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#51
i agree Vulpz - properly rounded PersOns are the way to go - some room for specialising in types of research and tasks - e.g. Proper DBA/EIA/Archive Researchers who specialise in this are a good thing, and i like working with them - recent graduates doing DBA, WB or Evals is another thing entirely....(horses for course, yes, but keep the yearlings off the racetrack!)

There is another aspect to consider though : not always so good for objectivity/multiple perspectives when one person carries an entire project from DBA to Publication.....a suspicious mind would also the potential for un-reflexive practice to perpetuate bad practice ad finitum....a very suspicious mind could suspect the deliberate fabrication/obfuscation of data for commercial or institutional gain.....

Never-the-less this does not change my view that nothing much can be achieved without returning to the issue of copyright and proper attribution of contributions to projects - for example: really the Manager should be making the samllest contribution to data and technical interpretation, and certainly not soaking up the credit for others work!!!!
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#52
I agree, for once we're on the same page. :face-approve:

Credit, where credit's due
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#53
We've gone off-topic now talking about DBAs. I wasn't having a go about the speedboat BAJR,[ DELETED BY BAJR AS IT WAS UNSUBSTANTIATED RUMOUR AND ALLEGATIONS in contravention of AUP]
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#54
Dinosaur Wrote:Probably explains some of the half-baked/bl**dy awful DBAs I've had to work from on a few projects that we've taken over further down the line then!

Junior/inexperienced staff should in no way be permitted anywhere near DBAs, they're the lynch-pin of any prospective archaeological project and poorly researched DBAs are the cause of many a lost-without-record former archaeological site.


Could nt agree more. Getting it wrong at this stage can lead to tragedy.
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#55
lots of salient points on this thread and i almost agree with the dinosaur - but not quite. dba's are often worthless lists printed off the HER indeed but many's the time when i have seen convoluted descriptions bordering on fantasy dressed up as a dba or heritage audit or conservation plan etc. i think it takes years of local / regional study to appreciate a given area and we would all be best served if local specialists produced local research designs that were sufficiently detailed that even the mounties and consultants could use them
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#56
Dinosaur Wrote:...DBAs from another organisation which have consisted of nothing more than HER/NMR printouts without it passing through the authour's mind that maybe some of the sites were a touch larger than the gridpoint given on the HER, and that possibly looking at afew APs etc might have been a good idea....

I've seen so many DBAs of this type, and the question that always comes to mind is 'how much have Company X charged the client for this heap of sh*t?' There does seem to be a view in some companies that DBAs (and environmental statements etc) are money for old rope - get the data from the HER / NMR, bung it in the corporate report template, stick a cover on it and charge the client several thousand pounds for the privilege, without at any point actually engaging with what the information actually represents - real sites on the ground that have a physical extent beyond the 'dot on a map', and may have interrelationships with each other or with other sites beyond the development boundary (to say nothing of the potential for additional unrecorded buried sites whose presence may be inferred by looking at the type, location and number of recorded features). It's often a double waste of money for the client, as the Council archaeologist may take a look at the document, realise that it doesn't tell them anything they couldn't have found from a quick trawl of their own database, and send it back to be done again.
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
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#57
Marcus Brody Wrote:I've seen so many DBAs of this type, and the question that always comes to mind is 'how much have Company X charged the client for this heap of sh*t?' There does seem to be a view in some companies that DBAs (and environmental statements etc) are money for old rope - get the data from the HER / NMR, bung it in the corporate report template, stick a cover on it and charge the client several thousand pounds for the privilege, without at any point actually engaging with what the information actually represents - real sites on the ground that have a physical extent beyond the 'dot on a map', and may have interrelationships with each other or with other sites beyond the development boundary (to say nothing of the potential for additional unrecorded buried sites whose presence may be inferred by looking at the type, location and number of recorded features). It's often a double waste of money for the client, as the Council archaeologist may take a look at the document, realise that it doesn't tell them anything they couldn't have found from a quick trawl of their own database, and send it back to be done again.

except when the authors are the very people wh get jobs in development control - and know no better
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#58
Yeah, strange days indeed. I also agree with you (for once!) oh Gnomey one.

It does lead me onto a personal gripe of mine with this 'factory' style approach to archaeology epitomised by these posts. In my view there should be no need for 'post-excavation' POs or 'DBA' POs as these two tasks should just be carried out by properly rounded POs whose time and responsibilities are divided between office and site (and HER, library, record office etc). In my experience such an approach (which is not incompatible with commercial archaeology) leads to better archaeologists and a better end product - as the best person to assess a site is the person who is about to excavate / trial trench it. Similarly the best person to write up a site is the person who has just spent, days, weeks or months excavating it. Not, in both cases some poor sucker who rarely gets to see daylight. Call me a crank, if you like (many do), but that for me is an approach which ticks all the boxes and also makes for happy (or at least happier) archaeologists. It's certainly something to aspire to. And not unknown even today.[/QUOTE]


Again, I could not agree more. Compartmentalizing the job is not what should have happened. I work in a system where the archaeologist running the site, does so from start to finish, and personally writes most of the report - excluding specialist input obviously. Why on earth this should lead us to falsify data (if I understood that post correctly - I do not know). My experience has made me wonder - and i say only wonder - how many sites in britain are written up without a true full knowledge of the archaeology. Records are wonderful things, but do not, I think - actually - replace having been there yourself, seen all those relationships, taken all those decisions - understood the site on a daily basis.
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#59
gnomek's point does begin to address another bugbear insofar as it is quite possible that a project officer without proper supervision and consultation can be very wrong!! i have seen a very experienced PO evaluate a site and claim that there is nothing in the trenches only to be told by the junior site staff that there was plenty of evidence for a dmv. a site visit established they were correct and he was wrong. this is not as uncommon as any of us would like. i have seen contractors dig trenches through geology they were unfamiliar with and destroy important archaeology - both willfully and ignorantly

pressure to make money at the expense of the archaeology is going to get worse and we all need to make a stand against the downgrading of standards
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#60
Very very strange days indeed, I've never found myself agreeing with so many posts on one thread, blimey!

I don't think it has strayed far off topic either because the issue of something as complex and debatable as DBAs is at the core of issues around levels, appropriate experience, and job titles. Of course they should be done by someone with appropriate experience, or at least the final result should be pretty well edited by someone who has, because if they are done badly you can potentially kiss the rest of the site goodbye. I started a thread ages ago about what I called 'sausage machine' DBAs, you turn the handle and out pops another one, just a load of unchecked HER data and little real consideration of the meaning or importance of the results, often, I suspect, turned out by people with not enough experience. You could design a computer programme to do some of them I'm sure!
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