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informed curators
I think that's their job. From where they sit, I suppose you are actually part of the bird-pooh/grain matrix.

We've done it to death before, but a licensing system of some sort might give them more teeth.

Today, Bradford. Tomorrow, well, Bradford probably.
I do think that licensing certainly has legs-but also has a few problems as our colleagues on the Emerald Isle have repeatedly pointed out.I mentioned some time ago that it would be good to see curators taking an interest in the views of coal-face types on site visits.If you really want to know about a car, ask a mechanic-not a car salesperson.Big Grin
Troll haven't we been here before?

Good curators ask, or at least can assess a situation without asking. Good units encourage this - I know of many who are more than happy for me to conduct monitoring visits without senior staff present (personally, I don't like this as it can lead to headache if things need to be changed or there's a problem), but I guess that means they trust their staff, or units where the person digging the features is expected to explain what they are digging, what they have found and why.

But as has also been brought up before, we see a lot of sites - and have worked on a lot too - and it doesn't take too many years on the beat to separate the 'bird-pooh' from the grain without talking to everyone out there and their dog - and who has the time for that?

And to look at it from the other side, how many diggers really want to talk to us? Most seem to hide in the hut when I come around, or at least duck into their trenches looking busy but only grunt when spoken to. I suspect that is because there's little confidence among junior staff members, and that is probably a factor of the situation they learn in.

Ranting over.

If I had a potential problem with a contracting unit I would start by asking the curators in surrounding authorities what their experiances of the unit were. This would be followed up by a intensive site visit with an attempt to talk to the diggers and super etc.
However I would not bother myself about things like interpersonal skills, just health and safety and excavation techniques etc. The later of these could produce sub-standard reports which I would reject which would cause the planning condition to stay attached to the development. This would basically cause a breach of condition as the archaeology could not be re-instated, and the cost of the fine would end up on the desk of the contractor for causing the breach. This would stop them doing it again, one way or another.

Personally I would only need help on this from my fellow curators, but cheers for the thought.


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