The World Archaeological Congress (WAC) and the WAC first Code of Ethics

23rd May 2014

Elizabeth Williams and Dave Johnston


The World Archaeological Congress (WAC) and its genesis should be well-known to members of the AAA through articles published by Jack Golson (1986, 1988) in this journal. As readers of AA are no doubt aware, WAC is a new organisation which provides an international forum for discussion about archaeological research and practice, and the management of archaeological heritage. It has a central academic role and aims to place universal issues in a comparative perspective. At present WAC has over 700 members from more than 65 countries. As well as having a major concern with academic study and research, WAC confronts the issue that archaeologists do not work in social and political isolation. It provides a forum for discussion on historical, social and political issues in archeology and aims to make archaeological studies relevant to the wider community. As well as its academic interests it is particularly concerned with the following themes:

  • education about the past
  • archaeology and Indigenous peoples
  • the ethics of archaeological inquiry
  • the protection, ownership and management of the archaeological heritage
  • the application of new technologies in archaeology.

*Note that an abstract was not included with this paper, and so the introductory paragraph has been included here instead of the abstract.

Williams, E. and D. Johnston
The World Archaeological Congress (WAC) and the WAC first Code of Ethics
June 1991
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