PAAC Code of Ethics

All participants in the Program for Avocation Archaeological Certification (PAAC) must agree to abide by the following code of ethics. 

  1. Comply fully with all federal, state and local preservation laws and regulations.
  2. Conduct field work including survey, recording, excavation or collection and laboratory analysis only under the supervision of professional principal investigator(s) or project archaeologist(s), as defined by the Office of the State Archaeologist of Colorado.
  3. Carry out all PAAC activities in a courteous manner and with respect for federal, state, and private property. 
  4. Refrain from engaging in, or assisting others in, any vandalism of or theft from a cultural resource.
  5. Be sensitive to, and respect the concerns of, groups whose culture histories may be represented by archaeological resources.
  6. Recognize that the unauthorized collection of cultural materials on public land is illegal and that all cultural materials found on private land are the property of the landowner. Encourage the title to those materials, if previously collected and removed from their original context, be transferred to a state-approved museum or repository. 
  7. Any cultural resource data including, but not limited to, site location information, site descriptions, maps, and photographs recovered or obtained as part of participation in PAAC activities is the property of the Colorado State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). All information about specific cultural resources is confidential and shall not be shared outside of PAAC without prior approval of SHPO. No location information or photographs of cultural resources will be posted on any platform, including online platforms, without prior approval of SHPO. 

Code of Ethics Statement

I recognize that all archaeological and historical materials are irreplaceable cultural resources. I will not misuse my participation in this program for personal gain to obtain access to sites, records, or artifacts. I realize that the value of archaeological sites and materials are in their contexts as well as content, which can never be regained if removed, altered, or destroyed. I agree to abide by the above PAAC Code of Ethics. 


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Program Introduction
Learn more about the PAAC program!
Code of Ethics
All PAAC participants must abide by the Code of Ethics
Certification Information
Learn about the restructured PAAC certification


Class Information
Learn about the ways in which PAAC participants engage with archaeology


Class Offerings
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Local PAAC Coordinators
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