Poll: Is an emphasis on research rather than recording in PPS 5 a good thing ?
This poll is closed.
71 79.78%
14 15.73%
Not sure it matters
4 4.49%
No I love digging percentages of ditches
0 0%
Total 89 vote(s) 100%
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Research be seen as integral to development excavation.
Following on from the PPS debate

Is an emphasis on research rather than recording a good thing ?
If people dug more than 10% of their ditches out on rural RB sites the sub/early post-Roman burial population wouldn't be 'missing' (e.g. Parlington Hollins, W. Yorks)......:face-stir:
Oh yes, is that question aimed at commercial archaeologists, academics or utopians? Not polling till the question's clarified a little }Smile
Not sure I understand the question either.

On commercial excavations research agendas are an integeral part of Project design (well should be), post-ex assessment and analysis.

The percentages of ditches dug are a reflection of this. Dunno how other people do it, but we adjust percentages dug on site, dependant on the rellevant research agendas dependant of what we find.

But yes Dinosaur it takes an experienced supervisor to 'interpret' the meaning of the percentages....as per our conversation of what is ritual? and hence what needs to be 100% dug.

But I have heard, on the scuttlebut, that some large construction companies with 'permitted development rights' seem to be hiring cheap archaeological consultants with very little experience or understanding of the archaeology in a region who have produced DBA's after just looking at say magic for the scheduled monuments and getting an out of date list of known sites from the county then stating that there's nowt in that area so you can dig it without any archaeological monitoring. And apparently getting away with it??
- but its just a rumour:face-stir:
eh? how can you do research if you haven't recorded?
Ah... You can indeed Record without Research which is perhap[s the point. The soil sample that never gets looked at, the isotope analysis that never gets done, the research agenda that is based on teh sampling strategy of where the builder puts the next development, the idea that somehow, we record and it may get looked at, but really deep down we know it will never be seen again, after all, the idea is to get the planning permission for the client? Not to carry out research archaeology... there are occasions, but at the end of teh day the developer wants the permission not the interesting report on fishbones.. so it never happens... after all who will pay for it? The company?

so... you can record and research... but do we just settle for record.. and hope to god that somebody may research.. well.. you never know. OR should it be integral to project design?
I think I see where you are going David but the 'poll question' is not worded very well.

Surely there should also be soemthing about analysis and synthesis in there as well. I mean even if samples are processed that in itself is no good without analysis and that analysis wasted unless someone is going to synthesise those results....if thats what you mean!!
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
Indeed... it was a keep it simple (Campaign for Sensible Archaeology) question. which of course can require further explanation. But it does boil down to

Record Record Record......... with teh hope of Research (and Synthesis) OR Record with a primary goal of feeding into a research agenda (with synthesis)

It was well that you highlighted this, as clarity of explanation is perhaps key. So hopefully people have it now... ask about at tea break... and see what people know about teh research project?
I think the contecxt is important here. The questions arises from the discussion on PPG5. This has a greater emphasis on research rather than recording compared to PPG 16. Perhaps for clarity the question should be amended to read

View Poll Results: Is an emphasis on research rather than recording in PPS 5 a good thing ?

heritage research is the ONLY enduring justification for archaeology - so YES.

a key aim for commercial archaeology should be do to sufficient research and to leave a project with 'hooks' that can be easily picked up non-commercial researchers

sufficient excavation and recording is clearly necessary for this - but commercial arch should also be highlighting research potential and creating a proper platform from which sensible analysis of heritage can be conducted.

context sheets and client reports are not enough.

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