Boom and Bust Archaeology



How to Cite

Thomas, A. K. (2021). Boom and Bust Archaeology: Examination of Discourses of Historical Value in the Alberta Historical Resource Value System. Stream: Interdisciplinary Journal of Communication, 13(1), 67–83.


As a discourse analysis of historical resource assessment documents and interviews with professional archaeologists, this study aims to inspect and critique the production of value in the Alberta historical resource value (HRV) system. The system of evaluation for historical value creates what can be described as a presence-absence model of archaeological significance that limits the ability for archaeologists to interpret and subjectively determine the historical value of materials. In addition, current systems often rely on a contractual relationship between archaeologists and industry to produce these reports, and rarely incorporate indigenous perspectives of significance. With a focus on the assumptions and functional result of HRIA assessments, we can examine the repercussions of the contemporary archaeological evaluative model within Alberta. A goal of this nascent assessment is to provide the opportunity for evaluation of a system that largely exists below the surface of public interest but has vast implications for future access to shared historical resources.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Andrew Kacey Thomas