The Future of Cultural Resource Management Archaeology in the United States

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Feb 27, 2023

In 1974, cultural resource management legislation spurred the organization of a conference at the Airlie House retreat in Warrenton, Virginia. The report from the conference, published in 1977, helped shape federal archaeology and cultural resource management over the next four decades. But the world is rapidly changing, and archaeology needs to convene a new Airlie House-like conference in order to address such issues as improving engagement and partnerships with descendant communities, climate change impacts, decolonizing archaeology, and academic training that supports and advances compliance with our nation’s historic preservation laws. 

As part of the effort to organize this conference, to be held later in 2023, we need to define the topics that will contour the future of CRM archaeology. The SAA is hosting a webinar on February 8, 2023, to identify those topics for the decades ahead. As background for the webinar, you can review the results of a recent survey on an initial list of priority topics for the fall 2023 conference, as well as read essays by some of the participants of the original Airlie House conference to learn about the impact that report had on the profession.

View the survey result slides here.

If you are coming to the SAA 88th Annual Meeting in Portland, you can also join our in-person conversation on Thursday, March 30: “Back to the Future: The National Historic Preservation Act and the SAA/NPS Airlie House Seminars Revisited”

Between October 16 and October 28, 2022, we asked archaeologists working in the United States to prioritize nine preliminary topics for the conference in an online survey.

* Responses by respondent group
            # Academic
            # CRM
            # Federal
            # Student


Alice Kehoe

William Lipe