. The second is to examine the meanings, consequences and efficacies of a discourse on ethics in contemporary worlds of practice in archaeology. The third is to push beyond the language of ethics to consider other ways of framing a set of concerns around rights, accountabilities and meanings in relation to practitioners, descendent and affected communities, sites, material cultures, the ancestors and so on.

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