"A major contribution to archaeological literature . . . [and] a great contribution to heritage and cultural resource management."--Thomas J. Green, University of Arkansas
"Cutting-edge thinking about how value, significance, and importance are assigned to archaeological places. I wish that it had been available for my seminar in cultural resource management."--Donald L. Hardesty, University of Nevada, Reno
These essays urge archaeologists to reexamine and to change their basic assumptions about how we assign value to cultural places and, beyond that, how we should understand and manage our heritage throughout much of the world.
At the heart of the complex field of cultural resource management is the work archaeologists do to determine the significance of a particular site. On a daily basis, they often face the question of what should be protected for future generations, salvaged in the face of impending destruction, or allowed to be destroyed without record. Frequently, their assessments are at odds with segments of society whose culturally conditioned values conflict with the practical management of resources. The book addresses such topical issues as public controversy over national memorials, land ownership, repatriation, and the protection of cultural heritage in war and peace. It sets the concerns of native peoples and minorities in the context of worldwide tensions between national and local identities, and it explores the overt goal of many countries to promote and appreciate cultural diversity. It also addresses the philosophical separation of heritage management and research within the archaeological discipline itself.
The contributors propose that in both developing and developed nations the theoretical underpinning of policies must be examined, and new preservation, protection, and research strategies must be developed. Drawing on a broad base of international expertise, the book highlights new theoretical and pragmatic approaches to archaeological value and significance being applied currently by professionals in North America, Europe, Africa, South America, and Australia.
The book raises concerns of interest not only to archaeologists but also to those in law, politics, anthropology, environmental studies, and related fields. It revives the critical debate concerning significance and value while emphasizing innovations in both theory and practice in what has become in the 21st century an increasingly diverse discipline.
1. Introduction: Archaeological Value in a World Context, by Clay Mathers, Timothy Darvill, and Barbara Little
Part I. Archaeology and Heritage
2. “Sorted for Ease and Whiz”: Approaching Value and Importance in Archaeological Resource Management, by Timothy Darvill
3. Good Citizens and Sound Economics: The Trajectory of Archaeology in Britain from “Heritage” to “Resource,” by John Carman
4. Shaping and Suppressing the Archaeological Record: Significance in American Cultural Resource Management, by Joseph A. Tainter and Bonnie Bagley
Part II. Archaeology in Context
5. Archaeological Significance and the Governance of Identity in Cultural Heritage Management, by Laurajane Smith
6. “Rigidity and a Changing Order . . . Disorder, Degeneracy and Daemonic Repetition”: Fluidity of Cultural Values and Cultural Heritage Management, by W. E. Boyd, M. M. Cotter, J. Gardiner, and G. Taylor
7. The U.S. National Register of Historic Places and the Shaping of Archaeological Significance, by Barbara J. Little
8. Reassessing Archaeological Significance: Heritage of Value and Archaeology of Renown in Brazil, by Pedro Paulo A. Funari
9. Plastic Value: Archaeological Significance in South Africa, by Gavin Whitelaw
Part III. Judging Value and Importance
10. “Drawing Distinctions”: Toward a Scalar Model of Value and Significance, by Clay Mathers, John Schelberg, and Ronald Kneebone
11. Significance in American Cultural Resource Management: Lost in the Past, by Jeffrey H. Altschul
12. Archaeological Deposits and Value, by Jane Grenville and Ian Ritchie
13. Archaeological and Indigenous Significance: A View from Australia, by Ian Lilley and Michael Williams
14. Sacredness, Sensitivity, and Significance: The Controversy over Native American Sacred Sites, by Sherene Baugher
15. Traditional Cultural Properties and the National Preservation Program in the United States, by Nina Swidler and Michael Yeatts
Part IV. Managing Valued Places
16. Handling the Unknown: The Expanding Role of Predictive Modeling in Archaeological Heritage Management in the Netherlands, by Jos Deeben and Bert Groenewoudt
17. Assessing the Cultural Significance of World Heritage Sites: A Case Study from Avebury, Wiltshire, England, by Melanie C. Pomeroy
18. Beyond Designation: The Role of Value in Sustaining Cultural Heritage Resources, by Kate Clark
Clay Mathers is the geographic information systems coordinator for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Albuquerque District, New Mexico. Timothy Darvill is professor of archaeology in the Archaeology and Historic Environment Group within the School of Conservation Sciences at Bournemouth University in England. Barbara J. Little is an archaeologist with the U.S. National Park Service Archaeology and Ethnography Program in the National Center for Cultural Resources in Washington, D.C.
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":A 'call to action,' designed to spark discussion among 'all those who are interested in archaeological heritage.'"
"Enormously throught-provoking and wide ranging."
"A decisive call to action for archaeologists and cultural resource managers worldwide to once again wrestle with these very pressing quesitons of archaeological theory and praxis."
"Offers in-depth considerations of one of archaeology's most enduring and problematic issues: since much of our research inevitably entails destruction, we must make choices about what to destroy, and how it is recorded."
This volume's international perspective, established professional contributors, discussion of fundamental yet often over-looked questions, and thoughtful, well-reasoned answers make this volume worth reading…
--Journal of Middle Atlantic Archeology