BAJR Federation Archaeology

Full Version: Free archaeology
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Wax Wrote:I get confused by organisations that are registered charities but undertake paid commercial work. I am intrigued as to how that works.


Me too.
My second 'training dig' was at a well-known rowing lake down south......near Eton I think }Smile

I paid a weekly rate (can't remember how much) for 'food' and a spot to put up my tent. Spent a fair amount of time: moving caravans for the 'real' archaeologists to stay in, working in the kitchen, serving food, sieving soil, washing finds...but did dig some archaeology...I got to dig some tree boles and then a hearth (with I have to say very good supervision) and then got to dig out flints, marbles and iron nails from a gridded spit by spit dig through a buried soil....(which apparently is now a 'preserved neolithic ritual deposit').

Sounds like any other student dig? Well yes except it was a commercial project, made obvious by the watching brief being undertaken on the diggers and moxies digging out the rowing lake next to the training dig areas......though of course I have no idea if the projects were funded differently.............??!!Sad!
When this #freearchaeology hashtag came up on Twitter, I thought about my own experiences of looking for archaeological work back in the mid 1990s. When I was offered my place at Bournemouth University in the Summer of 1995 it came with the caveat that I had to undertake three weeks of archaeology / heritage work before I started. I was fortunate to find an excavation to work on. It was unpaid work, and my Summer job at a Supermarket covered the petrol money I needed.

In 1996 I attended my University training excavation for a month and then went on to spend a week with the charity 'Cathedral Camps' cleaning the interior of Bristol Cathedral. I slept, along with the other Male attendees in the Cathedral Chapter House, whilst the Females slept in a Dorm Room upstairs. We cooked on a rota, and again, my Summer job at a Supermarket covered the costs of travelling and of attending.

The following year, in 1997, in addition to volunteering with Cathedral Camps I felt I should gain some additional archaeological experience in order to make sure I had the skills required to find a job when I left University. I decided to try and find a suitable excavation, and was stunned to find that people wanted to charge me to attend their digs! Some of the prices were reasonable, and I rang 32 different excavations to get some idea of what my money would get me. Excavation number 33 was the Monmouth Archaeological Society.

Steve Clarke of the Monmouth Archaeology Society was offended that someone should pay to learn to excavate archaeology! So, I went to work there for three weeks, and stayed in the Local Youth Hostel. It was a fantastic experience and I'm glad I persisted to find something which turned out to be so worthwhile.
THis is where the rub comes in... never mind the "unfair advantage thing" where teh discussion is heading on the parallel universe of Facebook is this...

Good comment here:

To answer her points about apprenticeship/trainee. that is a fair point

I even have a specific 'trainee' position .. which perhaps I should alter to apprenticeship. .. to avoid confusion. so seriously good point... and taken on board.

As an apprentice, I would expect some sort of capability and it does come down to who pays. As a business - I would have to have a financial incentive to take on an apprentice - and it would be weighed against the commercial imperative. Would it be so much better to have this technical ability prior to entering the job market where there is an entry level archaeologist. and (god forbid) a career structure that rewards time, skills and experience - so that a time served digger is not getting the same as a new one )

Second. to clarify further the driving licence analogy. yes, it is like you are asking them to pay you to learn to be a driving instructor.

Thanks for the comments... this is coming out and being discussed, which is what is needed.

Now.. what I would love to hear... is what - in an ideal world would be the answer. and then ( with a deep breath ) what is a realistic solution.
And thanks for that post S G - that shows what can be done... with effort... but with an end goal!
obviously I cant stand anything to do with volunteers and that dribbles onto the charity units. I think that my dividing line is based on my view that an archaeologist produces copyright. I particularly find that volunteers don't see this and nor do those that exploit these people like to point that out, mainly through the method of making sure that the copyright is hidden and worthless. What do volunteers think that they are volunteering at? I had to do seventy days fieldwork for my undergraduate and rapidly was introduced to the unpaid work world, did a bit at molas, mostly used it to fill my pockets with swopies and nick perma trace. possibly extending my contempt to anybody that supports them and all the other sources of volunteering is a bit extreme and has never done me any favours but it is a never ending source of quiet satisfaction
I think soccer is a good analogy. There are some folk who make a full-time living from the game, some who do it part-time (semi-professionally) and some who do it for fun. There are some people who get to play for free and some folk who have to pay for the privilege. What is clear about soccer is that a desire to be paid for doing something you enjoy (sometimes love) rarely translates into reality.....but what is also clear from soccer is that there are many levels at which you can play and finding the level that best suits you is part of the fun....anyone who remembers the football scene from the movie 'Kes' will understand the point I am trying to make.....

.....the question of interns is really an irrelevance, when the majority of participants in archaeology in the UK are unpaid. I think one needs to examine the reasoning that lies behind 'internships'. Being unpaid itself doesn't make an 'intern' (otherwise all unpaid participants in UK archaeology could call themself 'intern'). No, what makes an intern is a 'I scatch your back, you give me a job' attitude......If being really caustic, (which I am not), I'd say that people who believe in such a philosophy deserve to be exploited!!
so what you are saying is that archaeology is a sport and that premier sides use volunteers to win the championship which saves them having to borrow zillions for some one who might be any good. I think that the share holders should be told. I can see that football is a sport but it seems to me the professionals rely on turning it into an entertainment for which they charge a fortune for.... copyrights haha. Is possibly the caustic problem with a lot of archaeologists is that they believe that they got into archaeology through volunteering and think that this should be perpetuated. so all those footballers giving something back to the community its just that I don't see them doing it for free not even remotely.
Unitof1 Wrote:so what you are saying is that archaeology is a sport

Actually, archaeology is a hobby, started by rich folk who didn't need a day job! Therein lies the seed of all that has troubled our "career" ever since...
The search for point.... :face-approve:
barkingdigger Wrote:Actually, archaeology is a hobby, started by rich folk who didn't need a day job! Therein lies the seed of all that has troubled our "career" ever since...

That, coupled with the phrase "you're doing something you love, so you shouldn't complain about the pay"
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19