BABAO worked hard to update a Code of Ethics and a Code of Practice in 2019, based on earlier editions prepared in 2010.
These present general guidelines for ethical practice in relation to the handling, storage and analysis of human remains from archaeological sites. The code of ethics is based upon the following principles:
- The generation of knowledge about past human lifeways using archaeological data is a worthy goal. Human remains are our most direct source of evidence in this respect. Their study is therefore central to our understanding of the human past
- By virtue of their status as the remains of once living people, treatment of human remains requires ethical considerations over and above those that pertain to other classes of archaeological materials.
- Human remains should always be treated with dignity and respect regardless of age or provenance.
- Given the importance of human remains as a source of information about our past, osteoarchaeologists should work toward the long-term conservation of the osteoarchaeological record.
- Osteoarchaeologists should be committed to public education and promote the value of the scientific study of ancient human remains.