North American archaeologists have long defined their ethical responsibilities in terms of a commitment to scientific goals and an opposition to looting, vandalism, the commercial trade in antiquities, and other activities that threaten archaeological resources. In recent years, the clarity of these commitments has been eroded from two directions: professional archaeologists find commercial entanglements increasingly unavoidable, and a number of nonarchaeological interest groups object that they are not served by scientific exploitation of the record. I offer an analysis of issues having to do with the identity of archaeology that underlie this debate and outline one strategy of response now emerging.

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