CIAMS Team Victorious at SAA Ethics Bowl

By: Eilis Monahan, 
Thu, 04/19/2018

CIAMS is excited to announce the success of the Cornell Ethics Bowl team, who were champions of the Ethics Bowl competition held at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) in Washington, D.C.!! Our team was made up of four first year MA students, Elizabeth Bews, Lindsay Petry, Elizabeth Proctor, and Danielle Vander Horst, and was led to victory by their coach Dr. Dana Bardolph. Having bested teams from Penn State and Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the preliminary and semi-final rounds, Cornell met and defeated Florida State University in the Finals with several fellow Cornell graduate students and faculty members in the audience cheering them to victory.

The SAA Ethics Bowl invites teams of undergraduate and graduate students from different universities to compete in a debate-style competition where they confront ethical dilemmas faced by archaeologists, both academic and professional, in the practice of their work, and propose and debate solutions to hypothetical cases. Cases are drawn from the real-life experiences and suggestions of academic, heritage management, government, and avocational archaeologists in the United States and around the world. The cases debated in this year’s competition included ethics surrounding occupational safety and heritage management, colonial monuments and indigenous rights, looting and the antiquities trade, plagiarism and funding for research, and even ethics training itself.

The four members of this year’s team undoubtedly benefited from their diverse interests and expertise: Lizzy Bews is interested in heritage management in the EU and eastern Europe, Lizzie Proctor focuses on heritage tourism and landscape archaeology, Dani Vander Horst studies identity in Roman Britain, and Lindsay Petry works on bioarchaeology in the Mediterranean. All four team members were students in the CIAMS Spring 2018 course ARKEO 7045 - Ethical Issues in Archaeology, taught by Dr. Dana Bardolph, CIAMS’ 2017-2019 Hirsch Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Bardolph received her PhD at UC Santa Barbara, where she herself was a member of the winning team at the 2011 SAA Ethics Bowl in Sacramento, and she has served as both a moderator and judge in subsequent competitions.

The SAA Ethics Bowl is sponsored by the Society for American Archaeology, the Archaeological Institute of America, and the Register of Professional Archaeologists. The winning team received a year’s membership in the AIA and a subscription to Archaeology Magazine, as well as brand new Marshalltown trowels and a cash prize from the RPA as part of their prize packages. The team also will bring home the Ethics Bowl itself – an actual bowl!  After the pedestal of the trophy is engraved it will be on display on the second floor of McGraw Hall, until it is defended at the 2019 SAA Annual Meeting next spring in Albuquerque, NM.

Thanks are due to the competition organizers, particularly Prof. Katie Chiou of the University of Alabama. And of course, congratulations to our victorious Cornell Ethics Bowl team!

Cornell ethics bowl team holding trophy