UPAC Code of Ethics

Archaeology is a profession, and the privilege of professional practice requires professional morality and professional responsibility, as well as professional competence, on the part of each practitioner.
The archaeologist also has a responsibility to attempt to design and conduct projects that will add to our understanding of past cultures and/or that will develop better theories, methods, or techniques for interpreting the archaeological record, while causing minimal attrition of the archaeological resource base.
Archaeological research involving collections of original field data and/or acquisition of specimens requires adequate facilities and support services for its successful conduct, and for proper permanent maintenance, security, and accessibility of the resulting collections and records.


Section 1. An Archaeologist shall:
a. Recognize a commitment to represent archaeology and its research results to the public in a responsible manner;
b. Actively support conservation of the archaeological resources base;
c. Be sensitive to, and respect the legitimate concerns of, groups whose culture histories are the subject of archaeological investigations:
d. Avoid and discourage exaggerated, misleading, or unwarranted statements about archaeological matters that might induce others to engage in unethical or illegal activity;
e. Support and comply with the terms of the UNESCO Convention on the means of prohibiting and preventing the illicit import, export, and transfer of ownership of cultural property, as adopted by the General Conference, 14, November, 1970, Paris.


Section 2. An Archaeologist shall not:
a. Engage in any illegal or other conduct violating this code which involves archaeological matters or knowingly permit the use of her/his name in support of any illegal or unethical activity involving archaeological matters;
b. Give a professional opinion, make a public report, or give legal testimony involving archaeological matters without being as thoroughly informed as might reasonably be expected;
c. Engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation about archaeological matters;
d. Undertake any research that affects the archaeological resource base for which he/she is not qualified;
e. Employ personnel for either direction of field work or for independent unsupervised field work who do not meet the following criteria:

i. Qualify as a Voting Member of the Council.
ii. Satisfy the specific requirements of the land administration agency upon which the project is located.
iii. Have a demonstrated ability to carry research to completion, usually evidenced by timely completion of theses, reports, or similar documents.
iv. If supervising archaeological work, the archaeologist shall have had at least one year’s experience in archaeological research.


Section 1. An archaeologist shall:
a. Give appropriate credit for work done by others;
b. Keep informed and knowledgeable about developments in his/her field or fields of specialization;
c. Accurately, and without undue delay, prepare and properly disseminate a description of completed research and its results;
d. Communicate and cooperate with colleagues having common professional interests;
e. Give due respect to colleagues’ interests in, and rights to, information about sites, areas, collections, or data where there is a mutual active or potentially active research concern;
f. Know and comply with all laws applicable to her/his archaeological research, as well as with any relevant procedures promulgated by duly constituted professional organizations;
g. Report knowledge of violations of this Code to proper authorities;
h. Properly record and promptly report cultural manifestations defined as antiquities by federal or state regulation;
i. Submit for semi-annual publication in the Council’s newsletter an abstract or brief summary of all projects completed. Progress reports on long-term projects shall be submitted annually.
Section 2. An archaeologist shall not:
a. Falsely or maliciously attempt to injure the reputation of another archaeologist;
b. Commit plagiarism in oral or written communication;
c. Undertake research that affects the archaeological resource base unless reasonably
prompt, appropriate analysis and reporting can be expected;
d. Refuse a reasonable request from a qualified colleague for research data:
e. Agree in any contract to suppress archaeological data to the professional community except for confidential information as outlined in Article III, Section 1 (d):
f. Condone or aid in the misuse of the sponsoring institution’s Antiquities permit or auspices by any other individual or agency.


Section 1. An archaeologist shall:
a. Respect the interests of his/her employer or client, so far as is consistent with the public welfare and this Code and Ethics;
b. Refuse to comply with any request or demand of an employer or client which conflicts with this Code of Ethics;
c. Recommend to employers or clients the employment of other expert consultants upon encountering archaeological problems beyond her/his own competence.
d. Exercise reasonable care to prevent his/her employees, colleagues, associates and others whose services are utilized by her/him from revealing or using confidential information. Confidential information means information of a non-archaeological nature gained in the course of employment which the employer or client has requested by held inviolate, or the disclosure of which would be embarrassing or would be likely to be detrimental to the employer or client. Information ceases to be confidential when the employer or client so indicates or when such information becomes publicly known.
Section 2. An archaeologist shall not:
a. Reveal confidential information, unless required by law;
b. Use confidential information to the disadvantage of the client or employer; or
c. Use confidential information for the advantage of himself/herself or a third person, unless the client consents after full disclosure;
d. Accept compensation or anything of value for recommending the employment of another archaeologist or other person unless such compensation or thing of value is fully disclosed to the potential employer or client;
e. Recommend or participate in research which does not comply with the requirements of the Research Standards (Article IV).


Section 1. The archaeologist has a responsibility to prepare adequately for any research project whether or not in the field. The archaeologist must:
a. Assess the adequacy of her/his qualifications for the demands of the project, and minimize inadequacies by acquiring additional expertise, by bringing in associates with the needed qualifications; or by modifying the scope of the project;
b. Inform himself/herself of relevant previous research;
c. Develop a scientific plan of research which specifies the objectives of the project, takes into account previous relevant research, employs a suitable methodology, and provides for economical use of the resource base (whether such base consists of an excavation site or of specimens), consistent with the objectives of the project;
d. Ensure the availability of adequate staff and support facilities to carry the project to completion; and of adequate curatorial facilities for specimens and records;
e. Comply with all legal requirements including, without limitation, obtaining all necessary governmental permits and necessary permission from landowners or other persons;
f. Determine whether the project is likely to interfere with initiated programs or projects of other scholars an if there is such a likelihood, initiate negotiations to minimize such interference.
Section 2. In conducting research, the archaeologist must follow her/his scientific plan of research, except to the extent that unforeseen circumstances warrant its modification.
Section 3. Procedures for field surveyor excavation must meet the following minimal standards:

a. If specimens are collected, a system for identifying and recording their proveniences must be maintained;
b. Uncollected entities such as environmental or cultural features, depositional strata, and the like, must be fully and accurately recorded by appropriate means;
c. The methods employed in data collection must be fully and accurately described. Significant stratigraphic and/or associational relationships among artifacts, other specimens, and cultural and environmental features must also be fully and accurately recorded;
d. All records should be intelligible to other archaeologists. If terms lacking commonly held references are use, they should be clearly defined;
e. Insofar as possible, the protection of the resource base must be considered. For example, upper levels of a site must be scientifically excavated and recorded, even if the focus of the project is on underlying levels.
Section 4. During accessioning, analysis and storage of specimens and records in the laboratory, the archaeologist must take precautions to ensure that correlations between the specimens and the field records are maintained, so that provenience, contextual relationships and the like are not confused or obscured.
Section 5. Specimens and research records resulting from a project must be deposited with an organization with permanent and adequate curatorial facilities, and which permits access by qualified researchers.
Section 6. The archaeologist has responsibility for appropriate dissemination of the results of his/her research to the appropriate constituencies with reasonable dispatch.

a. Results viewed as significant contributions to substantive knowledge of the past or to advancements in theory, method or technique should be disseminated to colleagues and other interested persons by appropriate means, such as publications reports at professional meetings, or letters to colleagues.
b. Requests from qualified colleagues for information on research results must be honored, if consistent with the researcher’s prior rights to publication with her/his other professional responsibilities.
c. Failure to complete a full scholarly report within 10 years after completion of a field project shall be construed as a waiver of an archaeologist’s right of primacy with respect to analysis and publication of the data. Upon expiration of such 10-year period, or at such earlier time as the archaeologist shall determine not to publish the results, such data should be made fully accessible for analysis and publication to other archaeologists.
d. Final reports must comply with the current minimum standards established by the appropriate land administration agency. If the project is on private land and no report standards are specifically required for project completion, then commonly accepted
professional standards should be followed.
e. While contractual obligations in reporting must be respected, archaeologists should not enter into a contract which prohibits the archaeologist from including his or her own interpretations or conclusions in contractual reports, or from a continuing right to use the data after completion of the project.
f. Archaeologists have a responsibility to not disseminate information in a manner which encourages vandalism.


Section 1. A full-scale archaeological field project will require the following facilities and services which must be individually adequate for the scope of the project:
a. Office Space and furniture;
b. Laboratory space, furniture, and equipment for analysis of specimens and data;
c. Access to special facilities such as a dark room, drafting facilities, conservation laboratory, etc.;
d. Space, facilities, and equipment for proper maintenance and security of collections and records;
e. Field equipment such as vehicles, surveying instruments, etc.;
f. A research library;
g. Administrative and fiscal control services;
h. Technical specialists such as photographers, curators, conservators, etc.;
i. Publication services;
j. A curation agreement with an accredited facility.


Section 2. Not all archaeological research will require all of the foregoing facilities and services, but a full-scale field project will. Likewise, all institutions and corporations engaging in archaeological research will not necessarily require or be able to furnish all such facilities and services from their own resources. Institutions and corporations lacking certain facilities or services should arrange for them through cooperative agreements with other institutions.


In addition to the RPA Code of Conduct, the Utah Professional Archaeological Council encourages its members to create a professional environment free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, and intimidation and to proactively protect and promote the rights of all people. Professional courtesy and respect shall be extended to all persons regardless of ethnicity, religion, nation of origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, or any other social affiliation.

Individual UPAC members are responsible for their own actions and UPAC is responsible for promoting ethical conditions Council-wide. This Code of Ethics applies to all members and in all situations including office environments, field projects, laboratories, classrooms, field schools, and UPAC-sponsored events. Principles of this Code include:

1. Workplace Principles for Fair Pay, Hiring Practices and Safety.
a. Adhere to existing federal, state, local and corporate recruitment, hiring, and retention laws, policies and guidance.
b. Analyze existing policies to identify structural weaknesses in hiring and retention of employees.
c. Recognize that an employee’s health, safety, and welfare is of the highest importance, and treated commensurate with that perspective.
d. On a routine basis, as possible, facilitate trainings, workshops, webinars, and other tools to promote a positive, inclusive, and safe work culture.
e. Respond promptly and professionally to any identified or reported issues that affect pay, hiring practices, and workplace safety.
f. Distribute existing policies and procedures to staff and employees in a transparent manner.
g. Assess policies and procedures yearly to identify any needed changes that better support employees.
h. Strive to provide a living wage in all new and existing positions where possible.
i. Make good faith offers for employment in writing (digital or paper), with all terms clearly

2. Encourage curation of artifacts and associated records from non-public lands.

Disposition of artifacts and associated records (digital and analog) resulting from a project on private and Tribal lands is at the discretion of the private or Tribal landowner. However, the Principal Investigator should make efforts to inform the landowner about the benefits of curation at a museum and assist with securing funding for the curation of said artifacts and associated records.

3. Professional conduct at UPAC events.
UPAC meetings maintain and promote the goals of professional archaeology in Utah by offering an opportunity for professional development and to disseminate information on a wide range of relevant topics. Difference of opinion among UPAC members is a natural and beneficial feature of our discipline, and our meetings offer a forum to openly discuss and debate different ideas with
civility and professionalism. UPAC fervently defends the right to free inquiry and expression of ideas, particularly those of public concern. However, UPAC meetings have no place for harassment or discrimination aimed at individuals or groups based on age, race, sex, ethnicity, national origin, religion, language, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, disability, health conditions, or socioeconomic, marital, domestic, or parental status. Similarly, UPAC will not tolerate defamation (i.e., libel or slander), fraud, plagiarism, true threats, incitement to lawless action, solicitations to commit crimes, and obscenity. Participants who engage in these behaviors during a UPAC meeting may be asked to leave and may be subject to the grievance actions provided in UPAC’s bylaws.