Cultural Resource Management (CRM), otherwise known as heritage management, refers to the protection and preservation of cultural resources in a growing, modernized population. These cultural resources – both physical and intangible – are finite and require specialized research to discern the appropriate path of preservation.
Examples of cultural resources can include archaeological sites, religious beliefs and artifacts, old buildings, historical records, social institutions, or any cultural evidence of a past human heritage. The CRM process must balance the needs of the landscape’s current inhabitants alongside honoring the cultural elements of its past. This includes consideration for community and environmental safety factors, as well as preservation tactics that are compatible with construction or expansion plans.
How is Cultural Resource Management Relevant in Society?
Cultural resources are often found in locations facing modernized expansion. Whether historical or archeological, tribal or paleontological, CRM involves assessing each situation and landscape to protect the artifacts and cultural settings of the past and present.
For example, if new housing construction was needed in an environment where cultural resources have not yet been properly surveyed, unknown historical sites could be put at risk. CRM takes these risks into account and manages a plan that benefits the current inhabitants of the site while preserving those of its past.
What are Cultural Resource Management Factors?
Cultural Resource Management considers:
- Safety: A crucial component to preserving cultural resources is creating a plan that prioritizes the safety of the human population living in or near the domain of a CRM project.
- Historical Preservation: Preserving cultural resources maintains knowledge and historical evidence that can be passed down from one generation to the next, furthering our understanding of human heritage.
- Political Policy: CRM considers policy guidelines on how society can maintain and preserve certain cultural resources in an ever-changing modernized world.
Do you want to learn more about Cultural Resources Management? Read about the data recovery of a large prehistoric site here.