Archaeology and Ethics field trip to The British Museum

Author: Emily Grassby


The Archaeology and Ethics course covers the topics of archaeological ethics; the relationship between archaeology and others (the public, ethnic groups, avocational archaeologists, collectors, etc.); international and national approaches to archaeological heritage management (such as the effects of conflict on heritage); the antiquities market; reburial and repatriation of cultural heritage; issues of identity; the ethics of collecting; plunder; underwater archaeology, and treasure hunting; archaeology as a profession; and archaeological education. We explore these themes in a variety of contexts, including field trips to Bath and Stonehenge, The British Museum (e.g. the Parthenon Marbles, Egyptian Mummies, the Rosetta Stone), The Petrie Museum, The Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers Museums in Oxford etc.
As part of our studies – and to round off our museum visits to the Wellcome Collection, Petrie Museum, Ashmolean Museum, Pitt Rivers Museum and British Museum – we re-visited the British Museum with newly informed perspectives as we engaged with the ethical display of Egyptian mummies. Always a popular component of the course, museum field trips offer a great opportunity to get to grips with this fascinating topic.
- Fay Stevens, Professor of Archaeology and Ethics
Image ©Fay Stevens