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MAHS Ethics Statement

Revised January 1993

The Maritime Archaeological and Historical Society (MAHS) is organized for the purpose of enhancing public awareness and appreciation of the significance of submerged cultural resources and the science of maritime archaeology. In pursuit of this mandate, members may come in contact with unique information and cultural material associated with terrestrial and underwater sites containing evidence of the history of humankind. To protect these sites from destruction by commercial salvors and amateur souvenir hunters, the Society seeks to encourage its members to abide by the highest ethical standards. Therefore, as a condition of membership and pursuant to Article 2, Section 1 (A) of the Bylaws, the undersigned executes this statement of ethics acknowledging adherence to the standards and policies of the Society, and further agrees as follows:

  1. To regard all archaeological sites, artifacts and related information as potentially significant cultural resources in accordance with federal, state, and international law and the principles and standards of contemporary archaeological science.
  2. To maintain the confidentiality of the location of archeological sites.
  3. To excavate, or otherwise disturb an archaeological site solely for the purpose of scientific research conducted under the supervision of a qualified archaeologist operating in accordance with the rules and regulations of federal, state, or foreign governments. Artifacts shall not be removed until their context and provenience have been recorded, and only when the artifact and related data have been designated for research, public display, or otherwise for the common good.
  4. To conduct oneself in a manner that protects the ethical integrity of the member, the archaeological site and the Society, and prevents involvement in criminal violations of applicable vandalism statutes.
  5. To observe these ethical standards and aid in securing observance of these standards by fellow members and non-members.
  6. To recognize that any member who violates the standards and policies of the Society shall be subject to sanctions and possible expulsion in accordance with Article 2, Section 4 of the bylaws.