Poll: High profile public campaign
This poll is closed.
Definately yes-about time too
47.83%
33 47.83%
Definately no-dont you dare
5.80%
4 5.80%
maybe-depends how its presented
33.33%
23 33.33%
None of the publics business-no
5.80%
4 5.80%
All is well in the industry-no
1.45%
1 1.45%
Not sure-tell me more
5.80%
4 5.80%
Total 69 vote(s) 100%
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High profile public campaign
#11
Dr Wardle, why are you so resistant to guide prices? You ask who will set them, why not all of the below? Why can there not be a proper discussion with all elements of field archaeology, from those at the coal face to those in the offices? Where people can sit down and thrash out decent price guidelines. As Badger points out, they do not have to be set in stone, but with a very basic guideline clients and ourselves would be starting, at least, from the same place.

Right, on to Trolls thread:
Yes, i agree wholeheartedly that we need to raise our profile in the media and public, it is their heritage after all. A decent concerted campaign would be incredibly helpful, especially considering the spending review for Dept of Sport Leisure and Culture. However, i did only tick the maybe-depending box, as I feel that this is something we should not dash into all guns blazing. I feel we really need a well thoughout campaign, with no corners cut (a common practice in our field unfortunately) and all our bases covered. As Dr Wardle points out, we do not want this to backfire on us.

But YES, count me in!! And Shorty, you maybe out knight in shining armour - no pressure there then!!

the future's bright; the future's trowel shaped
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#12
As I said seeting guide prices is both naive and pointless.

By now every consultantcy will have rule of thumb costs which is all guide prices ever can be. Some curators say a 5% spend on archaeology is not unreasonable and others say the cost goes up an order of magnitude from assessment to evaluation to excavation.

For geophysics there is an almost uniform cost across the country.

Guide prices for urban sites can never work ie X acres will have an archaeology bill of Y because there are so many variables:

thickness of deposits
date of deposits
type of deposits
the extent they will be disturbed ie what the foundation scheme will be or not
location
logistical difficulties

for example.

Guide prices exist for post X - as a percentage of the field work costs which I find unhelpful.

In the example David quotes he quotes for an evaluation the following variables

Location
Size
Sampling strategy
Depth of deposits
Likelyhood of archaeology being present.

which will costs £XXXXX ie £10000+

Of these 3 of the variables will be unknown when the developer does their costs calculation or even if an evaluation is neccessary. My estimate for a rural site would be under 10k not over it with the standard probability of archaeology being found.

There is also the question of who is taking the risk. So I would suggest that a guide price is more of a guide formula to be applied with specialist knowledge of the likely values of the variables and how much they can vary.

This is called consultancy. So yes I am against the notion that a committee of digger project officer and others should sit down to attempt to generalise what cant be generalised when many of them will have little experience of costing projects.

Peter Wardle








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#13
I cannot, in any way, see how guide prices are useful. What would be more helpful would be for units to try and be explicit in their quotations for work. A few years ago I was consulting on an evaluation near to an important site in London. The level of trenching was very limited simply open the area of the trench and drop in 50cm or to the top of any archaeology and the construction impact was very limited and could be jacked up above anything. I had in my mind about 7 grand; the majority of the quote settled around that level. At the extremes were 1.5 grand and 30 grand. The 30 grand quote was not even fixed. One quote even included shoring.

What I would suggest would be a standardised format for presenting quotes. This would enable non-archaeologists to establish exactly what they are paying for and would help prevent some of the sharper practices we are all aware of such as obtaining jobs by not mentioning post-excavation works and then claiming 'the county archaeologist is making me do it'. A practice I have encountered far too frequently.

I did hear this morning on the radio through the stella haze that the Today programme is looking for members of the public as guest editors. Possibly it could be worth exploring.
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#14
As this thread has gone very off topic by the postings of moderators on a thread started by another moderator. I am starting a new thread on the on the discussion of should there be guide prices for developers.

Peter
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#15
It all depends doesnt it, on how the publicity is handled, and what would the campaign cover, would it cover all aspects or just certain aspects. What are you defining by heritage? People, places, ojects?

Clearing the clouds is an important aspect of this. What would the goals be? What would the aims be?

Or would a debate see more issues arrise then solve?



May god go with you in all the dark places you must walk.
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#16
the long awaited McCrone Review...

I'd just like to point out that I am not involved in any way with this document.:-)

Peter McCrone, m300572
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#17
Greetings to all. I think that our industry has ran with the economy since ppg 16. It has become in some cases a vibrant economy in its own right. Its not the only industry to fall victim to a "reduce standards to be competative" mindset.But it is the only industry that actually accepts responsibility for the nations heritage.A pretty big responsibility if you ask me.Especially when the majority of the public would have no idea that around 14,000 (estimated here on forum some time ago) archaeological investigations take place each year in a competative environment.Blair recently said that "we can no longer treat the public as mere spectators" when he found himself drowning in his own doing yet again. For once, he had a moment of clarity or, alternatively-one of those great dawning moments of terror as the enormity of his error sunk inWink I do think that simply because we have moved into a competative environment, we have not somehow left our obligations to the public at the door of County Hall on the way out.Most members of the public have never heard of the SMR and most SMR reports are not written with the public in mind. This mindset, running heritage (at least in archaeology) as a business to the corporate exclusion of the public is something I feel very uncomfortable with. Particularly when standards are not actively policed in a largely un-regulated competative industry.Media campaigns can and always will be a double-edged sword unless approached with due care.I think that asking the opinion of an informed public is no bad thing.Polite reallyBig Grin I hoped this thread would be a space where peeps from all parts of the industry could chime in-any campaign should have voices from everywhere, not just archaeology.At least lets discuss......what would a heritage agenda look like....what would such an agenda hope to achieve....is it time to look again at our code of ethics and change the way we view our roles.....

..knowledge without action is insanity and action without knowledge is vanity..(imam ghazali,ayyuhal-walad)
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#18
Posted by Troll:
Quote:quote:I think that our industry has ran with the economy since ppg 16. It has become in some cases a vibrant economy in its own right. Its not the only industry to fall victim to a "reduce standards to be competative" mindset...
My experience as a field archaeologist both before and after PPG16 and its Scottish equivalent is that standards of 'rescue archaeology' increased, rather than going down, because developer funding made much more money available. That experience was backed up when doing literature searches for publication of excavations, where the size and quality of pre-PPG 16 excavations (as reflected in published reports) was much lower than in the post-PPG16 ones.

Quote:quoteSadcontinuing previous quote)...But it is the only industry that actually accepts responsibility for the nations heritage.
Depends on your definition of Heritage, but I think you will find that other aspects of the environment (ecology, landscape, water quality, etc) are in very similar positions.

Quote:quote:I do think that simply because we have moved into a competative environment, we have not somehow left our obligations to the public at the door of County Hall on the way out.
We would all be very foolish if we did think that, because it is the developer's obligation to the public (which we discharge on his behalf) that keeps us all in jobs.

Quote:quote:I think that asking the opinion of an informed public is no bad thing.
With you there all the way, and to that end I have recently been involved in preparing and presenting the environmental inputs to Public Consultation events about major infrastructure developments, covering all aspects of the environment - including archaeology. Also writing reports in accessible, plain-English language, with the aim that they be posted on the client's website (where, in the relevant cases, I know they will be downloaded by many members of the public).

Troll, I don't disagree with you about the need for reform, or the need for a media campaign about the issue, although I don't have any clearly formulated proposals on either. However, I strongly suspect that we would disagree with each other about the nature and direction of the necessary reforms, so it is unlikely that you and I would both contribute to the same campaign!

1man1desk

to let, fully furnished
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#19
Good day sir.Hence my throwing the idea out for discussion.I accept that in the early days of ppg- things would have got better.my view is that now, things have become very much worse.There would be no point at all in running a myopic campaign of any sort, surely a rounded and comprehensive view would be desirable.After all, what I see is very different to others and the varying perceptions on this forum illustrate that well.Archaeology has its own distinct set of hobbles and no doubt so does curation, conservation and specialisms. My goal here is to try and come up with opinion across the board. I have no intention of spearheading any campaign either-there are plenty of talented people out here itching to do that so.... whilst you and I do have different opinions, lets offer them here and see what happens. Big GrinDr Wardle, with respect sir, naive ***** isnt really constructive and I really would like to hear everyones opinions on this(public media thang) please.

..knowledge without action is insanity and action without knowledge is vanity..(imam ghazali,ayyuhal-walad)
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#20
About time too!

deep
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