Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version



From: Perspectives on archaeological resources management in the "Great Plains." Edited by Alan J. Osborn & Robert C. Hassler (Omaha: I & O Pub. Co., c1987).


Copyright 1987 Alan J. Osborn


Archaeologists involved in conservation archaeology and/or cultural resource management have frequently been confronted with the dilemma described by Fowler (1982). Cultural resource management projects most generally have to be conducted within a restricted geographical area within a specified period of time. Many archaeologists have chosen to deal with the resource management dilemma in one of three ways. First, there are those that have chosen to view cultural resource management primarily as a professional service. Practitioners of "service" archaeology conduct archaeological surveys and excavations in order to determine the frequency, location, and extent of cultural remains within a specified area. Investigations conducted by service-oriented archaeologists are primarily designed to satisfy the inventory, mitigation, and clearance requirements of federal agencies and private industry. Second, a number of archaeologists have managed to develop creative research designs within which they have been able to address scientific questions about the past while fulfilling their contractual agreements with the federal government and/or private industry. And, third, many other professional archaeologists particularly those affiliated with universities have chosen not to become involved in CRM projects at all.