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Longest Watching Brief

Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position.
Mohandas Gandhi
Did you think up the exercise or were you following orders?
Posted by mercenary:
Quote:quote:my role was to watch a pipe trench tear through a church cemetery and retrieve human remains before the public saw it. No provision for recording in any way though, and remains to be immediately reburied
The best definition of archaeology that I know ran approximately on these lines: 'the study of the human past from the evidence contained in its material remains'.

On that basis, your job sounds like something that may have been done by an archaeologist, but was not actually an archaeological operation, as there was no intention to collect data on the material remains of the human past or to contribute to the study of the human past.

I recall something similar that I observed about 10 years ago. I was doing a walkover survey in a historic town, as part of which I passed through the churchyard. Trenches were being excavated for new services, and I met the vicar, who was rootling through the spoil heaps to collect bits of human bone in a carrier bag, for later reburial.


to let, fully furnished
Sounds like a Faculty consent to me!

I've worked in churchyards doing watching brief on services. However I did have the time/opportunity to record and features.

In one particular case, Human remains were found and were put back into the trench in the area they were found when it was backfilled. HOWEVER, none of these remains were from extant burials. They were remains from when those lovely Victorians had completely re-landscaped the graveyard! I had a lovely top to a skull which had been sliced off by (presumably) a spade...
By the definition Med or earlier, I attended a watching brief which ran off and on for 18 months - was a former military site.

That experience explains a lot.

<center>[Image: lightning.gif]</center>
<center>Consultancy? Sinister? Never.</center>
The graveyard scenario is commonplace...and there's worse instances.....
Quote:quoteBig Grinid you think up the exercise or were you following orders?

Ha ha! No, I leave that kind of thinking to the consultants! Sorry low blow. This one appears to have been thought up by the curator.

Like the Nazis I was just following orders.

In reality though my results were not that different from the majority of monitorings/WB's I get these days. I think back fondly to the days when I scrabbled to record complex sites AS they were being machined away. Something I complained bitterly about at the time. Now I only get provision to look in the trenches AFTER they are dug, just before the concrete goes in. Sigh.
Quote:quote:Now I only get provision to look in the trenches AFTER they are dug, just before the concrete goes in

I have thought, taking inspiration from ambulance chasing lawyers, that maybe I should follow jcbs but by George Carruthers I think that you have come up with the ultimate challenge for us speed freak, partial, intermittent, like what archaeologists do if they work for a museum, really stupid waste of an education watching brief junkies: Concrete Mixer Truck Chasers (CMTCs), I can just feel the hot concrete burning into my flesh.

Sorry, sorry, sorry

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