This is the third and final post in a 3-part series on three articles written by Lawrence E. Moore. These three articles focus on the decline of CRM archaeology, the future of this industry in the United States, and they were published in the SAA Archaeological Record in 2005 and 2006.
All three articles are available for free on the SAA website:
Moore, Lawrence E.
2005 A Forecast for American Archaeology. SAA Archaeological Record 5(4):13–17.
2006a CRM: Beyond its Peak. SAA Archaeological Record 6(1):30–33.
2006b Going Public: Customization and American Archaeology. SAA Archaeological Record 6(3):16–19.
Once again, thank you Mr. Moore for writing this article series. It is a difficult task to predict the future of an industry that employs so many passionate professionals. Articles like these open the author up to criticism, but they must be written in order to initiate a dialogue about the future of our profession.
In his article “Going Public: Customization and American Archaeology” (2006b), Lawrence Moore suggest that CRM archaeology should expand into public archaeology and archaeology tourism as a means of fighting off the eminent collapse of our industry due to the retirement of the Baby Boomers. He states that customization of our services is paramount to the survival of CRM. This customization, he suggests, should focus on serving the entertainment needs of the communities in which we work; basically, we should focus on doing work that the public finds interesting. Archaeology should also be a means of promoting heritage tourism. Moore describes several instances where this type of work is already being done– situations where communities have incorporated archaeological sites into their parks and instances when subdivisions included considerations of archaeological resources in their homeowner association bylaws. According to Moore, the expansion into local heritage management and tourism will replace many of the jobs lost by the Boomer retirement and may even create additional jobs for archaeologists.
I wholeheartedly agree with Moore when he says that CRM archaeology needs to expand into local heritage conservation. This is largely an untapped resource (primarily because CRM companies don’t really know how they can capitalize on this market). Who cares more about heritage and historic preservation than the people that live near historic sites? Local communities have, or should have, a vested interest in the protection of their towns and neighborhoods. Historic preservation raises/maintains property values and adds character to cities. Historic sites can be a source of public pride. Locals stand to gain the most from the intangible and tangible benefits of historic preservation.
Just like I did in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, I disagree with most of the rest of this article.