The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) considers archaeology to be a "cooperative undertaking involving a variety of scientific disciplines to illumine the unwritten history-the record-of past people". But, what is the difference between an archaeologist looking for evidence of ancient civilizations and a thief simply prowling for lost treasure? Some may say that the difference is obvious, that one is a respectable and noble profession, while the other is a scruple-less, illegal act that must be punished. Especially with regard to early archaeology, in its developing stages there was a fine line between those who wanted to learn from history and those who wanted to earn from history. It is the laws and ethics to which the archaeologist must adhere that makes the difference.

One of the more famous early archaeologists was Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890). He was a self-taught archaeologist who was fascinated by the legends and myths of ancient Greece and the stories of Homer and Virgil. In 1870 he began to search for the ancient city of Troy using methods that seem primitive and disruptive by today's measures, but he was literally going where no one had gone before. Before Schliemann, it was believed that the legends of Troy and the ancient Greeks were merely stories, not actual events. Schliemann actually picked up a shovel and began digging for Troy. He found the city, and with it, a vast amount of treasure. Schliemann became world famous and his autobiography became world-renowned. Many archaeologists still consider him to be a great archaeologist and one of the founders of the field. However, even today, great controversy exists around Schliemann's research. Many records from his autobiography have been disproved and it is now believed that Schliemann lied about some of his accounts of findings. At best, he may have only glorified what he found and may still have been genuinely interested in archaeological findings and preservation for future study. At worst, he may have planted items bought previously, he may have taken some of the jewelry for himself and his wife. He may also have been more concerned with personal gain, fame, and glory, with little interest in preserving the ancient sites for future study. While we will never know the true intentions of Heinrich Schliemann, the facts support both sides of the argument. Through Schliemann's work, the world of ancient Greece has been opened up to us, and he paved the way for field-archaeology-- but at what cost? The removal of many artifacts from the site oftens makes Schliemann seem more like a treasure hunter than an archaeologist, whose actions would not be tolerated under contemporary archaeological standards. H.

With this piece of history in mind, the intent of this project is to show that the creation and application of laws and ethics has certified archaeology as a legitimate field of inquiry to the human past. These laws and ethics help to ensure that present-day archaeology is scientific in its proceedings and distinct from "grave robbing" or tresure hunting.