Value systems and the archaeological resource

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Authors: Darvill, T.

Journal: International Journal of Heritage Studies

Volume: 1

Issue: 1

Pages: 52-64

eISSN: 1470-3610

ISSN: 1352-7258

DOI: 10.1080/13527259408722130

The paper deals with the various values held by people for the heritage, specifically the archaeological heritage. Attention is directed away from economic values towards sociological interpretations - sets of assumptions, beliefs and knowledge-sets which may be termed ‘value systems’. Such value systems underpin and inform individual and collective attitudes and, by implication, approaches to the physical and experiential environment. After examining the nature of value systems and gradients, the paper identifies three main value gradients with reference to the archaeological resource. These may be characterised as: use value, based on present requirements, option value, based on future possibilities, arid existence value, which acknowledges value ‘because it is there'. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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