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No srsly Commercial Archaeology Sucks The debate thread
GnomeKing Wrote:thank you midi - i think i may have learned something (and i have worked in the City) - thanks for taking the time....

i am not particuarly knowledgeable in this subject - but i am hotter on formation process and rationale/scientific methodology - i think some of these problems are wider/re-occuring and lead to poor consideration of factors and evidence that should/could be bread&butter to proggresive/advanced 21st c. archaeology...

in my experience, any 'early periods/phases' are rountinley subjected to increased risk of Commercial methodological stupidity....but the piont is that the same kind of daft thinking can affect material of any period...unfortunatley, such interlectualy shoddy work also routinley meets 'minimum standards', and as such is beyond imediate reproach...

From a practical POV if units continually avoid confronting these units and minimizing the research footprint to lower costs then you have entered aworld of declining standards by default.. which is Ironic since a lot of mitigation is built on the premise of living stuff in situ for future generations when techniques will be better :face-confused:

If you stick to research agendas that do not question the status quo then we empower those voices that argue that minimum work needs to be done because we understand everything.. which is exactly the technique used by the consultants of dubious integrity. And its a downwards spiral from there on..

however if you argue that we don't understand it at all a sea change can take place because everybody is now in a new place...

mystery=more money!

it has to be this way... if you can demonstrate that less money =perpetually the wrong answer!

We are all guilty of unspoken colusion where we all pretend we know what we are doing thus not bringing archaeology into disrepute... fook that
fook indeed
brazier Wrote:....thanks for taking the time to elucidate the issues mididoctors, really good to hear them again. Almost inspired me to dust up my stats learning, but aware of hideous complexity of it all.....!

Why did you get into archaeology?

to be underpaid AND get the wrong answer?

what is the point of us?

if the argument is this is all too expensive or time consuming then its hard to justify the majority of the work being done. why get out of bed...

If we want to know its going to cost..

what i find interesting is that improved conditions unionizing and all this other stuff weighing on peoples minds really starts with a belief in raising the standard of the end product.

If the product has to be better and the monitoring regime is empowered with arguments and agendas that demand better answers SKILL becomes a commercial asset..

Hell.... even the consultancy culture is forced to follow as signing off requires accessing know how of a sufficient standards rather than trying to make it all go away..

Arguing against improved standards is not a easy thing to do as those voices that say we should not challenge the accepted models are really arguing we don't want to know..

thats a very hard position to hold.. think of it this way.. the truth of whether there was a decline in 2nd Londinium is on our side..

Roman london London did or didn't decline in population in the late 2nd Cent... the truth of that is a fact that can not be argued against by anybody.. do we want to know?

a real quote from a MOLA staff member "but that would take for ever" as opposed to what spending forever churning out the wrong answer.

the key to better working conditions is the aim for improving standards... to do that you must demonstrate the substandard product society is receiving from the present system..

which is embarrassing and requires sacrifice and hard work.... Bring archaeology into disrepute

if we pretend all is well and good and atomize our problems and split them off into different unionisation etc... without addressing the issue of standards I doubt very much whether a lot of people are going to be able to pay off there student loans in a hurry.

time and money... how do you get to this place?
Mined from the Pay and Conditions thread:

"I have been in the construction industry for over twenty years in a specialised area. I am one of three partners in a small firm that is probably the oldest in Wales in what we do.

How on earth do I try and convey how tenders are looked at, and then delivered, on a fixed priced basis when what you people are being asked to do is basically an exploration exercise? It doesn't add up at all. It's an impossible thing to do. It is beyond belief that a science is pressured into producing results because of costs.

I honestly don't see how tenders can be given when you have no idea what is going to be found. This then has a great impact on the general work force. It isn't right.

You people have no purposeful Union? If not you need one quite quickly. If you do then I would suggest that you start pressurising them into action. From the comments on the first page it reminds me of the construction industry in the early eighties. It was a complete mess and even now we still revert back to terrible practices due to the foremen being educated in those times.

Archaeology has to get a firm grip on this now. Taboo subjects have to be addressed with vigourous application. Put people on the spot, don't take any shit at all, never take no for an answer if the answer goes against a tabooish subject.

Short, horrible, uncomfortable questions make people in charge squirm with embarrassment, especially if the science is to be compromised. Its a finite resource after all so drum that home.
1st December 2009 Davidh (at the start of a long and interesting disscusion, that i mostly missed Sad )


"it's a question of doing what's effective and necessary, and actually thinking about the archaeology, rather than time pressured, knee jerk reactions"
1st December 2009 03:11 PM oldgirl

and many comments from many contributors that i hope we will hear from again...

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