Standing Committees are established by the Executive of WAC to administer core activities or to provide oversight of issues of enduring interest to WAC members. WAC Standing Committees are:

Archaeologists Without Borders

Archaeologists Without Borders

Chair: Claire Smith, Australia; Juan Salazar, Spain.

Committee: Elena Garcea, Italy; Bayo Folorunso, Nigeria; Ines Domingo Sanz, Spain.

This committee provides direction and oversight for the Archaeologists Without Borders Committee Program, a unique endeavour that supports archaeological education and training in economically disadvantaged countries. Through a network of training programs, WAC members in different parts of the world may travel to host institutions to provide educational opportunities. This program derives from the WAC mission to foster international academic interaction, and to eradicate economic barriers to education about archaeology.

By linking scholars around the world, we ensure that superior archaeological education is available to all, regardless of the economic state of one’s country. In addition, WAC members are able to support one another by sharing expertise and insights and networking among members around the globe ensure continued professional and personal development.



Chair: Sean Ulm, Australia

The WAC Awards Committee recognizes outstanding contributions from individuals, groups and nations in advancing the agenda/s of the World Archaeological Congress. Periodically it will award excellence in such areas as:

· Student papers as they demonstrate the missions and policies of WAC.
· Professional papers as they demonstrate the missions and policies of WAC.
· Published books as they demonstrate the missions and policies of WAC.
· Community- or Indigenous- archaeology projects.
· Educational programs in archaeology.
· Current newspaper reporting on archaeological topics.
· Lifetime achievement awards.
· Public figure/politician awards for advancing WAC’s missions
· National archaeological programs or undertakings that advance WAC’s missions archaeological website awards.
· Archaeological projects undertaken to resolve social or historical problems.

More information about these awards will appear in website updates.

The work of the Awards Committee includes
1. Generating categories of awards.
2. Soliciting nominations recipients of the awards.
3. Establishing procedures and putting them into operation to select award recipients.
4. Establishing appropriate award prizes.
5. Making official awards at WAC Congresses and Inter-Congresses.
6. Publicizing our award recipients.

WAC Committee on Ethics

WAC Committee on Ethics

(as of 26 March 2012)

Alexander Herrera (Colombia)
Julie Hollowell (United States)
Obare Bagodo (Benin)
Joan Gero (United States)
Heather Gill-Frerking (Germany)
Alejandro Haber (Argentina)
Ian Hodder (United States)
Audie Huber (Quinault Nation, USA)
Lamya Khalidi (Lebanon/Spain)
Dru McGill (United States)
   (liaison to the Executive and Student Committee)
K. Anne Pyburn (United States)
Margaret Rika-Heke (New Zealand)
Jen Rodrigues (Australia)
Nick Shepherd (South Africa)
Rasmi Shoocongdej (Thailand)
Makoto Tomii (Japan)
Sean Ulm (Australia)

Note: we are looking for additional members to increase the regional representation and diversity of the committee. Please contact the co-chairs if you are interested in this work.

The WAC standing Committee on Ethics is committed to upholding WAC’s vision and mission as a global organization of individuals and groups whose work lies in the field of archaeology or who are affected by the practices, policies, or ideas of archaeology.

Ethics are not rules to be followed or enforced; they are ideals and guiding principles from which to seek ways of acting and responding to real situations with foresight, precaution, mindfulness and attention to diverse interests and ways of knowing. WAC has in many ways set the standard for ethics in archaeology, and has done a remarkable job of living up to its principles, in great part due to the good hearts, intentions, and acts-large and small-of so many individuals. Ethics are infused fairly seamlessly in everything WAC does; they are enacted in the responses and actions of WAC’s executive, member organizations, and individual members. They create a standpoint of values and responsibilities from which to make decisions as to how to act or respond to particular situations.

Some of the basic principles WAC stands for include:

  • an emancipatory and equitably practiced archaeology with a commitment to social justice and to redressing global inequities;
  • open discussion of issues and dialogue among those with diverse views of the past the world over;
  • involvement of descendant communities and indigenous peoples and a commitment to their rights and interests;
  • greater equity and diversity in representation, voice, and participation in archaeological scholarship, practice, and purpose.

Current business before the Ethics Committee includes a proposal to develop a general code of ethics (task force headed up by Sean Ulm and Ian Hodder) and the envisioning of an Inter-national code of ethics (evoked by Joan Gero and Bayo Foloronso)

In this work and in other tasks, we will look to the principles already encoded in WAC’s bylaws, codes, and statements to ensure that decisions, actions, or statements complement, critically review, and expand upon these foundations.

Global Libraries

Global Libraries

Chair: Ashley Sands, United States

Committee: Alinah K. Segobye (Botswana), Jim Robertson (United States), Miguel Alejandro Aguilar Diaz (Colombia), Cornelius Holtorf (Sweden), Ingrid Ahlgren (Marshall Islands), and Shanti Pappu (India).

The Global Libraries Program aims to develop the archaeological literary collections of economically-disadvantaged institutions. By supporting such libraries, we hope to assist archaeological and cultural heritage management students and professionals to undertake and excel at their study and work.

The program relies on the donations of WAC members, philanthropic organizations and members of the general public. Any book/journal/CD/video/etc or subscriptions are gratefully received. Alternatively, we are in need of monetary donations to support postage and to purchase useful publications for each library. Due to the high cost of postage, digital donations are especially requested. Please contact us if you would like to donate.

Visit web page.



Chair: H. Martin Wobst, USA; Alejandro Haber, Argentina.

Committee: Raymond Assombong, Cameroon; Bayo Folorunso, Nigeria; Dan Hicks, UK; Dorothy Lippert, USA; Alejandra Korstanje, Argentina;

In keeping with one of its central goals, to advance knowledge in archaeology and foster excellence in archaeological scholarship, WAC offers a range of grants. The WAC Grants Committee assesses applications to WAC for grants and provides recommendations to the WAC Executive. The WAC Grants Committee assesses applications to WAC for grants and provides recommendations to the WAC Executive. In order to help as many people as possible, WAC prefers to provide complementary or partial funding, where possible. WAC grants include:

* Congress Travel
* Publication Subsidies
* Workshop or Symposium Grants



Chair: Jordan Ralph, Australia.

Committee: Amber Aranui, New Zealand; Paul Edward Montgomery, USA; Suramya Bansal, South Africa.

The Membership Committee aims to encourage people interested in archaeological heritage to join the World Archaeological Congress. The committee, working together with the WAC Council and regional representatives, aspires to attract new members and to retain existing ones. One of the main commitments of the Membership Committee is to get sponsored subscriptions for individuals of economically disadvantaged countries who deserve to have a voice in the world of archaeology.

  1. Assist Membership Secretary with member recruitment, including the launch and delivery of a membership drive.
  2. Contact members whose memberships have lapsed to remind them to renew their memberships.
  3. Work with representatives of Regional Colleges to identify gaps in membership and develop recruitment strategies to fill those gaps.
  4. Assist Membership Secretary with membership enquiries.
  5. Encourage individuals or organisations to sponsor the membership of Indigenous people or scholars from economically disadvantaged countries.
  6. Develop a list of potential members from economically disadvantaged countries needed of a sponsored membership.


Chair: Sven Ouzman, South Africa.

Committee: George Abungu, Kenya; Cristobal Gnecco, Colombia; Cornelius Holtorf, Sweden; Arek Marciniak, Poland; Naoko Matsumoto, Japan; Martin Wobst, USA; Larry Zimmerman, USA

The World Archaeological Congress (WAC) Publications Committee seeks to solicit, encourage and facilitate information about archaeology and its role in wider society through a network of traditional and new media. WAC is the world’s most culturally, geographically, politically and theoretically representative archaeological organisation. This is both a strength in the breadth of perspective it offers, and a challenge in that achieving consensus can be difficult. Debate is always vigorous, even on the matter of how best to disseminate archaeological knowledge. Books are usually expensive, Anglophone, and supportive of a small publishing hegemony. Internet texts assume people have the means, ability and inclination regularly to access the worldwide web. Oral presentations and performances are time and cost-intensive, reaching small audiences. Audio-video productions require equipment and privilege especially the sense of vision.

Thus, the most adequate way of ensuring archaeological knowledge is both created and consumed by the widest possible audience is to embrace all of these fora; as well as others that emerge or are created. Further, recognising the need for different kinds of publications—from specialist to general consumption—is a key driving force of the Committee. In addition, the WAC Publications Committee seeks to connect authors—of whatever medium being used—with colleagues working in similar media and with publication outlets that ensure each kind of publication is of the highest quality; even providing a template for future work in that form of presentation.

Each work submitted to the Publications Committee is distributed to key people in that field located within WAC’s extensive network for appropriate, non-exclusive peer comment. Additionally, the WAC Publications Committee sources a range of ‘publishers’ in traditional and new media who accord with WAC’s aims of open access to knowledge via multi-language translations, low point-of-sale cost; provision of free copies, Creative Commons licensing, links to initiatives such as WAC’s Global Libraries Project, and so forth. Surplus funds generated from WAC publications—from which no individual will derive royalties—are used to aid Indigenous participation at conferences; as seed money for worthy projects, subventions towards other publications and so forth.

As WAC’s membership and goals change over time, the policies and workings of the WAC Publications Committee will be evaluated on a regular basis—such as at Congresses—welcoming input from all WAC members and interested outsiders. We welcome submissions or work and advice for the functioning of the Committee, hoping not to prove correct Oscar Wilde’s observation that “committees are avenues into which good ideas are led and strangled”

Public Education

Public Education

Chair: Don Hensen, UK.

Committee: Arwa Badran, Jordon; Marcia Bezerra, Brazil; Sarah Colley, Australia; Gunes Duru, Turkey; Paloma Gonzalez, Spain; Vladimir Ionesov, Russia; Steve Nichols, Australia; Katsuyuki Okamura, Japan; Renata Wolynec, USA.

WAC is an international forum for anyone who is concerned with the study of the past. The Public Education Committee promotes public interest in the past in all countries, especially disadvantaged nations, through appropriate training and education, teaching practices that accommodate non-traditional audiences and the development of interpretative practices that are sensitive to the values of different cultures. This committee recognises the need to make archaeological studies relevant to the wider community and encourages educators, interpreters, and archaeologists to involve the public in the preservation and protection of cultural heritage.



Chairs: Cressida FForde, U.K. and Joe Watkins, USA.

Committee: Franchesca Cubillo, Australia; Lawrence Foanaota, Solomon Islands; Jane Hubert, UK; Kathryn Last, UK; Robert Layton, UK; Paul Turnbull, Australia; Bob Weatherall, Australia.

WAC recognizes that human remains and objects of special cultural importance have different layers of meaning to many different groups of people. WAC’s Repatriation Committee, working within frameworks established by the WAC Code of Ethics and the Vermillion Accord of 1989, as well as Statement 2 of the Indigenous Inter-Congress held at Waipapa Marae in November 2005 and adopted by the WAC Council at its meeting in Osaka, Japan in January 2006, facilitates the dialogue on repatriation issues.

Through sessions at WAC Congresses and Inter-Congresses, we work to provide avenues for discussion about this special issue. In addition, the Repatriation Committee, with the support of its international membership, provides varied perspectives and insights on the impact of local, national, and international debate and policy on repatriation issues.



Chair of WACSC: Oluseyi Odunyemi Agbelusi (Nigeria)
Vice-Chair of WACSC: Nupur Tiwari (India)
Student Representative to the WAC Executive: Jacqueline Matthews (Australia)


  • Oluseyi Odunyemi Agbelusi (Nigeria)
  • Nupur Tiwari (India); Erin A. Hogg (Canada)
  • Leandro Matthews Cascon (Brazil)
  • Gonzalo Linares Matás (Spain)
  • Fatmeh Darawad (Jordan)
  • Hannah Quaintance (USA)
  • José A. Mármol Martínez (Spain)
  • Marian Bailey (Australia)

The WAC Student Committee aims to provide representation for student members of WAC, through which student participation in international academic debate and practice can be fostered and developed. The WACSC considers student participation to be important not only for the advancement of students’ careers and knowledge but also because students can make a significant contribution to the archaeological community and their full participation in WAC is vital for the future of archaeology.

Please visit the Students page to find out more about WACSC.