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Bar to self-employment.
Well, glad to see it come to this on a thread... starts well... then heads south.

Is there a bar to self employment? or is tere a bar to self employment unless you are a member of the IfA ? Quality control on Self Employed Archaeologists... - well thats even worse than the intermittant checking on ROs.

Minimum Standards or Best Practice... I know which one I prefer to do.
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BAJR Wrote:Minimum Standards or Best Practice... I know which one I prefer to do.

I'm with you on that one :face-approve:
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The county mountie where I work is totally hostile to people trying to establish themselves as sole traders. It may be something to do with `they` being good mates/drinking buddies with the director of the local company.
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Thats very true, but often easier said than done... not exactly going to help your prospects in that county if you drag the curator over the coals are you... and we do keep coming back to the same thing... consistancy there is none... there are good ones and average ones, ones who work in the field and ones that did it at university, ones that are able to judge a good building record, some that aren't, some that understand geophysics in their area, some that don't... some that got into post by outlasting everyone else, some who are there on merit... a curatorial brief can be different on either side of a border. I was i ALGAO myself... in my development control days... and the cop out clause was always... take it to the council... who of course are able to understand the complexities of archaeology by getting advice from... oh... hold on.... the curator. Smile

Complain to who.... now if the curator was in teh IfA, they could complain to them WinkSURELY THATS WHAT YOU WOUULD WANT..
Some counties are fiefdoms... lets not forget
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Well... this seems to have touched a nerve. Personal rants aside.

Lets be clear. And in away this dovetails nicely into Digging teh Dirts piece on How the west was one (by Commercial Archaeology) There comes a time when Sheriffs have to become 'the Law' not their law, which to their credit - (and mine if I may be so bold as a development control arch of a tiny county) they brought law to the lawless, and security to those who needed protection. They offered support, and advice, they often knew 'their' patch well, and had links with local groups, many still do. But to extend the analogy, the time of the local sheriff is over, the time for federal law is here. Navajo may feel agreived, and yes, there are ways to deal with "totally hostile" attitudes - These have to be explored before anything else. Perhaps Navajo is the worst archaeologist in the area, perhaps the best - we can't say, other than one word against another. Time for licences? Has my vote... Easier than Chartered... and perhaps a fairer system where ability and competence is examined... just like I had to with my AAI&S membership - not like MiFA... which is now far from the original concept of field archaeologist capable of running a project...

Licence us... and then we have credentials... something to be trusted... for individuals in charge of projects... not just blanket RO coverage.. not MiFA ness... but a credential that has been peer reviewed. One thats worth the paper it is written on, and one that can be revoked - level the playing field... and for curator, perhaps its time to become a federal marshal and leave the small town sheriff to the past.
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BAJR Wrote:... and we do keep coming back to the same thing... consistancy there is none... there are good ones and average ones ... some that got into post by outlasting everyone else, some who are there on merit...

A charge that could be equally leveled at diggers/supervisors and project managers . There seems to be a lot of 'curator bashing' going on on BAJR at the moment - I'm a County Archaeological Officer, and I'm not saying we're perfect, but let's not pretend that archaeological contractors are saints being held back by poor curatorial standards.
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I can only agree... The level of consistency is woeful... from how to fill in a context sheet to how to sample a pit... from where to place trenches to how many people are required on a particular site and what experience is needed. The thrust of this thread does tend to curatorial bashing, but by gawd, we can do the same to contractors, to diggers, to PMs to companies, to the whole damn mess... and once we have finished, then what??

(As I have admitted I was a Council Asst. Archaeologist... ) SO I am in effect kicking myself in the goolies. :I

Once... a long time ago... in a poorly attended free conference in York... I waved this about... it seems to fit the bill... Says what is needed, how many people, what level of competence, etc... outcomes, reporting... everything.... So every archaeologist across the Netherlands and every monitor of archaeologists is using the same criteria... joy!

Have another look at this, and tell me it ain't worth a crack... and of course... licence me! Smile

http://www.sikb.nl/upload/documents/archeo/knauk.pdf (1.8 meg) Dutch Archaeology Quality Standard

as an example:

ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIELD EVALUATION

3.1 Description

3.1.1 Objective

The objective of the archaeological field evaluation is to supplement and verify the specified predictive model that resulted from the desk-based assessment. This is done by fieldwork designed to acquire (additional) information on known or expected archaeological values within a survey area. This covers the presence or absence, the nature and character, the quantity, dating, integrity and preservation and the relative quality of the archaeological values. The result is a report with a valuation and, if prescribed in the Project Outline, (selection) recommendations which can be used to take a policy decision (usually a selection decision). This means that the field activities are carried out to the level at which this decision can responsibly be taken. In other words, the archaeological field evaluation must be carried out in a way that is not more destructive than necessary.

3.1.2 Determining the survey method

In the case of the archaeological field evaluation, a distinction is made between an exploratory, a mapping and an evaluating phase. The objective of the exploratory phase is to acquire an insight into the geomorphologic landscape units in so far as these are related to location choices in the past. This can take the form of a visual inspection, as well as a geo-archaeological borehole survey. The objective is to exclude low-potential zones and select high-potential zones for the following phases. If sufficient detail is already known about the landscape, this phase can.............

........
...Project Outline, the selection of the most effective and efficient method will be left up to the expertise of the executing body (the archaeological contractor). Requirements will have to be imposed on the (scientific) substantiation of this choice:
1. A specification of all the information used on which the choice is to be based.
2. The presumed characteristics of the expected archaeological sites with regard to depth, size, archaeological indicators, spatial distribution within the site.
3. The manner in which the selected survey strategy can demonstrate the presence or absence of archaeological values (or the presumed characteristics) in a sufficiently reliable manner. The basis for the choice...............

..........................
.The survey methods are listed below classified according to the extent to which they disrupt archaeological values. The methods can be subdivided into:

a. non-destructive methods:
? geophysical methods: electrical, magnetic and electromagnetic methods, possibly in combination with remote sensing techniques.

b. slightly destructive methods:
? field walking;
? borehole survey;
? test pits (pits of 1 m2 max.).

c. destructive methods:
? trial trenches.3.1.3

Process
The archaeological field evaluation process comprises the following subprocesses:

1. preparation of archaeological field evaluation;
2. implementation of archaeological field evaluation;
3. interpretation of archaeological field evaluation.

A decision can be taken to carry out the entire preliminary process (as a desk-based assessment and archaeological field evaluation together) ? in phases and as a single assignment. In this case, the standards and guidelines relating to desk-based assessments and ar..............3.1.4 Actors

Archaeological field evaluation Job
Junior Archaeologist
Medior Archaeologist
Senior Archaeologist
Junior Specialist
Senior Specialist
Junior Field Technician
Senior Field Technician
Excavation Worker
Non-archaeological Specialist
Land Surveyor
Geophysicist


and there is goes, on and on, in detail about who does what, when and why, and at what stage as well as what is expected of them... shurely this is not beyond our capabilities to implement nationally? Then we all know what to do... who should do it... and when we are pulling legs!
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Might need a bit of re-wording to accomodate PPS5, but I like it, especially the bit about the contractor doing the detailed evaluation methodology :face-approve:
Not curator-bashing, since that seems to be a touching subject, but some of the curator-generated specs that have passed through this office recently as part of tender packages have frankly been wierd - like one job looking for continuation of a series of parallel ditches recorded (none too accurately) in an adjacent plot where the trial trenches were all located running parallel to their alignment.....eh?
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Quote:the contractor doing the detailed evaluation methodology

Which is only possible when all parties are using the same manual Smile So yes... I just wish that we could pull our fingers out and just implement this... unless of course the Dutch will say... oh no... its terrible!
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