BAJR Federation Archaeology
The next question: recording - Printable Version

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The next question: recording - Dinosaur - 11th November 2013

kevin wooldridge Wrote:Well I don't disagree with any of that, but is it really the fault of the IfA?

Apologies, wasn't suggesting they'd invented it (rather some of their constituent ROs), and such an approach certainly isn't promoted in their various guidances etc, am merely concerned that they seem to condone it - it's probably the surest route in the long run to the 'death of British Archaeology', since eventually no one'll be left (at least in the commercial sector) who knows how to dig properly. Scary thing is that none of the people trained thus that I've talked to seem aware that it's sh*** and the old ways (at least in this) are, actually, better. As I pointed out above, as time goes by it's starting to pervade PO-dom, then it'll be SPOs, then managers.... :0


The next question: recording - Tool - 11th November 2013

Being inherently distrustful of anyone who says 'it has to be done like this', and of the general trend of commercial enterprise as well, I'm still trying to work out what does constitute good practice. Which is fun. It isn't helped when there doesn't even seem to be a consensus as to what an archaeologist in the field is supposed to be achieving.


The next question: recording - Martin Locock - 11th November 2013

For commercial work standards can be enforced on a project-by-project basis by the curators. I would like hard-pressed curators to follow through on enforcing conditions re publication, archiving and deposit, rather than becoming distracted by outreach work. And if they are too hard-pressed to fulfil their prime function then they should announce it publicly rather than use their under-resourcing as a reason not to do so.


The next question: recording - RedEarth - 11th November 2013

Dinosaur Wrote:Apologies, wasn't suggesting they'd invented it (rather some of their constituent ROs), and such an approach certainly isn't promoted in their various guidances etc, am merely concerned that they seem to condone it - it's probably the surest route in the long run to the 'death of British Archaeology', since eventually no one'll be left (at least in the commercial sector) who knows how to dig properly. Scary thing is that none of the people trained thus that I've talked to seem aware that it's sh*** and the old ways (at least in this) are, actually, better. As I pointed out above, as time goes by it's starting to pervade PO-dom, then it'll be SPOs, then managers.... :0



If would be helpful to those of us who weren't working in the 1980s (or whichever magical golden age it is you are harking back to) if you could provide some more information about the system of working you describe, in which he (or she) who could best 'find ye edge' was declared king (or queen) and was given a year's worth of cider as a reward. A time when digging was supreme and the only skill anyone needed to know. I assume there is a series of guidance notes one can easily access, perhaps a club one can join which makes some attempt at maintaining standards, despite constant griping. No? Thought not.


The next question: recording - GnomeKing - 11th November 2013

RedEarth Wrote:, perhaps a club one can join which makes some attempt at maintaining standards, .

yes, Red Q.rght >4me ifa needs to tackle commercial beast...or help enable somebody else too> that would be heroic.

also this really needs some attention:

"commercial work standards can be enforced on a project-by-project basis by the curators... curators, if they are toohard-pressedto fulfiltheir prime function should Announce Publicly their under-resourcing."

(edit from ML.)


The next question: recording - barkingdigger - 12th November 2013

RedEarth Wrote:... and was given a year's worth of cider as a reward.

Ye gods! From what little I can clearly remember of those days, a year's-worth of booze for a circuit-lag would bankrupt a medium-sized nation! (The usual reward was crap "subsistence" wages and dossing-space in a local squat...)

Tool, the answer you seek is simple - understand the features in your trench, how they relate, and how they affect the understanding of the site. Then, make a decent record so others can understand the archaeology from what you wrote, drew, and photographed. Good luck getting enough time or resources to do it justice!...


The next question: recording - Dinosaur - 12th November 2013

barkingdigger Wrote:Tool, the answer you seek is simple - understand the features in your trench, how they relate, and how they affect the understanding of the site.

Apparently not a requirement if following the 'lego-brick' approach, so treat that as optional, depending on who you're working for.

@RedEarth - since most diggers aren't ever going to rise above 'digger' they could at least take some pride in what tasks they are undertaking? I'd suggest that being able to find an edge is a pretty basic skill. And if you can't find the edge you're unlikely to find that e.g. critical relationship with another feature? I've worked on a big mag. limestone site where the local unit's regular diggers (who you'd think would know the stuff) weren't even edging and bottoming rock-cut ditches! [for those readers unfamiliar, mag. limestone tends to dump a load of powdered white stuff as a primary fill in some features] Some of them were double the recorded (and published) depth! :face-crying:


The next question: recording - RedEarth - 12th November 2013

Dinosaur Wrote:since most diggers aren't ever going to rise above 'digger' they could at least take some pride in what tasks they are undertaking?


I feel you pain. But really, 'most diggers aren't ever going to rise above digger'? Are you and your organisation making this decision on their behalf through the contracts you offer, the CPD and training you provide, and the opportunities presented? What a bleak world you must inhabit. Most 'diggers' (whatever that even means these days) I have worked with pretty soon 'rose above' that status and went on to supervise/project manage eventually, although they still probably did a bit of digging on the way as it is one of a number of useful skills. The ones who didn't were either rubbish, gave up and got 'proper jobs' where some sort of progression was considered normal, or were the sort of people who were happy to be paid in cider. Once again you describe a depressing situation of hopelessness and martyrdom to the cause of digging for digging's sake.


The next question: recording - Dinosaur - 12th November 2013

RedEarth Wrote:I feel you pain. But really, 'most diggers aren't ever going to rise above digger'? Are you and your organisation making this decision on their behalf through the contracts you offer, the CPD and training you provide, and the opportunities presented? What a bleak world you must inhabit. Most 'diggers' (whatever that even means these days) I have worked with pretty soon 'rose above' that status and went on to supervise/project manage eventually...

Where you work must be a bit top-heavy with POs/managers then!


The next question: recording - RedEarth - 12th November 2013

Dinosaur Wrote:Where you work must be a bit top-heavy with POs/managers then!


I'm not suggesting it happens overnight.