BAJR Federation Archaeology

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Is it time to pursue public support through a high profile media campaign for desparately needed change in the British heritage industry?



..knowledge without action is insanity and action without knowledge is vanity..(imam ghazali,ayyuhal-walad)
can't vote guys, what's occurring? but it'd be a yes (definitaly?!) check your spelling troll boy!!

++ i spend my days rummaging around in dead people ++
Sorry guys-will have to ask a grown-up, was workin earlier!!! (blonde moment ensues...)B)

..knowledge without action is insanity and action without knowledge is vanity..(imam ghazali,ayyuhal-walad)
Should say my present disguise as Badger is to check on security ... but I will also chime in with the Diggers Forum, PROSPECT, BAJR and the IFA are preparing as we speak a rather BIG public campaign... (and yes that even includes Mr R>!) I will be meeting MSPs on Wednesday for an hour... and taking them on a tour of old Edinburgh... explaining concepts such as value.... interest... education... etc etc... need for support..... legislation etc...!

The problem with the campaign is the complexity of the issue... where raising wages can only happen if X and Y happens.... but Y depends on Z which in turn will be impossible without the support and backing of ...etc..etc..... But the answer is a resounding YES..... and you will be hearing all about it at the Conference!
Hello all. This is my first post here but I've been reading all your posts for a while. I worked in newspaper journalism for 14 years before going into history, and I know there's nothing like a co-ordinated high-profile press spotlight to embarrass certain groups into action. No-one likes their dirty laundry aired in public. The pay/conditions/bureacracy archaeologists work under has never ceased to amaze me, but the biggest strengths of these groups is that archaeology is a hidden area to most of the public. A low profile mean minimal accountability.

Time Team has done wonders for archaeology's profile (although some may argue this point), but the public is now under the impression that archaeologists are merry, thigh-slapping, cider-drinking eccentrics, who care not a whit about bills and rent, just free spirits communing with the past and dreaming of Stonehenge...etc etc. It never enters anyone's head that many archaeologists are almost living hand-to-mouth.

Badger, I hope it goes well with the MSPs. I know the issue is complex, but it would be nice to see some public justification for archaeological practices, as opposed to simply justifying them to archaeologists, knowing full well their hands are tied. The public's a pretty powerful ally, though, so a press campaign would be ideal. Wow, I talk a lot for a newcomer. I'll shut up now...
I may have misinterpreted this thread as I was reading it along the lines of Toll's previous threads, i.e. Hypothetical Games I, II & III.

Would I be right in assuming that a high profile media campaign should concern the public as a whole?
Welcome aboard Shorty!
You make some good points in your post, and its nice to know that we have a member with a grasp of the intricacies of journalism, may come in very handy cometh the day! Your observations on the publics concept of archaeologists made me smile but was also painfully true, and what with half assed management practice, poor (if any)communication between organisations etc etc (ad nauseum) it's about time that the media got hold of the stick and started a fire, because I know quite a few people would be only too happy to fan the flames
Vive La RevolutionSad
fear not about the justification... it will range from tourism benefits of archaeology/heritage (I know... an old chestnut) through education benefits via the long awaited McCrone Review... (teachers pay, conditions) and into the re-establishment of history beyond the standard Corn Law and Hitler --- ie... utilisation of the local heritage for multi disciplinary approach....ART, WRITING ?RESEARCH SKILLS, HISTORY, SURVEY, MATHEMATICS/GEOMETRY, SOCIAL STUDIES, BIOLOGY, CHEMITRY etc etc... I can also quote some work about social regeneration based on comunities finding their past - and therby the worth of where they live. Health benefits, etc etc... It also can be looked at from a developers point of view where it forms an important part of the business process... if you like... why pay twice for geotechnical work, land surveys, architectural surveys, even site contamination (ie archaeology) - recently archaeolgoists located several unknown pit shafts, which would have cost the developer dear...! The construction industry must be made aware of the value (in real cash) and I agree with the concept of creating national guide prices for work... ie An Evaluation in North England, on a site plot that is 100m by 100m and needs 10% trenching will be 1m deep and has a grade of 5 in likelyhood of archaeology being present... will = £ xxxxx

Developers don't like surprises... and archaeologists have to start acting like professionals if they want to be treated as such.

phew.... I am off to lie down..... any contacts you have.... grateful for your arm twisting capabilities!! Wink
I'm more than happy to help with press-type stuff and my anarchist's pen is poised like a tightly-coiled spring. Media attention is great, especially if it exposes bad practice, but it comes with baggage. Archaeologists have to ask themselves if they're ready for media attention, too. Reporters will say things like, "It just looks like a stone to me. Can you find something 'sexier', like a Viking helmet or a skeleton or something?" And photographers will want some action shots, a-la Indiana Jones. OK, I'm being a bit harsh but you get the idea.
You sound well-prepared, Badger. While you're talking to the MSPs, can you ask them if they still intend to drop history from the Scottish school curriculum? How are we supposed to get the public to take archaeology seriously when the Executive can't even recognise history as a discipline? Hmph. A damn outrage. Oh, and from a press point of view, the social regeneration bit about communities finding their past is slick, very slick...[8D]
I have to say that I think that Badger is talking naive xxxxxxxs and
misses the point. Archaeologists are not qualified to be surveyors or comment on contamination. The waste comes from not ensuring that the different studies are not co-ordinated.

As for guide prices who will set them? Curators? The IFA? BAJR? Consultants? A totally pointless exercise that any consultant worth his salt can do this in his head.

See you in the Conference.

Dr Peter

Back to Troll's question. Interesting one. To achieve what? Better archaeology (you know studying the past the thing we used to do before we had to dig pointless trenches). Better pay for archaeologist?

The time could be right with major changes to the planning system having come in last month and more planned in the next year or so.

But be warned developers are starting to revolt. Are we that sure that society is willing to pay the amount that they do for archaeology. A major publicity campaign could be counter productive with government deciding that archaeology is not worthwhile or there are more important items on the aggenda.

Do we give everybody value for money from the 100 million we spend on archaeology. Ultimately it is us, society, who pay for archaeology via taxs for the curatorial services and as consummers particularly via our pension fund investments. Who should pay for the outreach and the syntectic publications?

The new development control system is a joke. Why does a statement saying the design has taken account of access for the disabled have to be produced to install CC TV cameras. (a real example of a real project).

The requirements of the planning system for some types of historic building now devalues the return on investment to such an extent that there adaptation is at best marginal and thus putting under threat 10000s of thousands of listed buildings.

Back to the conference paper.


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