BAJR Federation Archaeology
Campaign Message ? - Printable Version

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Campaign Message ? - BAJR - 29th March 2011

We could end up in a terrible muddle... inspiring the future with past understanding the present in archaeology Wink

But seriously... I think we are getting there and there is news of a competition for a short 45 sec viral ad ( and indeed even ol' BAJR will be putting money in the kitty)

Here is what I wrote last night to the email discussion

Quote:I tend to agree with Chris Cumberpatch, but what has come to a head in the BAJR discussions are the following:

1: archaeology is too disparate to have a clear focus
2.: archaeology matters to the public
3: any campaign can suceed is it stays general - but focussed

Therefore the concept coming from BAJRites is this

There are millions who are interested and so if this group are engaged... if any threat comes to archaeology, then they will be there, whether it is CBA funding, Council cuts, funding for local groups etc

As Chris points out, there are lots of great projects, but they are just that... lots of many. I did some stats recently and of all the archaeology interventions, Public Archaeology makes up only 4%

I admit that includes watching briefs, but you get the picture. When I was in York in the 80s, we had info boards and public access, and they loved it.... it was there archaeology, it was adventure, it was discovery, even if it was coming once a day for 10 minutes.

That said... if we act in a general way.. then it can be used to fit any threat....

Archaeology - Discover yourself.

Archaeology - you can't lose your past.


Archaeology - the real Timelords.

Archaeology - armchair timetravel for mortals like us

Archaeology : Use it or loose it
The Past made us: archaeology shows us.

You see where we are going.... it fits anything that gets thrown at us.

We then need a cracking website a facebook / twitter campaign... and sorry... no Mortimer (who he?)
and definitely no Indiana!

Really it is mobilising the public behind whatever happens.

Rescue can be the mouth... but seriously... don't name names... this is not going to work if people require their name attached to a campaign...

This is archaeology - pure and simple.

Keep It Simple Stupid


good luck. and remember us up here in the rest of the UK (otherwise known as Scotland)

Mike Heyworth added this

This is what The Archaeology Forum's earlier 2005 leaflet said (printed and sent to all MPs in Westminster and still available on the TAF web site at
Archaeology enriches us all
Everything that is special about Britain has been touched and shaped by millennia of daily human lives – creativity, conflict, changing beliefs and technologies.
Archaeology is about uncovering, recording and interpreting that story. And for all but the last 2,000 of over 500,000 years, archaeology is central to our understanding and appreciation of this rich and diverse past. It helps explain the growth of our towns and cities and the evolution of our countryside as well as our relationship with nature and the spiritual world.
Why does archaeology matter?
Archaeology is key to understanding an irreplaceable store of human history, most with no written record and sometimes highly vulnerable
Understanding and appreciating this legacy makes a core contribution to local identity and to our sense of who we are as a nation and in our communities
A sense of place and a common cultural perspective are essential ingredients of quality of life for communities and for individual citizens
Archaeology links people in a direct way with continuity and change in our society and our surroundings
Like other disciplines in the historic environment, archaeology makes a major contribution to the tourist economy and to heritage-led regeneration.

As usual, I agree with Chris: there is so much fantastic work taking place across the UK bringing together people from all walks of life. The challenge is how we gain recognition for all this endeavour (and the benefits it delivers) amongst the key decision makers.

Interestingly, for the Radio 4 piece at lunchtime today they had Loyd Grossman lined up to talk about the heritage elements of the Select Committee report (in his capacity as Chair of The Heritage Alliance), but he got bounced by the extended reports coming out of Libya.


Will keep people informed.

ps... we are doing our best to kill Mortimer!

Campaign Message ? - Stephen Jack - 30th March 2011

Pay peanuts get an archaeologist

Archaeology matters archaeologist don't

Raise standards pay peanuts

Campaign Message ? - BAJR - 30th March 2011

Most amusing... not far from the truth, but perhaps not the mesage we are trying to pread. However, there is some truth in what we must try and achieve... make archaeology be the thing that matters most. (and thus help archaeologists be default) :face-kiss:

Campaign Message ? - P Prentice - 30th March 2011

sorry bajr but 'archaeology - discover yourself' has an obvious connotation that should perhaps be avoided

Campaign Message ? - overseas - 30th March 2011

I dont believe the clich?s will change most peoples minds. Its too easy easy to say "history matters", it is much harder to explain why .For that, I think we should start digging deep, where it matters. Here are some emotive, but some also quite long-thought-out beginnings of answers, and to to the politics of what is currently happening. They are offered as food for thought, they are not the snappy by-lines that were proposed.

The way history shapes our dreams: dreams are what we build with

I believe there was once a land - that maybe almost existed when I when young - I could believe in, I could love, I could work for, fight for and if I truly had to do it, die for to defend it, for love is nothing if not that for which we will give our lives - when it truly must be so. Perhaps, somewhere under the ground, it is that I still seek, as I seek it everywhere in everything that I do. I cannot bring it back by unearthing the ruins of the past, but maybe, as we continue to contribute to the greater good, collectively we do prevent the memory dying, the dream despairing, the vision folding its wings, as politicians sell our land, its past and its future, to the highest bidder for the lowest goals: for power and for wealth, and for the few. Do not dream or imagine, that they are in the business of doing anything else.

Someone once said to me: I do not live in a third world country. I live in one of the wealthiest countries in the midst of one of the wealthiest civilizations that has ever existed. Until we are declared bankrupt, or starving, or so inept that we can no longer govern ourselves, we can afford archaeology.

Dispossession and manipulation
And without our past, something that the simplest civilizations on earth ensure through oral history traditions, we can be dispossessed of everything we have ever had: freedom, dignity, self determination, understanding, politics, tradition and identity. Without all this, well, we are little better than slaves.

Archaeology does not cost jobs - it creates them: it is a flourishing, if small scale, employment sector. Employed people, are good for the economy: the widest possible employment base, better still. Why should the employees of archaeology be sacrificed to the narrow financial interests of the building sector? In whose interest is this finally? Not the nation's, either culturally or financially. Cuts in archaeology do not create more jobs, it destroys them; and just puts more money in the pockets of the building magnates. To what pressure are the politicians bowing?

Howard Brenton the dramatist once came up with a line that still seems to me a somehow remarkably good definition of what culture is. As I understand it (or misquote it) he called it, "That good which is between us". Archaeology belongs to that good, it belongs to a society that believes we work, we earn, we learn, to create a society, and not just to create money.

Of course, maybe I'm missing the point.

Campaign Message ? - GnomeKing - 30th March 2011

"Archaeology belongs to that good, it belongs to a society that believes we work, we earn, we learn, to create a society, and not just to create money." :face-approve:

Campaign Message ? - P Prentice - 30th March 2011

ergo - archaeology is one measure of a society that believes there is more to life than money

Campaign Message ? - P Prentice - 30th March 2011

The All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group

are bound to listen

as will there advisors

Campaign Message ? - GnomeKing - 30th March 2011

not sure if that is sarcasm P. ..... ?

Campaign Message ? - P Prentice - 30th March 2011

not sure either