Rescue archaeology, research archaeology and Provincial Decree 62/1998 regulating archaeological activities in Biscay (Basque Country, Spain): when customs devour regulations

José Luis Ibarra Álvarez, Miguel Ángel Berjón Lobato, Román Rodríguez Calleja

For decades, Spanish archaeology has been dominated by the division between rescue archaeology and research archaeology. Biscay is no exception. However, since the mid-1990s the province has been subject to regulations on archaeological activities (Provincial Decree 62/1998) which only envision archaeology as a means of research. Therefore, why can these two versions of archaeology be identified in Biscay? The main objectives of this paper are to explain this particular situation and offer an in-depth investigation into the reasons behind such a contradictory reality.

Keywords: Archaeological research, rescue archaeology, archaeological regulations, Biscayan archaeology, Biscay