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Community Archaeology in England
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The trend for professionals to follow the money and become increasingly involved with ‘Community Groups’ is a welcome development.
Many community groups tend to be scewed towards older folk like myself and to have an influx of youthful enthusiasm with new ideas and techniques is always good. This was noticeable at the recent Scotland's Community Heritage Conference with the Glasgow-based Northlight Hertiage well represented. Another potential advantage is access to equipment.

Community funding, at different levels, is available for local groups where participation is open to the public or selected groups. The funding, which can be many thousands of pounds, is often used for projects on the arts side which, although of value, are here today and gone tomorrow. Unfortunately, for archaeology, it is more difficult to get funding for expensive equipment (eg for geophysical surveys) which can lead to more sustainable, extensive, low cost work. Professional groups can make such equipment available and also provide on-site training/experience. Some amateur groups already provide hands-on experience with soil resistance meters (eg EAFS) etc.

Kite/pole/balloon aerial photography kit and soil resistance meters (especially from MM Instruments - our SRM was much less than £600 a couple of years ago) are relatively cheap but magnetometry is still an expensive technique, although a sub-£1000 gradiometer is under development by MM Instruments.
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Community Archaeology in England - by BAJR - 11th January 2013, 11:23 PM

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