From November 13 to 17 2023, a workshop on Ethics in Caribbean Archaeology was organized at the Lorentz Center in Leiden, the Netherlands, by Eduardo Herrera Malatesta (Aarhus University), Felicia J. Fricke (University of Copenhagen) and Maaike de Waal (Leiden University).
For this workshop, a range of participants active in Caribbean archaeology and heritage were invited. These included students, early career researchers, lecturers, representatives of local heritage organisations, and participative archaeology specialists, both from within and outside the Caribbean region. All participants had in common that they are contributing to an edited volume on Ethics in Caribbean Archaeology that will be published by the University Press of Florida.
Archaeological Ethics in a Postcolonial World
Before the start of the workshop, discussion topics had been listed, including key ethical issues, past attempts to solve ethical dilemmas, collaboration with local stakeholders, different data types and ethics, encouraging institutional support, and future ethical issues. During the workshop, through an intensive Open Source Technology session, the participants fine-tuned these topics and chose which challenges are most relevant to them now.
These challenges were discussed on during the rest of the workshop, aiming at looking for potential solutions that could be realistically implemented in the Caribbean. In addition, during the last day of the workshop, Spanish archaeologist Alfredo Gonzalez-Ruibal presented an eye-opening keynote lecture on archaeological ethics in a postcolonial world.
The outcomes of the workshop included the creation of a research agenda, the establishment of the basis for the creation of a community, and writing the set-up of a position paper. A follow-up workshop including a broader audience of Caribbean archaeologists, heritage practitioners, and local governmental and Indigenous representatives will take place in Copenhagen in March 2024.