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Southport - support or betrayal?
#71
P Prentice Wrote:i am, albeit clumsily, trying to gauge whether bajrs set out to become professional diggers or specialists or managers or whatever else because i think that 'traditional' diggers are now and will in the future feel the brunt of the realignment of priorities which southport is advocating. i also think that it is inevitable that those that dont adapt to the new order will be swept aside or marginalised out of a profession and into a labour force

I am in total agreement, however I suspect that the constituency of BAJRites who do 'just digging' and nothing else is actually quite small. It isn't just the current recession but the trend over the past few years that digging skills alone are no longer really a basis for longevity in archaeology (I hesitate to use the words 'career structure').....I think in that sense that there could be a new model for an archaeological 'career' which actually will be pretty much the same as the pre-1980 'career' model i.e archaeologists will need some kind of back-up profession t support them through the lean periods or when digging isn't taking place. This is not dissimilar perhaps to the career path pursued in some other parts of Europe or the Middle East when at certain times of the year (height of summer/winter) it is physically impossible to work in the field except in exceptional circumstances. Needless to say some of us have been trying for some time now to acquire or adapt or brush off interchangeable skills for that very eventuality.

I wonder if in that sense the older generation of diggers might be more adapted for the 'brave new world' than some more recent comers to the trade, who may have had a more structured path into the profession (school, uni, archaeology, dole queue, scrapheap!!)
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#72
that clearly is one model that might suit some people but i am more concerned for those of us that want full time year round employment doing what we love to do. we need to use the southport agenda to our advantage, not by intransigence or obstinacy, but by applying pressure and affecting its implementation.

digging is the heart and sole, the core of everything that archaeology is and wants to be and everybody in the profession should want to do it, have done it, learnt its weirdy ways and its magnificent foibles, so that it can properly inform the work that they do for the betterment of the discipline as a whole

i want to see people enter the profession, serve their time in the field, analyse what they know and tell wonderful stories to a world delighted to hear them
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#73
This 'rant' presuposses that the consultants, caretakers, managers, HER officers etc etc have no input to this debate. BAJR seems to be heavily lopsided with just a few folk who want to talk. The numbers who take part in these threads seem to be dwindling (can this be checked?) if so, what are we missing from their input?

Once more it will be the 'grand masters' of archaeology who will debate amongst themselves and issue decree that "Well, we consulted, where were you?" so we go on and on...the 'profession' is about to hit the wall and folk sit back to see what will happen....
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#74
i dont think i am presupposing anything - i'm giving my opinions and asking for everyone elses - it is a forum!!
but i agree that there are very few contributing and a great deal more sitting on their proverbials
clearly i dont need to remind you to submit your views to the southport group
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#75
Asking for peoples opinions is not the same as listening to them. There are many people (of all ages) on this forum who are very sensitive at the moment. Their jobs and way of life are under threat. The Southport Group's manifesto has much to recomend it and personally I think that much of what it is offering is the way forward but it must address the issues that are being raise here or loose the support of a major part of the sector. Some may except that the profession is in melt down and hope that the brave new world of Southport will arise from the ashes. I would rather try and stop the melt down because I do not see any coming back from it. (That is of cause my personal opinion and I hope I will be proved wrong)

I am sure many others would like to comment but there does seem to be a bit of flak flying around at the moment
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#76
i'm listening

i want to know what people want so that we can get a consensus to act on

if we dont act in concert we will just waste our breathe
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#77
And if everyone would breathe..

AS it happens in teh whole history of BAJR - coming up for 12 years now... There are a few that talk, a few that act and many who lurk. That is just the way. Many people are intimidated by the bear pit attitude.

:face-topic:

Anyway I had this reply from Kate Geary in response to my questions

Here are my questions

Quote:Recently on BAJR both on the public forum and by private email I was told of what to some is a worrying rumour. I stress the word rumour, as I am at pains to point out that until the truth of something is known, then no amount of panic and guesswork will achieve anything constructive.

The main point raised, and it is for this I am contacting you, is a worry over the following;

"[SIZE=3]The vision is that commercial investigation and explanation of the historic environment should be commissioned and conducted in a way that makes public participation the norm not the exception. Meanwhile commercial and voluntary practitioners should increasingly recognise and comply with professional standards so that all are encouraged to acquire new skills and accreditation."[/SIZE]

Does this mean that commercial investigations will as a matter of course use more volunteers rather than field archaeologists? And does it suggest that currently commercial practitioners do not comply with professional standards - with I expect IfA membership being seen as a requirement for both commercial and voluntary archaeologists?

The other concerns raised are the suggestion that less field archaeologists would be required on a project and more volunteers could take their places, when we are all aware that there is often the need for more professionals on such projects and the issues of CSCS cards, appropriate training etc would tip a volunteer over into basically being an unpaid professional?

I am sure you could easily answer these questions, but feel it is important to do so, before the current rumours continue.

I myself have spoken out for more opportunity for inclusion as and when appropriate, so per-ce, I am in no way hostile to local involvement. What I do hope you can provide is any information that can explain the position being discussed.

I would also want to publish any reply on the BAJR Federation website.
and the reply.

Quote:Your query regarding the Southport report has come through to me as I am managing the responses to the consultation. I am not a member of the Southport Group but manage the Southport project for IfA.

The Southport vision is about increased public participation in planning led investigation and understanding of the historic environment. This might include more opportunities for members of the public to participate in that investigation on site, where appropriate, alongside a whole range of other potential opportunities for involvement. The key point is that identifying the potential for public involvement should become the norm. There is no intention that this should replace or reduce the numbers of paid historic environment practitioners and the report goes on to make reference to the IfA policy statement on the use of volunteers which has not changed, http://www.archaeologists.net/sites/defa...ements.pdf.

The report also makes reference to various perceived weaknesses in the current application of self regulation and envisages a future where professional self regulation involves a better balance of quality management by person (through membership of an appropriate professional body), process and product.

I hope that answers your questions. I would encourage all BAJR subscribers to respond to the consultation (which closes on the 3 June) and make their contribution to the final report.

Kind regards

Kate

Kate Geary BA MIfA
Standards Development Manager, Institute for Archaeologists

First off.. I would hope we as a collective can produce a single response.. rather than a handful.

Second, I am again reading the following into the reply.

Quote:This might include more opportunities for members of the public to participate in that investigation on site, where appropriate, alongside a whole range of other potential opportunities for involvement. The key point is that identifying the potential for public involvement should become the norm.
Thats good, but what does it mean in reality? Examples?


Quote:There is no intention that this should replace or reduce the numbers of paid historic environment practitioners and the report goes on to make reference to the IfA policy statement on the use of volunteers which has not changed, http://www.archaeologists.net/sites/defa...ements.pdf.

So there can be no inclusion of volunteers at the expense of professionals. So a site should be costed on teh basis of no volunteer inclusion? An any volunteer inclusion will of course cost extra. ?? ( though I see there is no intention, which does not mean a definitive NO WE WON'T )

Quote:The report also makes reference to various perceived weaknesses in the current application of self regulation and envisages a future where professional self regulation involves a better balance of quality management by person (through membership of an appropriate professional body), process and product.

Um... let me think now... professional bodies in Archaeology... hold on... ah... IfA So membership of teh IfA become compulsory to act as an archaeologist... Not that I would mind, but teh comment of self regulation, I was under the impression that the IfA were regulating their members and ROs. so does this mean that all is fine with IfA members and the rest of us are rogues who don't do 'quality management' ? :face-huh: I agree that there is a problem with regulation, but surely that would be best resolved by a universal standard of curatorial services.

Anyway... good to get a reply.

Though from what I read... they are not yet going to replace you on site, but it may happen and if you don't join the IfA you won't have a job anyway Smile

Nothing to fear then!
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#78
Wax Wrote:Put my money where my mouth is a long time ago. Have sacrificed carear money and social life (almost family) to be an archaeologist. As I am sure have many others on this forum.:face-topic:

Oooh, sounds so familiar Rolleyes
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
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#79
BAJR Wrote:Anyway... good to get a reply.

Thanks for the post. That was quite useful. Rather than having to read between the lines, or draw from interpretaton, some plain speak (in the reply to your questions) would have been helpful. I'm not an IFA member, but have always worked to their guidance. I assumed "we" all did. Dopey me.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
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#80
BAJR Wrote:And if everyone would breathe..

AS it happens in teh whole history of BAJR - coming up for 12 years now... There are a few that talk, a few that act and many who lurk. That is just the way. Many people are intimidated by the bear pit attitude.

Aye, put me off for ages, but at the end of the day, better to participate than wait on the sidelines.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
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