Ethics and the Reburial Controversy

Lynne Goldstein, Keith Kintigh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The reburial issue is often characterized as a problem in ethics. This paper points out that ethics are a cultural construct, and, as such, what is sometimes referred to as an ethical conflict is better understood as a conflict in cultural values. With this in mind, we consider mechanisms for the resolution of cultural conflict with particular focus on the nature of negotiation and the necessity of mutual respect. We also consider the ethics of archaeology as they pertain to reburial negotiations. Public education is rejected as a panacea for these problems. We conclude that archaeology must change the way it does business, and we present a prescription for such change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-591
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Antiquity
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology
  • Museology


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