Pre-History of North America. J. Jennings
Chapter 7: Cultural Resource Management and Historical Archaeology.
Lela Hicks [email protected]
Two Dominant forces in archaeology today
Cultural Resource Management (CRM)
concerned with cultural and social values not merely with prehistoric archaeological ma-
terials. Often deal directly with places and events linked to nations history.
Cultural Resource Management
appeared in 1970s
Cultural resources to be managed defined by Fowler (1982)
Physical features, both natural and manmade associated with human activity.
Includes sites, structure, objects
cultural properties are unique and nonrenewable resources
Resource management: is the attempt to plan, organize, direct, control, and evaluate the
preservation of important aspects of cultural heritage for public good.
not always archaeological
History of CRM
culmination of many forces inc. govnt action back to 19th C
legislation covering conservation preservation always included either (and still does)
‘human knowledge’ or ‘the public good’
early example 1906 Congress passed Antiquities Act then in 1916 established National
Park Service. NPS - concerned with preservation
concern with arch locations increased in 1930s onward (led by american govnt desire to
recover data in Tennessee and Missouri where damns flooded thousands of acres of
floodplain with 10,000 years of prehistory)
Note: salvage archaeology/anthro
other forces of driving popularity CRM
nationalistic pride of americas past
Historic American Building Survey Act 1935 & NPS designated to ‘evaluate and estab-
lish national historic sites’ National Trust for Historic Preservation - 1949
National Register of Historic Places - 1966 - required identification and listing of arch
and historical locations inc. buildings.
Third force: 1969 National Environmental Policy Act
all joined agreeance of CRM concept and activity
1971 Executive Order
this order mandates federal agencies must “... maintain and preserve cultural resources
in a spirit of trusteeship for the future”
problem: making government in charge of archaeological sites
sites are fragile, finite, and disappearing b/c of our construction (dams, roads, airports,
housing subdivisions etc) as well as vandalism and natural forces.
federal interest in sites still today - must have permission to build.
Environmental Impact Study (EIS)
done before building, including an archaeological resource survey
if find that building ex Pipeline will go through a site, then the CRM job to convince
builders to relocate
if relocation costs exceed the cost of excavation then last resort is to salvage the endan-
ethic is to avoid destroying the site preferred,
A chaotic situation....
between research and management
he difference b/t government wishes and archaeologist desire to preserve history
ex agencies for whom arch works for may not even care in science or research, just
wants clearance to build site, = problems arise.
not enough university connected archaeologists to cope with flood of immediate - usual-
ly emergency demands for surveys of areas.
many researches saying not their responsibility to do this ‘applied’ ‘service’ work
also saying that merely searching for sites was not the path to knowledge.
What next ... predictable
companies begin asking for bids when uni’s could not accommodate requests
private companies claiming archaeological skills begin to appear lowest bidd