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
who cares kev.

Whats more to the point is did anybody make any money out of the site. and is your opinion that there is no more archaeology there something that can earn you a living.....
Tool Wrote:Are there many parts of Britain where you could guarantee there is no archaeology without some form of investigation? That would seem rather a dangerous assumption to me. But then I am new to this game.

Hi tool yes in answer to your question there's are loads of areas without archaeology!

To elaborate on my earlier point which I know David will back up we certainly do too many evaluations in Scotland, the density of sites is less than in england and there are lots of interventions without results. The 70% figure for interventions has been true for 10 years. My personal response is that if there is no known archaeology within 500 m of the site then no archaeology should be done, although this rule should be tempered with precisely how big the development are is. Do we have any figures for postive results for prospective evaluations in areas without previous remains?

I also suspect that lots of stuff is missed because the default evaluation product is negative results because that's what most people find.

I would rather have less and it all done better!

OK, to change the question slightly, is there any way in which you can predict with 95+% certainty that those 70% of sites that produce negative results would have nowt before intervention? And isn't it, in some ways, as important to prove there is nothing rather than something if you're talking about development sites? Or have I got the wrong idea that having some kind of archaeology aspect in the planning law was to make sure information isn't lost, not necessarily to find stuff each time?

Apologies if that isn't worded particularly well - celebrating a rare day off with some very cheap wine. It's for medicinal purposes, honest...
There's areas we know are sterile because we sterilised them (a la Kevin's post), and all the rest where we'd have to gamble because we cannot see through the overburden! (Damned kryptonite in the local soil...) Sure, there are lots of "negative" evals done, but they fill in the map for us. Remember the good old days, when the map of Roman villas bore a curious correlation to the map of UK road-building?

And woe betide the DC officer who waives the need for an eval because "we know there's nothing around here", only to have to halt a development for a rescue dig! I'd rather have stacks of evals with no result than miss out on sites because nobody bothered to look before the big yellow trowel arrived. As for "fewer, but done better", what is the current problem with enforcing good standards? If digs are slack now, doing less of them won't drive up standards! The two issues are unrelated...

What we all really want is more, AND done better! Especially when Development archaeology is the only part of the sector with any legislation to back it up in these days of austerity.
I think I just saved you all a year of your life's and a cup of Horlick as the mammoth post I wrote vanished in front of my very eyes!

In short...I graduated, moved back home worked in a cafe and "volunteered" at 1)my local museum 2)the local historic house and 3)a certain archaeology unit

I wrote letters to 1&2 and had a great time an afternoon a week when ever I could helping out...and that is what I was doing, helping! There were things that needed doing and I was made to feel very appreciated.

Number 3 was a bit different. I fired off an email to the wrong person, but seemingly this lovely lovely lady pulled a few strings and everythursday I had a chair waiting for me in the finds room. I washed and marked finds and had a great time with the rained off diggers over a long winter. But there was no plan, and nobody was "looking after me" I got losses in the sea of other cold hands and from an outsiders view I worked there. Gradually the numbers dwindled, people were being let go left right and centre (2010) I was prompted to see HR to ask if anything was on the horizon but didn't because I felt awkward and always had in this half way sort of house. After a while I made my excuses and left.

I have been working now in a beautiful museum for 2 and a half years and it is because of my "volunteering" that I got the job. I still "volunteer" on my days off and using leave and I am very proud of my CV.

BUT the problem is that what I have been doing hasn't been volunteering (perhaps with the exception of the historic house) In my mind volunteering has always been something you did selflessly for someone or something else. I totally have been doing all of this for me and consciously decided to do so and to learn in this way over doing a masters. I did it not to be employed by these organisations but to be employable to someone somewhere. And this makes me feel very uneasy using volunteer on my cv. I don't think anyone should really have to pay for my education though, although clearly there is a bit of muddy water with what I was doing at the unit.

Just a thought...who are you Helping when you are volunteering.
To my mind, most voluntary opportunities are, at least in part, there to be mutually beneficial. The work gets done and you the volunteer get knowledge, experience and hopefully enjoyment. I was always quite blatant about it. I like to think it helped me get a job. I wouldn't worry to much about the semantics in these cases.
My problem is simply with the scale of negative results, most sites and archaeologists find nothing on sites where the her says there might be something, let alone those that are there to demonstrate a negative,,ie the her says there's nothing there but the potential exists, so therefore lets spend thousands proving it!
Surely thats more of a case of misunderstanding what an HER is though, isnt it? It is not, and cannot be, a record of where the archaeology is - it is however, a record of where archaeology has, and has not, been found. Anything more than that, and frequent parts of that, comes down to opinion and 'experience' (often equalling guesswork). You might be working in a part of the country that seems to have prehistoric burial mounds on the tops of several hills nearby, so the local county archaeologist always recommends work on hilltops, so you find more stuff because thats where you are looking (as mentioned by barkingdigger above in regards to roads).
good point...however, given that HER's are in general maintained by council's their primary aim is to inform planning decisions, can we really continue to say that despite the presence of no evidence we should keep doing groundbreaking evaluations?
yes - though there is a case to suggest that in some cases, and areas, it should/could be adequately covered by a fairly minimal intermittent monitoring of the ground works. That however is up to the archaeological contractor to argue, unless the county archaeologist has already specified that as the requirement.

I know I've done work surrounded by negative results and then found something - often called 'working in towns' (lots of smashed to pieces archaeology on nearby sites, with the occasional randomly surviving little site in between all the modern developments).
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19