We All Need to Talk about Archaeology in the CRM Power Nexus

Author(s): Betsy Bradley

Year: 2018


The archaeological component of the National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 consultation embodies an intersection of power that has privileged archaeologists and their work at the expense of accomplishing all legal mandates and has elevated the practice of archaeology as a science above any need for negotiation for project-specific approaches. This cross-disciplinary conversation is necessary as the current situation increasingly affects the ability of other Cultural Resource Management professionals to serve the public and conveys a sense of insufficient reflexivity and disinterest in change from within the discipline of archaeology. The intersections of power and ethical framing of proposed work in this arena must include reflection on past and current practice and incorporate the expectation for flexibility that the regulations articulate. A complicated (non)negotiation of an archaeological program for an urban-renewal scale federal project in a legacy city illustrates the fault lines and power plays in historic archaeology practice. The difficult challenges include the consideration of both ethically and equitably providing mitigation for the loss of resources for the current, as well as some future, sectors of "the public."

Cite this Record

We All Need to Talk about Archaeology in the CRM Power Nexus. Betsy Bradley. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444756)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21645