February 20, 2018
We are happy to announce the evolution of Archaeology as Anthrophilic Study within ethics-based science, with an eye toward non-invasive method. The future of Archaeology is ethnically self-directed, informed by diverse epistemologies, and non-invasive. Welcome to truly ethical archaeology based on respect.
Our Mission is to support free scientific dialogue in Anthrophilic studies, centering on archaeology, and including related anthropological and interdisciplinary studies. MEAS endeavors to promote the advancement of non-invasive methods of investigation, including magnetometry, sonar, radar, and other remote-sensing technologies, as well as advanced statistical modeling methods. MEAS endeavors to promote respectful investigation that bases case epistemology within the self-narrative of the case subject, and refrains from overwriting that narrative, while endowing interpretation with data as interactive dynamic.
In practice, ethical archaeology means inclusion, open discourse, implementation of best available technology, methodological innovation, and restraint in the face of technological limits. At its root, ethics in archaeology means conduct that reflects the triple wisdom that heritage does not belong to one person or group, but everyone, that all ancients have living descendants who are stakeholders, and that cultural diversity is a resource integral to the security of humankind.
Why is MEAS necessary?
In response to persisting intrusion of political agendas and commercial interests into archaeology and related studies, MEAS arises. To emancipate science from state-sponsored expropriation of cultural, intellectual and heritage properties by exogenous, elitist archaeology groups and state officials, MEAS is born. Human Rights abuses and desecration of sacred places continue under official approval by exogenous archaeology groups and state commissions. To address perpetuation of racial injustice and untruth in state science, MEAS speaks.
Massachusetts continues to exercise denialist epistemic attacks on the heritage of Indigenous People, employing suppression of archaeological research, exclusion of Indigenous and marginalized epistemologies, and marginalization of targeted researchers as tools to engage in the demolition without study of Indigenous archaeological and cultural properties. Massachusetts officials infiltrate and manipulate private professional societies.
As such, we cannot ethically participate with institutions that engage in violation of the U.N. Declaration of Universal Human Rights and the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. State and private exogenous archaeology groups are also engaged in violating fundamental ethics of professional archaeology, including suppression of research, theft of cultural property, attacks on targeted researchers, racial exclusion of researchers, and more.
Case examples of obstruction by MHC of Indigenous control and consent of sacred lands are given in the Sacred Hill Ceremonial Site case (12/11/2008) and the more recent Buzzard's Bay Ceremonial Site. In both cases, MHC was overruled by the National Register of Historic Places as ignorant of both the overwhelming burden of evidence and Indigenous self-narrative. NRHP found in both cases that the proposed sacred Traditional Cultural Property Districts are eligible, despite MHC denials. The contradiction between MHC policy and published position on Indigenous sacred sites, and both international law and current best available methods is intolerable and cannot be condoned.
MHC has been cited as having the "most extreme policy of all 50 states" regarding treatment of Indigenous sacred sites (Moore and Weiss, 2016, Ohio Journal of Archaeology).
State employees have infiltrated private archaeology societies and have employed access to purse-strings and political pressure to alienate and exclude non-Eurocentric researchers and research the MHC does not want from private societies. Infiltration by state officials who exercise denialist policy on a racially divided basis compromises the integrity of private groups who seek funding and approval from the state. The result is EuroAmericans-only Boards of Trustees, exclusion of Indigenous and other marginalized research, and suppression of research that the state does not want.
How will MEAS fix the hypocrisy of denialist archaeology?
MEAS will operate on fundamentally different bases than MHC and other private archaeology groups. MEAS will prioritize ethics above funding, empirical science over racially-popular conjectures, and research that truly represents informed narrative and informed science. Informed narrative and science necessarily exerts itself to include self-narrative of the target culture(s) on a case-by-case basis, self-researchers when available, and understanding as informed by diverse epistemologies.
Visit our position papers and policy statements on the Ethical Archaeology page.
Nohham R. Cachat-Schilling, Chair
James Namatassis Schilling-Cachat, Treasurer
Miles V. Tardie, Secretary