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Southport - support or betrayal?
#11
I think there will be a lot of negotiation required on the insurance front if this goes further. Public liability insurance is not cheap...or do they expect individuals to pay for their own?

And how are they going to get CSCS cards unless their "umbrella" contractor agrees to sign the card for them? Then again, once they DO get one, it will be valid for the same period of time.

And as an after thought - who is going to check that their PPE is up to standard?
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!
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#12
I think people here have hit on the reality of the situation, most commercial sites are going to be regulated by the structures within the construction industry, CDMS, CSCS, insurance and health and safety. All of which will exclude those who are not professionals. This does not mean that an element of public facing work cannot be built in in the form of interpretation and open days.

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. This may be where PPS5 comes in

The reality is that proper public archaeology costs a damn site more than commercial archaeology and within current economic constraints I only ever see it happening under HLF type funded projects so I wouldnt worry too much about volunteers taking over our jobs ( that being said there are many amatuers who think they can do the job as well as us and should be allowed to, I just ask them to do a risk assesment for a project, Big Grin)
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#13
Going back to the contractual aspect, I don't see how you could possibly force a client to agree to amateur/volunteer involvement on a commercial project, unless there was legislation in place to force this. PPS5 (or whatever comes next) was only ever advisory, so that won't enter into it. I can't see there being much political stomach for introducing new legislation, when commercial archaeology as it stands appears to be underpinned by policies and guidelines rather than laws. According to them, the ConDems are trying to cut out the red tape, not increase it.

With all of the other points raised, surely we must be looking at non-commercial arena for this kind of project?
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#14
One would hope that it is the non commercial projects that the Southport Group are thinking of but thats not how it reads. I think they are living in cloud cuckoo land or are so pessemistic they see public participation as the only way forward. Personally I love public archaeology and am for participation but on proper well funded and planned community excavations outside of the commercial sector, with project designs and post X all meeting the professional standards set down im MORPHE etc
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#15
you need to look at the proposal as a complete package. just as the natural environment sector is settling down to professional and amateur workers coexisting side by side (from a starting point where most of the work was amateur) and now providing a very powerful lobby which the public respects and is happy to maintain, so to can the historic environment. nothing in what southport advocates is a threat to professionals and in fact strengthening the powers of the regulatory bodies to insist on high quality projects rather than allowing the cheapest products can only work in our long term favour. and remember that not all archaeology is conducted on a building site, but that which is, will still be subject to the same stringent h&s requirements which will always mitigate the level of amatuer input. the proposals may well allow some amateur groups to work on development control sites which might otherwise not go ahead due to the high cost of professional mitigation - but so what? better that somebody digs it than somebody else accidentally looses it - which appens!!

the writing is on the wall - and we should all read it, adapt to it and make sure it works for us

and yes i am a professional contracting archaeological manager mifa
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#16
@PPrentice. Good point about ecology, and i suppose that you're referring to the campaign to save the publicly owned forests from being sold off. However, to my knowledge, environment groups with lots of volunteers are not tendering against each other for
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#17
P Prentice Wrote:.... the proposals may well allow some amateur groups to work on development control sites which might otherwise not go ahead due to the high cost of professional mitigation - but so what? better that somebody digs it than somebody else accidentally looses it - which appens!! the writing is on the wall - and we should all read it, adapt to it and make sure it works for us - and yes i am a professional contracting archaeological manager mifa

My long experience with commercial archaeology tells me that money is a secondary consideration with most developers (at least in terms of the miserly amount they pay for archaeology) compared to time lost on development projects delayed through archaeological intervention. What really pisses developers off (and did in the old days before they were even made to pay for archaeology) is when archaeologists delay projects through taking longer than necessary on site. I can't imagine that non-professional archaeologists would be able to work faster than the current batch of heritage professionals and therefore forsee difficulties in implementing more amateur involvement on commercial development projects. We would have to say 'Yes we might be marginally cheaper, but we will take considerably longer' - not words I can imagine any developer wanting to hear!!

Vis a vis non-commercial archaeological projects - most of those that I know about already have a non-professional input and I would imagine that would continue.
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#18
environmental groups with volunteers do tender aginst each other for work. some of the largest contractors are in fact owned by charitee organisations !

some units already use a large volunteer base - in my view unfairly - but without sanction, so this is nothing new, but the point here is to allow local people access to their local archaeology not force units to carry an amateur digging team

some ordinary house owners who live on archaeological sites and want to build a conservatory or granny flat are curently prevented from doing so because the archaeologcial costs are prohibitive - often as much as 50% of their development costs. this is unreasonable and dosent win us any fans or show the industry in a good light
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#19
kevin wooldridge Wrote:My long experience with commercial archaeology tells me that money is a secondary consideration with most developers

the southport proposals, after consultation with larger developers, are geared to allowing larger developers to exploit the fact that they are engaging with the historic environment
insinuating archaeological research into development proposals rather than applying mitigation has got to be a better bet for the resource and the industry
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#20
To help see where I stand on the matter... you heard it here first Wink

This was my response to the December 2010 Antiquity Editorial.

http://www.pasthorizons.com/index.php/ar...ding-apart

I conclude with these words.

Quote:There are those who would like archaeology only to be carried out by professionals, with bars to entry and tighter regulation. However, I would fight for increased public participation in conjunction with – rather than at the expense of – ‘professional’ archaeologists, because if the public loses interest in its past due to marginalisation, who will be left to speak up for archaeology when bulldozers and concrete literally obliterate our past?


The simple truth is that more public participation means more professionals, and more investigations leads to new knowledge, the real riches that archaeology has to share.

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