Code of Ethics for The International Association for Caribbean Archaeology

A.  All members of the International Association for Caribbean Archaeology (IACA) shall:

  1. Recognize and maintain a commitment to the promotion of the objectives, professional standards and aspirations of the association through proper and acceptable conduct of individual or collaborative archaeological activities.
  2. Investigate, ascertain, understand and comply with international, national, state or local laws, ordinances and regulations as they relate to archaeological activities and to maintain sensitivity to, and fully address, legitimate concerns of such local, state, national or international governing bodies or affected individuals or populations.
  3. Seek, receive and document permission from the appropriate heritage, cultural or governmental individuals, institutions or agencies charged with the control of antiques and antiquities or administration of archaeological activities, where applicable; cooperatively undertake and limit the conduct of all archaeological activities, reporting and interactions as granted under such a permit.
  4. Communicate, disseminate and report all archaeological investigations or finds in a manner acceptable under all archaeological working agreements or permits and maintain professional standards acceptable to IACA and the appropriate collaborating local, state, national or international agency, institution, or individuals charged with such a responsibility, as well as giving proper credit(s) and acknowledgement(s) where appropriate and necessary.
  5. Support and comply with the terms of the UNESCO convention (adopted by the general conference in Paris, November 1970) on prohibition and prevention of the illicit export and import, transfer of ownership or « destruction » through unscientific investigations or looting or faking, of archaeological and other cultural property, including underwater cultural heritage.Contravention of any of these ethical codes shall result in temporary or indefinite suspension or summary expulsion depending on the gravity of the case as will be determined through the due process as established and approved by IACA.

B.  Process of intervention:

  1. The association, through a committee appointed by the President or his representative and the IACA Board, will investigate on behalf of the Association. The committee will issue a written request for explanation from a violating member, followed by a first warning if the allegation is verified to be true, or the committee will take action as appropriate, e.g. intervention/mediation, and immediately report back to the Association. A copy of the letter specifying or reporting a violation of the ethical code shall be provided to the member in question. The member in question should comply with a written explanation to the warning within sixty (60) days of first query or warning.
  2. If no response is received, a second written warning shall be sent with a demand for a written explanation to the President and the Board within thirty (30) days of the second warning. Clarification may be requested where necessary.
  3. A third warning will require an Executive hearing or interview to take place in the presence of the President, a Vice President, Secretary, a co-opted member of IACA not on the executive, firstly meeting individually with the member accused of unethical behavior and then secondly with the complainant(s) and finally together with parties of both sides. Decision of the Executive will be by a simple majority.
  4. The decision of the Executive shall be ratified by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the general assembly of all members of the association in good standing. Where there appears to be the need for an urgent and quick action, the IACA Board, acting on behalf of the association must, on taking action, report through a fast communication (e-mail) the decision to the membership within 30 days of the action. The decision becomes effective if less than one third of the membership in good standing object to the decision within 30 days of the communication to the membership. The decision, therefore, becomes effective within those 60 days and is binding on the member(s) in question.


Once approved these codes of conduct take immediate effect and are subject to revision only by the general assembly of all members of IACA in good standing, present and voting.

Drafted by E. Kofi Agorsah

Code Committee: E. Kofi Agorsah, Reg. Murphy, and James Petersen
Edited by Mary Hill Harris

Groupe de travail sur la presse et les relations publiques

Le Groupe de travail sur la presse et les relations publiques demande aux membres de l’AIAC de communiquer les informations sur l’activité archéologique à la presse locale ou à travers la « Caribbean News Agency « (CANA) à (fax) 246 429 4355 ou (email) ou

Les membres du groupe de travail peuvent également être contactés en tant que relais vers la presse au nom de l’AIAC:

  • Quetta Kaye:
  • Jay Haviser: OU
  • L. Antonio Curet: