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Sites on the cheap??
I have recently noticed that a certain company in the midlands is proposing to undertake a large excavation in association with a major house company utilising 500 volenteers!!

Now aside from the archaeology suffering.. surely in times of recession we should be looking to protect jobs for professionals..

it does seem like this company (a sole trader) is out to get work at any cost.....
500 all at once, or in shifts? Any idea how many supervisors, i.e. paid professionals there are going to be? I can just imagine the housing company's PR spinning this as engaging with the local community.....
That sounds far too ridiculous to be true, even if it were 500 volunteers in shifts. There must be more to it than that (please God I hope so). Surely the curator isn't going to allow something like that to happen (see the other thread on curators, standards and claims about the level of experience of staff ,never mind volunteers on site). I've no objection to the notion of volunteers on commercial projects, unless it means professional and already downtrodden archaeologists aren't getting the chop as a result.

April 1st is past... :face-huh: isn't it.??

Again 500 vollys with a sole trader... even I am not that mad :face-approve:

most I can cope with is 20 and even then I need 2 other pros with me.

at a ratio of 1 super to 6 vollys

pm me with the details of this if you can... would like to know more.

"Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage."
Niccolo Machiavelli
Hmm... good old Google. Quick search with the terms 'midlands housing development using 500 volunteer archaeologists' brings up what I assume to be the case in question (hopefully this is within AUP, I ain't naming anyone but put that in and you will soon find out). Anyway, if it is the right one it sounds a bit less straight-forward and perhaps not as scandalous as first mentioned - the words 'English Heritage' do pop up.
This really doesn't surprise me...
< AUP Edit>
This is a link to the story of a company planning to use several tens of volunteers...Big Grin
yes - just googled it myself, the link I found to it (providing it is the same project) is that they are looking for 15 to 20 volunteers a day to work over 28 days. I guess the question is how many 'professional' archaeologists will be supervising the volunteers?

you could read this cynically - that a commercial unit are using volunteers instead of hiring archaeologists OR you could read it as an interesting project that is encouraging local people to get involved. I know that as part of a recent motorway project, there was a huge emphasis on general public outreach - is this much different? Arn't projects like this to be encouraged within commercial archaeology?
No. This is a commercial development and this is a period when professional archaeologists are desparate for work.

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