Historical Archaeology

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 90–100 | Cite as

Race, the National Register, and Cultural Resource Management: Creating an Historic Context for Postbellum Sites

  • Kerri S. Barile


The Texas Historical Commission, Council of Texas Archeologists, and representatives from local cultural resource management (CRM) firms recently discussed the role of late-19th and early-20th century sites, including their educational value and fairness in representation of diverse social groups. I consider the dialogue regarding these sites as part of a national problem regarding the interpretation of National Register eligibility, especially in the realm of CRM work. The current interpretations are dependent upon site significance and integrity, often failing to consider a site’s historical context by utilizing single-level analytical methods and disregarding regional interpretations. This results in a considerable bias in the sites that are nominated to the NRHP, as the central issues of race and historical representation and variations in site type are ignored in favor of one-sided evaluation methods and a lack of regional interpretations. To address this bias, improved communication and education within and between CRM firms, government agencies, and academic institutions are needed to re-emphasize the importance of multidisciplinary research at historic sites.


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Copyright information

© Society for Historical Archaeology 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kerri S. Barile
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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