Legal and Ethical Issues in Archaeological Excavation and Their Relation to the Art Market

The archaeological materials depict past human activities and any other knowledge of the events or activities that took the place a long time in reverse chronological order. There are different regulations and ethical issues that affect how the archaeological excavations are carried out, determine ownership of archaeological artefacts, and also to protect the handling of cultural materials against looting thus influencing their availability and in market demand. Private, state, individuals and nongovernmental organizations have a role to play in the acquisition and protecting artefacts (Caruana 24). Archaeology provides the public with educational evidence about the past. therefore, it is the right of the people to get that information regardless of who is in possession of the archaeological sites and objects. The law grants authority to the owners of the artefacts to protect them and educate the people interested in learning about the past of mankind. Furthermore, there are many stakeholders such as community, scientists and archaeologists whose interest in the artefacts cannot be ignored. Therefore, archaeologists must follow the rules and code of ethics governing the archaeological excavation procedures. This paper focuses on the existing law and ethical issues influencing the archaeological excavation and how they impact the art market.
Archaeological sites and cultural objects are of great importance to the culture and economy of the nations (Genocchio 109). Different states have enacted different regulations to protect archaeological sites and regulate the market of cultural objects. The law governing archaeological activities require the use of appropriate professional standards when investigating archaeological sites and exercise of special care for archaeological materials. The law imposes penalties for those who violate the underlying regulations (Freudenheim 52). On the other hand, the federal government offers incentives in terms of tax benefits for the people involved in protecting archaeological sites and other historical, cultural areas.