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Southport - support or betrayal?
#21
You can read the full draft report here: http://www.archaeologists.net/southport and it is open for consultation until early June.
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#22
Quote:My long experience with commercial archaeology tells me thatmoney is a secondary consideration with most developers (at least in terms ofthe miserly amount they pay for archaeology) compared to time lost ondevelopment projects delayed through archaeological intervention. What reallypisses developers off (and did in the old days before they were even made topay for archaeology) is when archaeologists delay projects through takinglonger than necessary on site.


From a developer's point of view, a delay IS a financial loss. They potentially have materials, plant and staff sitting around doing nothing. The project finishes later than planned, meaning they can't use/flog what's being built as soon as anticipated - money not in their company account, interest not accruing. Next project along the line is delayed, causing the same knock-on financial issues.

We should never lose sight of the fact that in a commercial arena, delay=financial loss. In any of my previous working enviroments, a delay could be quantified financially. e.g. "System X has been down for three hours - that's cost this company $xxx,000 dollars" (usually followed by a stream of colourful invective questioning my evolutionary state and the legitimacy of my ancestral background). Trust me, for every day that a construction project is held up by archaeological considerations, there will be a bean counter totting up the fiscal damage, chewing a desk and making life miserable for the people at the sharp end. Whom the archaeologists then unfortunately have to deal with.

Public participation - and more of it - is vital to archaeology. But if Southport think they're going to move their ideas into a commercial arena, I still think they'll find themselves hamstrung.
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#23
There are watching briefs undertaken by volunteers in my local area (the "lower risk" sites, commercial outfits do the sites of high importance). They work closely with the county archaeologist to a very high standard, and it's pretty much a case of if volunteers didn't do it then it wouldn't get done.

I'm not sure if it even qualifies as "public participation" given that only a very small subset of the total number of volunteers is given the work.

However, that's quite different to commercial outfits employing volunteers...and while some may say it's giving work to volunteers that unemployed professionals could be doing, that's ignoring the fact that somebody would have to pay to employ those professionals, and that's where it all falls down...
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#24
CSCS cards are a pain in the ass...
"Use Your Archeological Imagination..."
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#25
delay may well be a costly factor in any industry but proper regard for project management should reduce unneccessary risk
archaeology is no different in this respect from diverse other specialisms involved in development. 'delay' is a mantra for the phillistine and should be expunged from archaeological vocabulary in favour of 'contingency'
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#26
Wax Wrote:All of which will exclude those who are not professionals.


None of the items/organisations in your list exclude non-professionals in any field from taking part. It will simply require the various bodies to come together and agree how this could be managed to the benefit of all concerned.


Wax Wrote:However if the public archaeology is built in at an early enough stage before the site is classed as a construction site then many of the various regs would not apply.


The regulations etc. are there to protect people from harm regardless of their relationship to a project. And before anyone introduces that favourite hoary old chestnut: archaeology is not recognised as being a ?trade? regulated under the various HSE regulations or CDMC - it doesn?t take an idiot to work out that archaeologists on even the greenest of Greenfield sites runs much the same risks as a building site worker: heavy plant machinery, trench collapse, back injuries, misuse of or poorly maintained tools. Anyone who thinks we?d be better off returning to the ?good old days? before health and safety spoiled everything is a fool.
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.
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#27
In deed I am well aware that in reality as long as all the various insurances risk assesments etc are in place there is nothing to stop an amatuer group undertaking work to a professional standard. My point was, and I did not make it particularly clear, is that your average amatuer group would not want to be bothered with all this including the major responsibilities they would have to take on. Any group that did I would class as professional whether they were amatuers or not.

I am all for public participation and it is the way forward but not at the expense of the archaeological profession or of the archaeological resource. A balance needs to be attained that takes the needs of all in to account and the Southport Group need to allay the fears of the professionals or come clean and admit it might be the only way archaeology in this country is going to survive which I suspect is the truth of the matter.
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#28
indeed until we get some sort of clarification along the lines you suggest then we are in the dark.
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#29
BAJR Wrote:indeed until we get some sort of clarification along the lines you suggest then we are in the dark.

why dont you ask Taryn?
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#30
Having started my career back in the mists of time as a volunteer on a scheme supervised by the local authority Unit I'm all for public participation but agree with Wax that this should not be at the expense of 'professional' archaeology.

In these financially straigtened times (and ignoring Mr Pickles' Big Society) I don't see Architects, Planners, Ecologists or indeed anyone else suggesting that the answer is to up the numbers of volunteers doing their jobs. If this is Archaeology's best shot then we're all doomed because no one in their right mind will take us seriously as a 'profession'. Not that I think they do when you consider the number of times you're asked if 'you get paid for this' by the staff (including quite senior ones) on construction sites.
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.
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