BAJR Federation Archaeology

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Dr Peter here at the map (coalface) face logging in at 0:45

Somebody said
"Peter,

Nonsense!

Even if a student has done a considerable amount of fieldwork as part of their degree course, this is no preparation for commercial work."

As an undergraduate I did 9 months of "commercial"/Rescue experience.The point I make is that the better universities do give undergraduates experience of this kind of work.

Besides which drawing a section of a feature is best taught in a no pressured environment. I would suggest that as we were taught in the seventies it was a very good training for "Rescue" archaeology. When I left university I had 12 months, three years, a decade of experience - I would say I was well equipped for commercial (Rescue) archaeology. I would suggest this was down to the quality of the teaching and training I received.

Quote:quote:Originally posted by drpeterwardle




As an undergraduate I did 9 months of "commercial"/Rescue experience.The point I make is that the better universities do give undergraduates experience of this kind of work.

Besides which drawing a section of a feature is best taught in a no pressured environment. I would suggest that as we were taught in the seventies it was a very good training for "Rescue" archaeology. When I left university I had 12 months, three years, a decade of experience - I would say I was well equipped for commercial (Rescue) archaeology. I would suggest this was down to the quality of the teaching and training I received.



Could you let me know which undergraduate degrees give that good training still? I must be at the wrong bleeding uni!
just a little note. have over 10yrs of commerical arch experience and am alway happy to pass on any knowledge etc to any who want to learn - thats how i was lucky enough to learn a great deal! however, after a number of site running jobs I found, sadly, that the majority of new diggers arent interested in any advice or guidance and think that a degree is all they need and have no need for on the job learning. It is very sad and disheartening and i fear greatly for the already shaky standards of field archaeology.
I can't think of any unis that offer such good experience. Bradford has a placement year (I might have mentioned that before...), which is really good if you apply yourself and look for the jobs. I do know people that have managed to get more than 6months experience digging commercially on the placement, but unfortunately the majority of placements are at SMRs or in museums or labs.
There is also the option of trying to get a year or twos digging experience in before going to college and/or accumulating 3 years worth of summer holiday digging....or is that just halcyonic recollections of someone too old to rock and roll, too young to die.....
Thats the missing bit Kevin ... like you I dug before... I got involved in local groups.. applied and volunteered... went to Uni (er... got pissed ... left... er cough) went on to work... but by that time I had over 2 years of exp in digging. So I hit the ground running... and then learnt from people.

(had a laugh yesterday... when a person who will remain nameless... but was 6 months old when I first put trowel to soil!) told me I did not understand what it was really like Wink

perhaps this is another push we can get into this year... TRAINING !! not just a few bursery positions... but a real scheme, a real standard and a real opportunity to learn...

Along the lines of Framework?? Whatever you think... people did seem to learn! (and a friend of mine was part of it... so watch what ya say!)

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Khufu
Quote:quote:Originally posted by BAJR Host

perhaps this is another push we can get into this year... TRAINING !! not just a few bursery positions... but a real scheme, a real standard and a real opportunity to learn...

Towards that end, wouldn't it be good to see an archaeological employer (and/or a professional body such as IFA or statutories such as EH/CADW/Historic Scotland) offering an incentive to experienced staff capable of offering hands-on training, to stay in the field. Many of the incentives in UK archaeology, (financial and 'job cache') seem geared towards getting a desk job as soon as decently possible.

I notice that the CBA are currently advertising a government initiative 'Culture/Arts/Heritage jobs Roadshow' touring the UK in next few months, fine in itself, but none of the 'hands-on' conservation posts appear to be for archaeological field specialisms. Seems that somewhere a message isn't getting through. There also has not been a single IFA/EH bursary (yet!!) for 'digging skills' although we all recognise that this area represents the majority of archaeological work and probably the largest number of available archaeological posts.

So Yes, once again it may have to be BAJR that sets the ball rolling on this as no-one else seems particularly inspired.

PS Am giving a talk on 'What to do and Where to go in archaeology after your University Library card has been cancelled' (largely inspired by BAJR), somewhere in Cambridge on Feb 14th.



Quote:quote:So Yes, once again it may have to be BAJR that sets the ball rolling on this as no-one else seems particularly inspired.

Oh gawd... not again [:p] can BAJR have full funding please Wink

I would love to discuss the Feb meeting... as it would be good to have a standard that we could use to tour all the Unis... plus I can give some leaflets guides and stuff...

give us an email... and we can see if we can come up with sumink... I am doing similar in YTork and troll is also doing another... so this is a chance.

As to the Training... lets just do it !! Waiting will get us nowhere..

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Khufu
Sounds like a fantastic opportunity to me!

Its about time that units had a responcability to train thier staff - and this comes from someone who had been digging for three odd years before a unit finaly taught me to use an edm!! Aparently its pointless as someone else could do it and there was no time. This was not just at one unit but at quite a large number!

Still not as bad as on one site where new workers were given no training just told there wasnt time and given shovels or wheelbarrows and cleared up after the other staff! May have given them a few month exp to go on the old cv but not much else!

Its now generally accepted that university degrees are failing those who have archaeological ambition outside acedemia so this must be the next logical course of action - develop them in the field.
What about the midlands firm who leaves all the recording to the supervisors and the digging to the...er...diggers. When a load of these poor diggers came to work for us we spent a lot of time training them up in writing context sheets, drawings, levelling ect. It was worth it and they are all good archaeologists, except for the one who went back to foreunmentioned unit.
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