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The Cyber-Unit
In the spirit of the "Peoples Supermarket"......

In this hypothetical game, the vast and multi-facetted experience of the BAJR subscribers is to be drawn together into one coherent whole (I can already hear howls of hysterical laughter)..........

We have decided to play war games and set up our own "Cyber" unit. How would we organise such a unit, what market would it target, how would it engage and pursue client groups, how would it achieve industry-leading professional standards and cost effectiveness in the market, how would it diversify, how would it reach out to the public, the media and interest groups, how would it attract, retain and value its staff etc etc........:face-huh:
Totally do away with any form of paper (including drawing film),
Make all data recovery digital;
Complete reassessment of recording procedures to make fit for purpose;
All publication to be in a digital format;
All archived material including, finds to have a digitally accessible copy.
No 'specialists' per se, all staff to be trained to cover each and every facet of the units operation and a rotation system where all staff cover all posts.
All staff to be required to have a 'pro bona' community project to which they will be expected to contribute time above and beyond their contracted hours.
No redundancy. It will be a requirement of staff members to actively seek projects and to share work with colleagues as and when there is a downturn in contracted work.
Not-for-profit co-operative with all staff having full or associate voting rights on company policy and direction dependant upon length of service and a shared investment scheme.
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
kevin wooldridge Wrote:Totally do away with any form of paper (including drawing film),
Make all data recovery digital;
Complete reassessment of recording procedures to make fit for purpose;
All publication to be in a digital format;
All archived material including, finds to have a digitally accessible copy.

Am I to gather from this that the cyber unit's profits will be spent on CPUs, generators and other independent power supplies?:face-stir:
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
My 'vision' would require no more hardware than you'd find in a normal archaeological office. There would be more hardware out on site, but savings produced by cutting down on time and resources involved in duplicating 'paper to digital' process and laborious post-ex 'index chasing' would more than pay for the new technology. Most energy would come from the units own wind turbine and solar panels.....Oh and we won't be making 'profits' so there won't be any to spend......
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
kevin wooldridge Wrote:Oh and we won't be making 'profits' so there won't be any to spend......

No change there then.
D. Vader
Senior Consultant

Vader Maull & Palpatine
Archaeological Consultants

A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of Tony Robinson.
as someone who produces drawn archival material both digital and analogue i'd like to ask kevin, 1. how do you record something that is used by people of experience (oh that 'll be specialists then) to correctly identify and catigorise finds? (Photos cannot reconstruct, interpret or see in the same way as the naked eye) and 2 when programs change and/or computers all fail what are you going to do then? the physical archive is there for a reason. and if everyone is to become a jack of all trades and master of none we really are up the swany. i am not against using the cyber world but get real!!! we work with physical objects in a physical world. please stop promulgating lazy archaeology. the reasons that people speaialize is because of their experience, interest and ability. not everyone can dig and few can draw to a high enough standard for future generations to reference. do you expect digs to be done by geomatics???
In reply to Dmama - woah!! I wasn't suggesting that we dont collect or archive finds, I was suggesting that all finds have a digital reference copy made. This might be through a variety of means, photos, scans, laser scanning etc. The point is that it would make artefacts accessible through digital means to distant researchers who wouldn't necessarily have to be in physical contact with the object to pursue their research.

I'm also not dissing specialist knowledge. All I am suggesting is that specialist knowledge is shared more evenly and efficiently across an organisation. Of course I want the best osteologist in the world and/or the best Roman ceramic specialist, but I am also aware (I've been an archaeologist for over 30 years) that when that kind of specialist work runs out or runs down, these are often the first people whose postiion is threatened with redundancy, because beyond their specialism they are seen of as little value to an organisation. I agree there will always be people who are more gifted in one area of work than another, that doesn't however mean that they can't share in the management of the cyber unit at all levels of the unit's work, call it 'adding another string to their bow' rather than devaluing their specialism. Plus of course having staff with multiple skills allows for efficiences through flexibility when short-term 'gluts' of certain kinds of work occur. Personally I think its as good experience to know which areas of our stiudy you are weak at, as it is to know in which areas you excel.

With any kind of media one has to be aware of changes in format....I am sure that many units and archives have black and white negatives and slide collections which we were once told were the bottom line in archive standards, but are just about impossible to reproduce at economic rates these days, despite the fact that many archives still insist upon such formats as minimum stamdard. In our cyber unit one of the shared responsibilities would be maintenance of the archive to accessible standards.

Lazy archaeology? I am guessing that is some kind of throwaway remark!! Precisely the opposite. My intention in a cyber unit would be harness the efficiences of digital data capture to enable the researchers to divert resources that are currently spent 'double shovelling' paper and creating digital records from analogue notation and using those resources for anaylsis of the data and archaeological synthesis i.e more research, more results. In fact I would say that is the complete opposite of 'lazy archaeology' as it virtually guarantees a 'result' from every field or research intervention. And that would be a result that is totally accessible through digital media...

Do I expect digs to be done my Geomatics? Well its already happening in lots of places. Look at the use of systems such as PenMap and Intrasis, look at the increased use of geophysics and laser scanning and LIDAR.....Look at the number of units who measure and locate features by using a total station rather than planning these days. Look at the number of curators who are insisiting upon digitally accesible site maps and plans .... my cyber unit would just build upon methods already in use.

....and finally, as Troll made clear, this is a hypothetical game,.....but nothing I have suggested isn't already in use in some form or another somewhere in the world and quite a lot of it in the UK. So maybe join in and think how an innovative cyber unit might benefit your own work....
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
well why didn't you say so in the first place. i quite agree that digitally shared information is a must, however having worked on sites where the only form of recording was by datalogger and that info was lost when the tech went down, having a written back up would have saved a lot of grief. as you may have gathered i am an illustrator who started life as a digger and that experience has been invaluable. i'm all for people understanding every tier of the job by having a go but how do you do that in the cyber unit? i always scan and distribute my work digitally as i already work in a sort of cyber unit, but the original finds are still drawn by hand and reconstructions are still mulled out and done by hand. sections and plans are best drawn on site and reproduced digitally. as i like to call them 'dots on maps' always look better for publication in a digital format and saves on printer costs. so i do sort of see where you are coming from. but and this is a big but there is still a place for the paper record. other wise you will be spending more and more time updating onto more recent formats. i have floppy discs of stuff that i can't access any more because the programs don't exist. ( yes i've been at this a long time too.) so... if i were honest i would probably benefit from what you are suggesting as i live in both worlds but it's a lonely life and i look forward to the visits from and to clients. well i'm off to have a cyber cup of tea in the cyber tea hut... on my cyber tod. ho hum
Away with all this new-fangled digital nonsense ! let's get back to days of context records, plans on the back of a fag packet, finds in a bucket, no PPE.... eee by gum them be the days ...................
what do you mean days of yore... you've obviously never worked for norfolk. many's the fag packet i've had to decifer. a good reson for good written/drawn record if ever there was one. digital and analogue both have there place it's a case of using the right tool for the right job... better then being a tool wouldn't you say? ( and that isn't aimed at any one in this thread)

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