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The Idaho Professional Archaeological Council (IPAC) is organization dedicated to promoting high standards of archaeological research, reporting, and management in Idaho.


IPAC was formed in 2004 to represent the interests of professional archaeologists in our state: State, Federal, and Tribal Archaeologists; professors; consultants and other private sector archaeologists. 

The purpose of IPAC is to maintain and promote the goals of professional archaeology in Idaho by:


*  Promoting high standards of archaeological research, reporting and management;

*  Representing professional archaeological interests in political and public forums;

*  Establishing a mechanism for communication within the archaeological community;

*  Promoting public education and interest in the fields of archaeology and cultural resource management;

*  Providing advice to professional archaeologists and to State, Federal and other regulatory agencies; and

*  Encouraging the publication of archaeological research.

IPAC Purpose

This Preamble serves as a framework for making ethical professional choices. As members of the Idaho Professional Archaeological Council, we will strive to act responsibly regardless of the circumstances of our research or employment. To our colleagues, our employers and sponsors, students and interns, and the citizens and communities where we work, we owe the benefits of our interpretive knowledge and skills.


1.  We will accurately represent our qualifications and capabilities to sponsors and employers. We will establish a clear understanding of our professional responsibilities with our employers and sponsors. Our work for them will be competent and efficient and we will report our research and conclusions accurately. Further, we are obliged to prevent distortion or suppression of research results or policy recommendations by concerned sponsors and employers -- we will not condone distortion or falsification by our peers, sponsors or employers.


2. We will disclose our research goals, methods, and sponsorship. In respecting the responsibilities and legal proprietary interests of our sponsors and employers, we will also contribute information about research results and methodology. We will consider requests for access to our data and we will preserve our data for future use.


3. We will not impede the reasonable professional activities of our colleagues and we will fully acknowledge their contributions to our research. We will not obstruct the scholarly research of others, and we will attempt to preserve opportunities for future fieldwork.


4. We will serve as teachers and mentors to students, interns and avocationalists, recognizing their rights to professional respect, training, counseling, encouragement, and preclusion of discrimination. We will encourage students to recognize and reflect upon ethical challenges and to discuss them. It is incumbent upon us to promote student discussion of ethical issues and to discourage their participation in questionable projects.


5. We will respect the interests and seek out the contributions and support of the citizens, property owners, and the communities in which we work. We will consult with interested citizens and recognize our informants’ contributions to our work. We will make the results of our work understandable, contextual, and appropriately available to them. Because our primary ethical obligations include both the cultural resources and the people with whom we work, avoiding harm or wrong to those we work with and preserving the long-term conservation of the archaeological record may supersede pursuit of new knowledge or research.


This Preamble provides a guideline—not a formula—for responsible decision-making. It is impossible to anticipate circumstances or absolute solutions for specific situations. Archaeologists can expect to encounter ethical dilemmas and we must be prepared to make good-faith efforts to identify ethical conflicts and act accordingly. Further, per the AAA Code of Ethics, it is possible that in certain research circumstances, the archaeologist may choose to become an advocate of a public or private sector action or policy. Choosing a proactive stance “…may be as ethically justifiable as inaction, detachment, or non-cooperation, depending on circumstance”.¹

¹American Anthropological Association
1998 Code of Ethics @


The IPAC Bylaws were adopted June 18, 2004.  To download a PDF copy of the bylaws, click here.


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