What Is CRM Archaeology?

Cultural resource management (CRM) is the profession and practice of managing cultural assets, including historic structures and works of art. It encompasses Cultural Heritage Management, which is concerned with the preservation of traditional and historic cultures. It also digs into archaeology’s material culture. Cultural resource management embraces contemporary culture, including progressive and inventive forms of culture, such as urban culture, rather than focusing exclusively on the preservation and presentation of traditional forms of culture.

Key Takeaways

  • Cultural Resource Management (CRM) is a method through which people manage and make fair decisions regarding finite cultural resources.
  • CRM (also known as Heritage Management) encompasses a variety of resources, including cultural landscapes, archaeological sites, historical documents, and spiritual locations.
  • The procedure must strike a balance between a range of competing interests: safety, environmental preservation, and the transportation and building demands of a developing society, as well as the respect for the protection of the past.
  • State authorities, lawmakers, construction engineers, indigenous and local community members, oral historians, archaeologists, city officials, and other interested parties make such judgments.

Cultural resource management (CRM), also known as cultural heritage management or salvage archaeology, is the process of surveying and documenting archaeological sites that are prompted by the necessity to study sites prior to their destruction by development or natural catastrophes. Although Section 106 of the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act established the first legal requirements for archaeological investigation and mitigation on federally funded projects, state, tribal, and municipal governments frequently enact legislation requiring developers to survey, record, and possibly excavate or avoid archaeological remains, depending on their significance. CRM projects include surveys along public utility easements and burial relocation. CRM archaeologists sometimes operate under tight timelines, putting them under pressure to ignore academic archaeologists’ more systematic approach.

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