Dating methodology archaeology
Kennewick Man, and other similar cases, are not entirely representative.
In some cases, indigenous peoples and archaeologists have co-operated and reached compromises.
Should battlefields be left alone as memorials, redeveloped for tourism, or preserved for the archaeologists of the future?
Archaeologists increasingly consider the third option: in recent years, they have become more selective about what and where they dig, so that they do not preclude investigations by subsequent generations.
A third ethical problem concerns the preservation of sites.
demonstrated that science's authority over the dead is not absolute.
However scientifically respectable their methods, archaeologists have been forced to acknowledge that they do not operate in a vacuum, and must take the values of others into account, not least because they will otherwise be denied access to important data. Dr Vitelli says that several of her students who are studying bioanthropology, which involves the examination of skeletal remains, are now questioning whether they want to continue in that field, for both ethical and practical reasons.
“We went through a period when we thought ‘Hey, we're scientists, we should be the number one priority here',” says William Lipe, an archaeologist at Washington State University in Pullman.
“But most of us have now come to see it differently.” Archaeology is now changing dramatically, says Karen Vitelli, an archaeologist at Indiana University.