BAJR Federation Archaeology

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"....an archaeologist need know no more about the recent past than a geologist a postman or a dentist...."

OR

"An archaeologist is defined as a person who studies ancient cultures by the examination of ancient remains .. and as ancient is defined as very old it is only to be used for study in Britian of remians prior to the Roman Empire..."

.... can't say more than this is an architect..who is not happy about the term Buildings Archaeology...

:face-huh:

is he right? is he half right? does he have a point or is he not...

I define archaeology as encompassing the study of human cultures through material remains.. now if thats a pillbox or a spitfire.. a 19th century workers cottage or a Roman fort.. then thats what we do? Or do we? are we straying into places we are not wanted?

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Khufu
Bit of a theme emerging here - architects who seem to hold heritage in contempt... But still there's the recent planning appeal in Devon against a building recording condition where the inspector on dismissing the appeal stated:

Quote:quote:The appellant states that ‘archaeology is normally understood to be the study of prehistoric remains, or antiquities of medieval origin’. However, I have no evidence of such a limited definition. The OED defines the word as ‘ancient history generally, the systematic study of antiquities or matters of earlier times’. PPG16 – Archaeology and Planning states ‘Today’s archaeological landscape is the product of human activity over thousands of years. It ranges through settlements and remains of every period from the camps of the early hunter gatherers 400,000 years ago to remains of early 20 century activities’. It is clear, therefore that the Government draws
the parameters widely.

I've got a PDF of the full statement if you want to show it to your ignorant potential client. Big Grin Personally I would stretch it through into the late 20th century in the case of structures which are rare or unusual. It's up to us to make coherent arguments really.
that would be good <s>gumbo</s>...oh the shame !!! I do mean Vulpes... I had a gumbo on the brain!

could you send it to

dconnolly@eastlothian.gov.uk

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Khufu
Are Foxy and Gumbo one and the same?

'I wanna be a punk rocker but my mammy will ne let me'
Campbell
I think the lack of clarity in this situation is entirely the fault of archaeologists and I have a sympathy for the architect.

The legal definition of archaeology that must prevail is the one in the Pocket Oxford Dictionary available in 1990. This defines archaeology as the study of antiquities or of prehistoric remains.

PGG16 blurs this definition with mention of remains early C20 date.

The 1979 Act qives fews clue to the definition of archaeology but does distinguish between archaeological and historic interest. In terms of date an aircraft can be scheduled.

It has to be remembered that the 1979 Act was a convenient mechanism for protecting many things which could not be protected by say listing and thus not just archaeological sites can be protected.

In terms of building I donot accept that "buildings archaeology" or an archaeological conditions apply to say C20 buildings and it thus confuses people by saying the recording of the buildings is archaeological. (And by inference must be done by archaeologists approved by the LPA and thus excluding for example architectural historians from doing such work).


Dr Peter Wardle







Quote:quote:Originally posted by drpeterwardle


The legal definition of archaeology that must prevail is the one in the Pocket Oxford Dictionary available in 1990.

Why? Why Oxford? Why the pocket edition for goodness' sake?
Your declared sympathy for 'the architect' is rather obscure as well. Am I to infer that you know more than I about the case mentioned, or do you agree with the inflammatory and erroneous statements in the original post?

Oh, and to answer Host's questions, he is not right, he does not have a point. Archaeology is the study of the past through material culture; no more, most certainly no less.
Have just checked the definition of "archaeology" in the online Compact Oxford English Dictionary and it is "the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of physical remains".

Hardly as period specific as you would have us believe Dr Wardle.

I don't in any case understand why you suggest that the OED's definition should be one and the same as the legal definition of archaeology. Surely, in the case of PPG16 at any rate, the definition would be decided by Government lawyers, if challenged, not by the editorial panel of the OED?

I'd accept that PPG15 may be applied in some counties by DC archaeologists with a "throw the kitchen sink at it in every case" approach (mind you that works with PPG16 as well), on the other hand PPG15 doesn't seem to have grabbed the attention of local government in some counties in quite the same way as PPG16 - hence the possible confusion.

Personally, I see nothing wrong with recording 20th century buildings - as long as a coherent argument has been made justifying the need to do so. Whether architectural historians should be able to carry out such work as well as buildings archaeologists is surely splitting hairs?

Defence of Britain Project - valuable?




Happiness depends on ourselves.
I think also that by definition - Buildings Archaeology - can be carried out by anyone who is competant in buildings archaeology - not nessesarily an 'archaeologist' (in fact some archaeologists think they are.. but would best be kept away from a building... using architectural terms without real understanding of what they are meaning... ie.. there is a difference between a segmental arch and a 3 centred arch and an elliptical arch)

Buildings Archaeology is an accepted term for the forensic examination of a structure... just as a Buildings Historian looks at another aspect etc etc... an architect, amatuer or Uncle Cob can be a buildings archaeologist .... not jsut an archaeologist

Its is a matter of competance... the requirement is for a person comeptant to record the building to a level that will satisfy the LPA. for example I recently asked for the recording of a 1970s Bus Station... the client was horrified at first until I explained that what was wanted was a record of the structure as a living building and with the busses, engineers, drivers, public etc... and the suite of shops set into the lower concourse.. this was social history and an important structure to preserve by record.. as at elast in my area of the UK, this was the last one... the job would take half a day, and it was even offered to them to take the relevant photos... once it had been explained... they readily agreed.. were chuffed at the publicity and asked that buildings archaeologists/photographers carried out the 1/2 day of work....

Its all about competance.. and context.

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

"An archaeologist is defined as a person who studies ancient cultures by the examination of ancient remains .. and as ancient is defined as very old it is only to be used for study in Britian of remians prior to the Roman Empire..."

Any chance of finding out from the architect what he thinks the correct definition of a person who studies the remains of cultures that post-date the Roman period is then? If he would argue that the people who excavated Viking York or Medieval Winchester (for example) were not archaeologists, what would he term them?
Yes, he's rather argued himself into a corner there by saying that archaeology should end at 43AD.

I don't see how architectural historians are excluded. Surely the work can be carried out by anyone who demonstrates that they have the skills and experience to fulfil the brief? I thought architects understood preservation be record anyway, most of the big practices have their own archives...
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