The Council of Virginia Archaeologists (CoVA) supports the scientific and humanistic study of the human past, the preservation of archaeological sites and collections, and the dissemination of archaeological information for the benefit of the public.

CoVA recognizes that archaeological sites are fragile and non-renewable. We believe that investigations must occur within a research framework under the oversight of professionally trained archaeologists. Current standard will guide recording, sampling, collections management, curation, reporting, exhibiting, and interpreting.

We oppose actions by individuals or groups that contribute to the deliberate destruction or loss of such resources in any situation and that result in the loss of scientifically-gathered contextual information important for interpreting those resources. We particularly oppose such actions where the intent is to obtain a personal collection and/or monetary gain.

CoVA members are held to Standards of Performance and Ethical Practices that disallow participation in or facilitation of such activities.

As an organization, CoVA is dedicated to working with public and private groups, property owners, and individuals in an effort to identify, protect, and interpret archaeological sites, artifacts, and elements of material culture that contribute to our understanding of the prehistory and history of the Commonwealth at the local, regional, state, and national levels.

We stress the legacy of those long dead, and sometimes forgotten, as a common wealth of the past for all.

Policy Statement for the Appropriate Treatment of Archaeological Resources
CoVA Passed 2/17/06