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(cover picture) Sebastian, Lynne & William D Lipe (eds.)
2010 Archaeology & Cultural Resource Management: Visions for the Future. Santa Fe, New Mexico: School for Advanced Research Press.

Notes: xvi, 345 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm. ISBN: 9781934691168
Reviewed 22 May 2010 by:
Christina Rieth <>
New York State Museum, Albany, New York, USA
Medium: Written Literature
Archaeology - United States - Forecasting
Archaeology - Government policy - United States
Archaeology - Social aspects - United States
Cultural property -- Protection - United States
Historic sites - Conservation and restoration - United States
United States - Antiquities - Collection and preservation
United States - Cultural policy

ABSTRACT:    Much of the archaeology currently underway in the United States occurs within the framework of cultural resource management. The contributors address cultural resource managementís ability to protect and determine significance of archaeological sites, define professional standards, and incorporate the public into the preservation of the archaeological record, offer suggestions for the future.

In the 21st century, much of the archaeology done in the United States occurs within the framework of cultural resource management (CRM). Since its humble beginnings in the early 1970s, cultural resource management has struggled with its ability to protect and determine significance of sites, define professional standards for archaeologists, and incorporate the public into the preservation of the archaeological record. The chapters in this book attempt to address problems in the way we deal with these issues and offer suggestions for dealing with such issues in the future.

The book contains twelve chapters each of which addresses a different cultural resource management topic. Chapter one by Lynne Sebastian is entitled The Future of CRM Archaeology and begins with a summary of cultural resource management laws in the United States. It goes on to look at the legislative underpinnings of cultural resource management archaeology in the United States, focusing on how various federal laws define the ways in which CRM archaeology is conducted in this country. Chapter two, by Hester Davis, provides a summary of some of the archaeological issues discussed at the 1974 Arlie House Seminar. Intertwined throughout this discussion, Davis provides a history of resource protection in the United States beginning in the late 19th century when the earliest attempts to establish a public policy for archaeological resources were initiated. The chapter also discusses the transition of the discipline into a scientific venture and how more recent attempts to develop comprehensive legislation have progressed. Chapter three is written by William Lipe and discusses how archaeologists assign value to archaeological resources and how those resources influence which and what types of sites get preserved. In addition, the chapter also explains the distinction between research, preservation, educational, and economic value within the Section 106 process, the federal legislation that requires .... [finish this]

Chapter four is written by Pat Barker who discusses the problems inherent within the Section 106 process and how regional approaches to preservation planning could be used to evaluate sites and develop more efficient preservation planning procedures. Examples of regional models of preservation planning are provided for federal lands in the southwest. Lynne Sebastian also authored the fifth chapter, entitled Deciding What Matters. Sebastian discusses how archaeologists can get beyond the routine three-tiered investigative process to define how such decisions as choosing to complete alternative mitigation can lead to more productive preservation programs. Chapter six is by Susan Chandler and discusses innovative approaches to mitigation and how alternative mitigation can be used to resolve adverse effects. Examples from Pennsylvania and Utah are presented. The chapter also discusses how such projects should involve a wide range of constituencies, including the public.

Chapter seven discusses challenges to the dissemination of archaeological documents . In this chapter, Julia A.King discusses the problems in accessing archaeological data including the grey literature that often include the general public. Next T.J. Ferguson discusses some ways of improving the quality of archaeology by consultation with Native Americans and descendent communities in chapter eight. Ferguson describes the important role that Native Americans can play in the successful CRM and in assisting individuals in the Section 106 process. He sees a future in which Native Americans take a position alongside archaeologists as team players in the interpretation of archaeological sites.

In chapter nine, Doug Mackey discusses how archaeology can remain relevant as a discipline in the new millennia, including a continued emphasis on ethics and professional training as well as an expansion in applied training for undergraduates, increased peer review of cultural resource management reports, and professional licensing. In chapter ten, Sarah Bridges explores archaeology and ethics. She reviews the national ethical standards of the Society for American Archaeology, Register of Professional Archaeologists, and the Archaeological Institute of America. She also discusses the need for stronger ethical standards in CRM itself, and the need to teach such ethical practices in graduate and undergraduate education.

Chapter eleven is by David Colin Crass and discusses the need for better communication among the different constituencies in CRM including the public, landowners, and other archaeologists. He also discusses the role that state archaeological societies and site stewardship programs play in disseminating results, and makes suggestions for teaching future archaeologists about these topics. In chapter twelve, Sebastian and Lipe explore their vision of the future for archaeology. Criteria for this vision include the cost effectiveness of the research, the ability of the ends to justify the means, and the ability of professionals to change with the profession through increased ethics and training.

This volume provides an interesting insight into current issues in cultural resource management and is a must read for anyone contemplating a career in cultural resource management.