SAA Statement Concerning the Treatment of Human Remains

08/19/2021 2:18 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) has asked that we share their most recent Statement Concerning the Treatment of Human Remains.

This updated statement was approved by the SAA Board on April 28, 2021. It was developed after nine months of listening sessions, research, and member feedback. Organizations such as the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, and the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers provided guidance and comments.

From the SAA:

While the document deserves to be read in its entirety, as the nuance of the document is important, there is a fundamental ethos about the new statement that may interest your group: the statement starts from the position that working with human remains is a privilege, not a right. It calls for archaeologists to treat human remains with dignity and respect. The new statement stresses the need for consultation, collaboration, and consent with descendant communities. It reminds archaeologists that they are responsible for upholding all applicable laws and maintaining the highest ethical standards when working with human remains.

You can see the updated statement here.

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