Cultural Resources
Cultural resources can be defined as the physical evidence or place of past human activity. Sites, objects, landscapes, structures can all be cultural resources. A cultural resource can also be a site, structure, landscape, object or natural feature of significance to a group of people traditionally associated with it. These resources provide the community a tangible connection to its history and heritage. Federal, state, county, and City of Redmond regulations protect cultural resources and provide guidelines for their management.

December 15, 2016 Cultural Resources Management Plan Community Focus Group Workshop


Artifact found at a prehistoric archaeological site near RedmondArchaeological resources provide tangible evidence of past human cultures. In the United States archaeological sites are typically characterized as precontact (before the arrival of Europeans) or Historic. There are many types of archaeological resources but the most common are artifacts and features.

Artifacts are portable objects that reflect human activity. Examples of artifacts include pottery, cans, shards of glass, and projectile points. Artifacts found individually are referred to as isolates. If there are multiple features found in their original locations they may constitute a site.

Features are nonmoveable elements of an archaeological site. Features are evidence of human activity that primarily consist of cultural materials which are integrated into natural layer. Features can include trash pits, hearths, walls, or pathways.

Historic Structures

The former Brown's Garage is a Redmond City Landmark and eligible for the National Registry of Historic PlacesHistoric structures are typically over 50 years old and either in use or capable of being repaired for use. Examples of historic structures are found throughout Redmond. Common types of historic structures found in the Redmond area include houses, barns, bridges, and roads.

The resources may be important even if they do not appear architecturally distinguished or well cared for.

Cultural Landscapes

The integration of the built features with the pastures and open space are important elements of the Conrad Olson FarmsteadCultural landscapes are settings humans have created in the natural world. They reflect the ties between people and the land. Examples include cattle ranches, formal gardens, pilgrimage routes, and village squares. Cultural landscapes have elements of the landscape integrated with built features and structures.

For example important features on a cattle ranch would include the pastures and the fence posts as well as barns or residential structures.

Traditional Cultural Places/Properties

Snoqualmie Falls is a Traditional Cultural Place of significance to the Snoqualmie TribeA cultural resource, often a place, significant for its associations with the cultural practices, traditions, beliefs, lifeways, arts, crafts, or social institutions of a living community. Examples can include a hillside used for berry gathering or a village square where traditional artistic and economic activities have been continuously carried out for generations.

Some resources may fall into several of these categories. For example Snoqualmie Falls is considered a traditional cultural place to the Snoqualmie Tribe but also has historic structures related to its use for hydroelectric power generation by Seattle City Light. There are both historic and precontact archaeological sites located in the vicinity of the falls.

Activities that Can Harm Cultural Resources

Cultural resources can be damaged in many ways. Demolition of a building or destruction of buried archaeological materials through digging or trenching are common ways resources are affected by human activities. However, there are many intangible elements in addition to the physical features that are important to consider.

For example, dust from the use of equipment during construction or the frequent noise of vehicles parking could impact the use of traditional cultural place by an Indian tribe if a parking lot were built next to it.