Resource Transformation: The History and Status of the Cultural Resource Management Industry in the United States
The current state of archaeology in the United States of America (USA), particularly its commercial side, known as “cultural resource management” (CRM), is quite apart from similar kinds of enterprises in other parts of the world today. Much of this has had to do with the fact that archaeology itself developed differently here than it did in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, or even Canada. It also has to do with the nature of the political and regulatory system within the USA. Even the term “cultural resources management” is singularly different than those used for similar endeavors elsewhere where “public archaeology,” “commercial archaeology,” or “heritage management” is more appropriate. This is part accident and part intention, based on the fact that CRM represents a broad range of studies done under this umbrella. It does include archaeology but also encompasses the professions of history, architectural history, ethnographic studies and, even urban planning. More recently, cultural landscape studies have come to the fore. While not a separate discipline, it represents an important offshoot of study not widely discussed in the past.
KeywordsPrivate Sector Cultural Resource Federal Land Historic Preservation Cultural Resource Management
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