Doing Archaeology: A Cultural Resource Management Perspective

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What is archaeology, and why should we do it? Tom King, arguably the best-known heritage management consultant in the United States, answers the basic question of every introductory student from the unique perspective of one who actively uses archaeology for cultural resource management. Designed as a supplement for introduction to archaeology classes, this brief and breezy book runs the reader through the major principles of archaeology, using examples from the author’s own field work and that of others. King shows how contemporary archaeology, as part of the larger cultural resource management endeavor, acts to help preserve and protect prehistoric and historic sites in the United States and elsewhere. Brief biographies of other CRM archaeologists help students envision career paths they might emulate. The bookends with an exploration of some of the thorny problems facing the contemporary archaeologist to help foster class discussion. An ideal ice-breaker for introductory college classes in archaeology, one that will get students engaged in the subject and thinking about its challenges.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"King's approach involves giving basic information without a great deal of jargon, allowing the reader to gain some information about a topic without being overwhelmed. His approach to describing this important part of modern archaeology is very straightforward, giving real life examples from various situations and individuals.... This technique of using real examples is very helpful and informative to someone who might be considering entering the field. CRM is as much about running a business as it is about doing archaeology, a point King brings home time after time. I would use King's book as a supplementary text in [a CRM] course because it is very readable and down-to-earth." —Dean H. Knight, Canadian Journal of Archaeology

"King makes an excellent effort to educate the beginning student and layperson about the role archaeologists play within the CRM arena. His decision to concentrate this book on CRM works for two reasons. First, it puts to rest the misconception that archaeologists have to travel to some faraway exotic land in order to 'do archaeology' by explaining to readers that most archaeologists practice their profession locally. Second, this book should make readers aware of certain cultural resource issues and policies and perhaps influence their behavior toward such issues in the future. This book should be made available to all beginning students, amateur archaeologists, and all others who have ever asked an archaeologist about finding dinosaur bones." —James D. Brinkley, Historical Archaeology

"…when Tom King writes about doing archaeology in the context of cultural resource management (CRM), it is worth having a read even for those of us 'doing it' in Australia. Obviously written from a US perspective, it is informative to note how contract work operates in the US. Of fundamental importance is the ownership of archaeology; cultural materials on private lands are the property of the landowner. These topics are not specific to the US but have relevance around the world. Readers will find his discussions of issues provocative. King’s book is useful on many levels for the non-specialist as well as those out there 'doing it.'" —John L. Craib, Bonhomme Craib & Associates, for Australian Archaeology

"This very readable introduction—part textbook, part memoir—would be invaluable to students, professionals in environmental compliance, tribes, and anyone who wants to understand the process of 'doing archaeology' in the rough and tumble world of CRM.... King is always honest, imaginative, and controversial. Readers of his previous books will recognize the straightforward style and conversational tone that make King's work such a pleasure to read." —Adrian Praetzellis, Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology

"Doing Archaeology is an excellent introduction to what the career of an archaeologist working in the cultural resource management field in the United States is like, in a clear, conversational, understandable, personal voice." —Kris Hirst, // "This is truly a fine book, one you should insure is found under the Christmas tree of anyone of your acquaintence who is an archeologist, a wannbee archeologist, or simply interested in archeology for whatever reason. And don't forget yourself." —Charles R. McGimsey III, Arkansas Archaeological Newsletter// "[King] is able to simplify subject matter about a range of topics, from the intellectual and methological evolution of the archaeological field ot its unstated or understated deficiencies, controversies, and hypocrises. This is well suited to his intended audience of college students in introductory anthropology classes, and the public in general." —N.T. Richards, CHOICE Magazine // King's Doing Archaeology is a timely book that addresses a cultural resources management perspective previously marginalized in publications on archaeolgy due to a biased focus on purely scientific approaches. All in all, Doing Archaeology should be commended for bringing out the significance of CRM in archaeological practice. Its emphasis that CRM is largely about trying to preserve, not to stop, progress is also an important point." —Susan Keitumetse, Archaeologic

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598740028
  • Publisher: Left Coast Press
  • Publication date: 8/31/2005
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas F. King is one of the leading consultants in cultural resources management in the United States. He teaches dozens of workshops each year on this topic for SWCA Environmental Consultants and is author of many major books in the field including, Saving Places that Matter (2007), Cultural Resource Laws and Practice (2004) and Federal Planning and Historic Places (2000). Former staff member of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, he has been in the heritage management business for four decades.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 What's this all about? 11
Ch. 2 Why do archaeology? 22
Ch. 3 Principles and practice 38
Ch. 4 What's it like? : the practice of archaeological research 63
Ch. 5 Archaeology in cultural resource management 83
Ch. 6 Who does what? : archaeological roles in cultural resource management and beyond 97
Ch. 7 Key issues in cultural resource management archaeology 123
Ch. 8 Conclusion : a view from my backyard 140
App. A Archaeology related Web sites : a small and unsystematic sample 144
App. B Some cultural resources laws and international standards 146
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