Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Preservation Paradigm in Heritage Management

  • Cornelius HoltorfEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1080


The idea of preservation is the basic paradigm of all heritage management, including archaeological heritage management. Heritage experts often take for granted that remains of the past are inherently valuable and deserve to be maintained in perpetuity. A common slogan thus proclaims the need to “preserve the past for the future” (cf. Spennemann 2007). Therefore, archaeologists and other heritage experts do their best to preserve sites, objects, and the information they contain for the future. Preservation involves either the conservation of heritage in physical terms (“preservation in situ,” “stewardship”) or, in case a given site or object cannot be conserved, it involves recording and archiving the information it contains (“preservation by record”; “rescue archaeology”).

From a life-history perspective of monuments and landscapes, heritage preservation can be considered as one major way of reinterpreting and reusing a given site or landscape in our age (Holtorf 2006)....

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. BBC News. 2009. Should Auschwitz be left to decay? Available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7827534.stm (accessed 27 Jan 2009; accessed again 29 Jan 2012, title has been changed).
  2. Beckman, S. 1998. Vad vill staten med kulturarvet? [What does the state want heritage for?], in A. Alzén & J. Hedrén (ed.) Kulturarvets natur: 13–49. Stockholm: Symposion.Google Scholar
  3. Choay, F. 2001. The invention of the historic monument [1992]. Translated by L. M. O’Connell. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Fairclough, G. 2009. Conservation and the British, in J. Schofield (ed.) Defining moments: dramatic archaeologies of the twentieth-century (British Archaeological Reports International series 2005): 15764. Oxford: Archaeopress.Google Scholar
  5. Hollowell, J. 2009. Standpoints on stewardship in a global market for the material past, in L. Mortensen & J. Hollowell (ed.) Ethnographies and archaeologies: iterations of the past (Cultural Heritage Studies series): 21839. Tallahassee: University Press of Florida.Google Scholar
  6. Holtorf, C. 2005. From Stonehenge to Las Vegas. Archaeology as popular culture. Lanham: Altamira.Google Scholar
  7. - 2006. Can less be more? Heritage in the age of terrorism. Public Archaeology 5: 101–9.Google Scholar
  8. Holtorf, C. & O. Ortman. 2008. Endangerment and conservation ethos in natural and cultural heritage: the case of zoos and archaeological sites. International Journal of Heritage Studies 14(1): 74–90.Google Scholar
  9. Ingold, T. 2010. No more ancient; no more human: the future past of archaeology and anthropology, in D. Garrow & T. Yarrow (ed.) Archaeology and anthropology: 16070. Oxford: Oxbow.Google Scholar
  10. Lowenthal, D. 1996. The heritage crusade and the spoils of history. London: Viking.Google Scholar
  11. - 2005. Stewarding the future. CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewardship 2(2). Available at: http://crmjournal.cr.nps.gov/.
  12. Spennemann, D. H. R. 2007. The futurist stance of historical societies: an analysis of position statements. International Journal of Arts Management 9(2): 4–15.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Cultural SciencesLinnaeus UniversityKalmarSweden