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is heritage good for local people?
#1
hello all,
can anyone think of instances where heritage management has contributed to the welfare of small, traditional cultures such as those supported by this excellent charity:
http://www.survival-international.org/

It was put to me recently that history/archaeology/heritage was much better at preserving things than people, for example world heritage site status is sometimes a mixed blessing for those living nearby.

Any thoughts?

Tom

'In the busy market there are fortunes to be won and lost, but in the cherry orchard there is peace'.
Chinese proverb
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#2
English Heritage like paying grants to “farmers” (welfare of small, traditional culture) so that the farmers can carry on sub-soiling archaeology for the detectorists.

EH are helping them target the archaeology. (Plough damange [sic]; just too big to handle? Steve Trow, English Heritage)

These AONB (“beauty” with a tiny bit of heritage mixed into somehow- mostly run by tree huggers) “Historic Environment” jobs look like a new EH scam that will restrict the local peoples in the name of “heritage” and once again parade archaeology as the governments consulting poodle. The ANOBS get to ware uniforms as well -I dont think that they have got guns yet but they will try.

is heritage good for local people? No
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#3
Tiz a difficult question to answer-particularly if we are looking at a UK context.Arguably, people here have little opportunity (if any) to contribute on heritage issues as they are largely monopolised by business interests or quangos.If the Barker recommendations on the planning system are adhered to-people won`t even have the right to comment or indeed, be consulted.On a grander scale-of course heritage is "good" for people...it`s their identity,history,land ownership,ancestory and many more things to many.The people of Palestine have had much of their heritage ring-fenced....I would argue that there is a good example of how the forced removal of a nations heritage leads to a fractured if not homeless society.Here in the UK, LPAs have done as they pleased with our heritage and it has become big business.....before the new Barker ideas are realised, should`nt we take the time to inform the public of what they are about to lose? Would an informed view of our own heritage be good for the social aspects of the UK tom?:face-huh: By the way-good charity link sire.

..knowledge without action is insanity and action without knowledge is vanity..(imam ghazali,ayyuhal-walad)
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#4
Unit of one, LOFL!!

G
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#5
"English Heritage like paying grants to “farmers” (welfare of small, traditional culture) so that the farmers can carry on sub-soiling archaeology for the detectorists. "

As far as I am aware EH pay management grants to farmers to stop subsoiling and ploughing - but they don't have a lot of spare cash!


"(Plough damange [sic]; just too big to handle? Steve Trow, English Heritage)"

How much do you want to spend on it - so far the East Midland area alone have a half million per year bill for paying farmers to take archaeological sites out of ploughing - under Environmental Stewardship it comes in at £460/ha. The bill could be more than that for the London Olympics if we try and get every ploughed site under grass - and the cost will rise as grain prices rise as they inevitably will with the demand for biofuels!
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#6
Oh, and by the way, Defra's investment in traditional farm ubuilding repair in the Lake District, home to endangered farmers, is estimated to have had an equivalent impact of between 8.5 and 13.1 million quid into the local economy.
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#7
I dont want to spend anything on farmers (or rather landowners) in the name of archaeology. East midlands Cosmic survey basically painted red the whole area from a survey of sites which were only scheduled ten years ago- they are gone- possibly 63 long barrow sites. The lovely cuddly farmers weren’t aware that they shouldn’t subsoil them! They weren’t told by EH?-ignorance of the law is no defence.

The long barrow sites were scheduled and identified from NMP data (another sad incompetent day at EH), the same data that the government then used to give points to farmers to make claims about protection and managing our heritage (not that they are rushing to the Higher level archaeology points are they). So then they used the money to buy a bigger subsoilers to sub soil the where they are “allowed” to sub soil and it turns out the NMP survey was the most accurate survey ever done because theres nothing left as EH have made sure. Then when the scheme ends, possibly 2013, the grounds just about ready for another...you got it.

“traditional farm building”- traditional -now there’s a subject -the management of 8.5 and 13.1million - did you get a cut?
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#8
Dear UnitOf1,
if you wish to start a thread about farming subsidies and EH, you are free to do so. Otherwise, please keep on-topic or keep silent. It's sometimes hard to tell, but you appear to have entirely missed the point of this thread.

Troll, m300572, thanks for the interesting responses.
I'm primarily interested in how heritage can shore up the status of social groups and sub-groups. Consider, for example, the excitement whenever a medieval Mikvah (?sp.) is found in England (material evidence of early English Judaism). Where I grew up around Kingston we were taught about Caesar Picton, a Senegalese freed slave who was quite an important gentleman in the late 18th/early 19th. Then there's the environmental evidence of human occupation in Australia going back 50K years, which (as far as I am aware) remains unsubstantiated by material culture. How about community mapping projects in Borneo, demonstrating that people have occupied the forest despite not having a bit of paper with a deed on it? I could go on.

There are also much more practical issues, like those raised by m30572: jobs, government cash, tourism etc.

These are all positive examples, and to be honest they generally have their downsides too. I would welcome any examples from those working in public archaeology (in Britain or abroad) about how they have tried to 'help people' and what the successes, failures and pitfalls were.

Cheers all,

Tom

PS if Ian Blair, Bruce Watson or anyone from MoLAS is reading, whatever happened to the London Mikvah? Did it get re-erected in a synagogue, or is it still in packing crates?




'In the busy market there are fortunes to be won and lost, but in the cherry orchard there is peace'.
Chinese proverb
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#9
I must admit I get very uneasy about "using" archaeology for anything other than the pursuit of knowledge, however well intentioned. One person's, and/or one time's, perception of good may well ne another's idea of evil. In short, I am uneasy about the political use of archaeology even if I happen to agree with the intentions and almost by definition biased or prejudged, interpretations. They may not be someone or sometime else's.

Or perhaps I'm just paranoid.

We owe the dead nothing but the truth.
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#10
Unit of 1, you said “traditional farm building”- traditional -now there’s a subject -the management of 8.5 and 13.1million - did you get a cut?

Traditional farm buildings are defined as those built in the local vernacular tradition before 1940 - so there is no 'subject' if I take your comments to mean that random buildings get money for nothing.

The figures refer to a period before I started work for my current employer. As to 'getting a cut' if you are implying that there may be bribery and corruption of myself involved then I treat your question with contempt - that is left to people much, much higher up the pecking order than I am! But if you are asking sensibly 'did the administrators gain any financial benefit from the work - no, their pay did not depend on this work being done - there may be a few contracting building recording archaeologists who got a 'cut' through the funding for building recording in advance of work - do you do building recording work for DEFRA grant schemes ever?
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