Archaeology Events

Archaeology Ethics in Southeast Asia (December 2023 – June 2024) – Session I: Introduction (7 Dec 2023 at 10:00 – 12:00 hrs BKK time/GMT+7)

  • Hybrid Format
  • Seminar: Online
  • Workshop: Bangkok, Thailand (SPAFACON 2024)
Date (Tentative):
  • Dates:  December-June (5 days)
  • Actual dates: 7 December 2023 (online), 30 January 2024 (online), 20 February 2024 (online), 19 March 2024 (online), 14 June 2024 (on-site at SPAFACON2024, Bangkok, Thailand)
Language: English
Participants: The online seminar is open to everyone. Participants who will attend the entire online sessions and/or the on-site workshop will receive a certificate. They are also eligible to join the Workshop and Case Study Activity during SPAFACON 2024 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Target profession(s):
  1. Archaeology professionals and practitioners operating in Southeast Asia
  2. Archaeology education sector: faculty and students
  3. Government sector: Agencies dealing with archaeology and related aspects of cultural heritage
  4. Private and NGO sector: special interest groups, professional associations and other related organizations dealing with archaeology and heritage

For inquiries, please contact

Archaeology Ethics in Southeast Asia series is about to begin!
The Opening Session on 7 December 2023 at 10 am (BKK time / GMT+7) is open to all by joining on Zoom via this link, HERE. It will also be live-streamed on SEAMEO SPAFA’s Facebook ( During the opening session, attendees will get an overview of the Archaeology Ethics in Southeast Asia series (4 ONLINE and 1 ONSITE during SPAFACON 2024) and meet the knowledgeable resource speakers specializing in ethical matters within Southeast Asian Archaeology.
Subsequent sessions will be conducted privately, exclusively for registered participants so be sure to register. To register, click HERE.
*And don’t forget: By attending the WHOLE SERIES, you stand the chance to have your SPAFACON 2024 registration fee (12,000 baht or approx. 340 USD) plus the 1,000 baht on-site “Archaeology Ethics in Southeast Asia” workshop fee WAIVED! So be sure to register and join!

Responses from the 2019 SEAMEO SPAFA Regional Survey on Archaeology Education indicated a demand for greater awareness surrounding ethical issues in archaeology. One of the responses to the need will be a seminar series to highlight some of these issues in the region today, to raise awareness of ethics in the profession, and also to discuss ways to resolve or mitigate prevalent issues.

One of the knowledge gaps identified by several respondents to the survey indicated a need for more awareness about ethical issues or ethical malpractice in archaeology in Southeast Asia. Some of the problems identified in contemporary archaeological practice include access to opportunities and resources for local archaeologists, gender discrimination and sexual harassment, and control over intellectual property. Ethical issues can be attributed to a lack of knowledge (ignorance), illegal or immoral action, or differences in cultural practice that may lead to injustice, tension or unfair outcomes.

Discussions on ethics in archaeology are generally not discussed or widely known in the region. Curating a number of seminars around specific topics may help raise awareness of these issues and find ways to resolve them.

  • Promote ethical practice in archaeology in Southeast Asia
  • Identify issues of concern in archaeological practice in Southeast Asia
  • Facilitate workable solutions where possible, including providing perspectives and solutions from outside Southeast Asia
  • Ethics in Archaeology case study activity – to foster critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and collaboration among participants while simulating real-life scenarios archaeologists might encounter

Online Seminar – Lecture sessions

A group of knowledgeable resource speakers specialising in ethical matters within Southeast Asian Archaeology (where possible) will conduct four lecture sessions. These sessions will cover issues of gender and sex discrimination (including harassment), accessibility and inclusivity of the discipline (including but not limited to ableism and ageism), as well as intellectual property. Following the lectures, the ethical issues identified will be further refined and addressed through a moderated discussion where participants share their encounters and concerns.

The opening session will be live-streamed on SPAFA’s Facebook account. The subsequent three sessions will be conducted privately, exclusively for registered participants.

Workshop and Case Study Activity

There will be a culminating workshop and activity scheduled to take place during SPAFACON 2024. In the morning session, there will be a case study activity where selected participants, divided into teams, will present a strategic plan for a fictional case study, the details of which they will receive during the final online seminar session in March 2024. The assessment of these presentations will be carried out by the moderator and the invited advisory panel. The afternoon session will consist of roundtable dialogue, question-and-answer discussion, and deliberations about future actions. Interested individuals can pay to join the morning and afternoon sessions.

Ethics in Archaeology Case Study Activity: Mechanics

The Ethics in Archaeology Case Study Activity aims to test participants’ knowledge of ethical guidelines, laws, and their ability to address complex ethical dilemmas in the field of archaeology. Participants will work in teams to analyze a fictional case study, develop a strategic plan, and present their solutions to a panel of judges.

Team Formation:

  1. Eligible participants will be paired up in March, following the final online session.

Case Study Development:

  1. The moderator will provide a fictional case study to the teams. The case study is developed using input from real-life experiences and suggestions from academics, legal experts, and archaeologists from Southeast Asia.
  2. The case study will present a complex ethical dilemma that archaeologists might encounter during fieldwork, research, or interactions with stakeholders and local communities.

Activity Phases:

  1. Analysis and Planning:

– The teams will have three months (March to June 2024) to understand the case study and develop a strategic plan thoroughly.

– Teams will discuss the case study and identify ethical dilemmas, potential stakeholders, relevant laws, and ethical guidelines.

– Teams will create a strategic plan that addresses the ethical dilemmas and outlines their proposed solutions. The plan should consider the perspectives of archaeologists, local communities, and stakeholders.

  1. Presentation and Defense:

– Each team will present their strategic plan to the panel of judges and other participants. Presentations should be clear, concise, and well-structured.

– Teams will defend their solutions by explaining the reasoning behind their choices, referencing academic knowledge, ethical guidelines, laws, and personal experiences.

– Judges may ask questions to challenge teams and assess their ability to think critically and adapt their solutions to new scenarios.

  1. Question and Answer Session:

– After each presentation, the judges and audience will engage in a question-and-answer session with the team. This session may involve follow-up questions, hypothetical scenarios, and challenges to the team’s proposed solutions.

Judging Criteria:

Judges will evaluate teams based on the following criteria:

– Ethical Understanding:  How well the team comprehends and analyzes the ethical dilemmas presented in the case study.

– Solution Quality: The feasibility, practicality, and effectiveness of the proposed strategic plan in addressing the ethical issues.

– Legal and Ethical Knowledge: The team’s ability to reference relevant laws, ethical guidelines, and academic knowledge in their solutions.

– Stakeholder Consideration: The extent to which the team considers the perspectives of stakeholders, local communities, and heritage preservation in their solutions.

– Presentation and Defense: Clarity, organization, and persuasiveness of the presentation and the team’s responses to judges’ questions.

Winner Selection:

Judges will deliberate and score each team’s performance based on the judging criteria. The team with the highest overall score will be declared the winner and receive the prizes.

We are delighted for you to join us for this engaging and informative event, where we will explore the intricate and essential aspects of ethics in archaeology within the context of Southeast Asia.

Please fill out the application form to secure your spot and be a part of Archaeology Ethics in Southeast Asia workshop:

For inquiries, please contact

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