see also: conference code of conduct

It is the policy of Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) to provide a productive and comfortable environment to its members, free from harassment or intimidation that is connected to offensive sexual or discriminatory conduct.

Sexual harassment is defined as deliberate and unsolicited verbal comments, gestures, or physical contact that is unwelcomed. This includes suggestion that any person’s promotion, employment, compensation or treatment is in any way contingent upon or related to their participation in or rejection of conduct of sexual nature. Sexual harassment also includes unwanted advances, suggestive comments including sexual jokes, or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Hostility toward or intimidation of any individual may also be sexual harassment. As a society incorporated in the United States, the SHA is bound by U.S. law. Sexual harassment is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Discrimination is an action that denies individual’s rights and fair treatment based on their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, military service or any other social affiliation. Discriminatory actions taken by individuals can be considered harassment. Discrimination is a violation pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1972, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and other applicable laws as appropriate to the situation at hand.

Every member of the SHA is accountable for his/her own actions. The SHA Board is responsible for promoting conditions free of harassment and discrimination society-wide. This policy applies to all members and in all situations, including archaeological field schools, cultural resource management field projects, university classrooms, office and other work environments, and SHA conferences and meetings.

Recent studies have revealed that sexual harassment is prevalent in anthropological and archaeological fieldwork (Clancy et al. 2014; Meyers et al. 2015). Both studies indicate that women are far more frequently harassed by men; that students and individuals in “entry-level” positions (which Meyers et al. [2015:24] define as “undergraduate and graduate students, field and museum technicians, and assistants”) are more likely to be harassed; that harassment consisted of both inappropriate comments and contact; and that harassment has occurred from both supervisors and classmates, co-workers, and colleagues. Both Clancy et al. (2014) and Meyers et al. (2015) indicate that sexual harassment has a direct negative impact on individual’s performance and career, leading to insecurity about their abilities, insecurity about career futures, a lack of networking opportunities, and fear of safety at field sites, as well as lack of recommendation letters. Sexual harassment also produced a decreased desire to continue with career choice, a decreased desire to do fieldwork, a decreased desire to do archaeology, a decreased desire to attend conferences, and a decreased desire to publish (Meyers et al. 2015:28).

To prevent sexual harassment, the SHA encourages supervisory archaeologists including field school faculty and assistants, cultural resource management field supervisors, and others, to define sexual harassment to all members of a field school and project and to clearly state to all that sexual harassment will not be tolerated. The SHA encourages all members to comply with the sexual harassment policy of their universities, institutions, and businesses and to adopt a sexual harassment policy should their employer not have one. The SHA encourages all members to share their sexual harassment policy with their students and staffs, including instructions on how to report sexual harassment. If any member feels that a professor, supervisor, co-worker, or another SHA member is behaving in a sexually harassing manner, they should immediately tell the individual to stop such behavior, and if it persists, should report this to their employer. If the harassment occurs in a conference setting where the employer is not immediately accessible, the member should report the offensive behavior to the management of the location where the harassment occurred or to a member of the SHA Board if the incident occurs at an SHA event.

The SHA will not harass or discriminate against any member or individual on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, veteran status, or under any other criteria. Any member or other individual who feels that they have been discriminated against may inform the SHA’s President-Elect/Ethics Chair without fear of retaliation.

The SHA supports the anti-harassment and discrimination policy of the Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology, the Sexual Harassment Policy of the Register of Professional Archaeologists, and the policies of other archaeological societies.

The SHA is an anti-racist, anti-discriminatory society and encourages all members to proactively protect and promote the rights of all. The SHA encourages and expects all members to treat one another with respect and dignity.


Clancy, Kathryn B. H., Robin G. Nelson, Julienne N. Rutherford, and Katie Hinde 2014 Survey of Academic Field Experiences (SAFE): Trainees Report Harassment and Assault. PLOS|One, 16 July 2014 DOI:10.137/journal/pone/0102172.

Meyers, Maureen, Tony Boudreax, Stephen Carmody, Victoria Dekle, Elizabeth Horton, and Alice Wright 2015 Preliminary Results of the SEAC Sexual Harassment Survey. Horizon and Tradition: The Newsletter of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference 57(1):19-35