Legal and Ethical Guidelines for Research on Archaeological and Heritage Artefacts
A resource for staff and students at MF who work with cultural heritage materials such as ancient, medieval, and modern artefacts from different countries around the world.
Working with these types of materials sometimes raises legal and ethical issues, and this page can be a resource for beginning to engage with these challenges.
NESH Guidelines for Research Ethics in the Social Sciences and Humanities/ Forskningsetiske retningslinjer for samfunnsvitenskap, humaniora, juss og teologi (2006, p. 25). The guidelines are currently under revision. See esp. the new (preliminary) § 32
Relevant academic guidelines, codes of conduct and policy documents
- Etiske retningslinjer for forskning på menneskelige levninger (2018). Veileder ved funn av menneskelige levninger.
- International Council of Museums, Code of Ethics for Museums (2013).
- Museumsforbundet Code of Ethics (In progress)
- Etiske retningslinjer for norske universitetsmuseer (3:3)
- World Archaeology Congress (WAC)
- European Association of Archaeologists (EAA)
- Society for American Archaeology (SAA)
- Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)
- The American Society of Papyrologists (ASP)
- Association Internationale de Papyrologues (AIP)
- American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR)
- Archaeological Institute of America
- Society of Classical Studies
Examples of policy documents at academic presses
Examples of policy documents enacted at academic institutions
Lov om kulturminner (1978-06-09 nr 50)
Forskrift 1. januar 2007 nr 1 om utførsel of innførsel av kulturgjenstander (esp. § 23, 23a, 23b.)
Forskrift 4. oktober 2001 nr 1179 om tilbakelevering av stjålne og ulovlig utførte kulturgjenstander
- 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (Hague Convention)
- 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (World Heritage Convention) (Norwegian ratification 2007)
- 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (Norwegian ratification 2001)
- 2003 Declaration Concerning the Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage
Other UN organisations:
- UN Security Council, Resolutions 1483, 2199 and 2347
- General Assembly, Resolutions 66/180
- UNDOC (Office on Drugs and Crime), International Guidelines for Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Responses with Respect to Trafficking in Cultural Property and other Related Offences
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 27
Council of Europe:
- 1969/1992 European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (Valetta Convention), Article 10 i-v
- 1985/2017 European Convention on Offenses Relating to Cultural Heritage (Nicosia Convention)
- Regulation 116/2009 on the Export of Cultural Goods
- Directive 2014/60 on the Return of Cultural Objects Unlawfully Removed from the Territory of a Member State
- Regulation 2019/880 on the Introduction and the Import of Cultural Goods
See, also, European Commission, Illicit Trade in Cultural Goods in Europe, Final Report, 2019.
Cultural heritage laws for nations world wide can be found by searching the UNESCO List of National Cultural Heritage Laws. In the field One or several countries, type in the name of the country whose laws you wish to see, and apply the filter.
Laws not in the UNESCO list:
- Israeli Antiquities Law of 1978
- English translation of The Palestinian Tangible Cultural Heritage Law Of The Year 2018
- Mandate Antiquities Ordinance, 1929
MF wishes to acknowledge the assistance of Michael Press, Josephine Munch Rasmussen and Nils Hallvard Korsvoll in the development of this resource.