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when was the last time you read an archaeological report from cover to cover?
#11
Well nothing hear that gainsays the contention that we write boring reports that nobody reads and then we wonder why the punters dont understand why what we do is important.
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#12
P Prentice Wrote:Well nothing hear that gainsays the contention that we write boring reports that nobody reads.......................

Except of course most of the previous replies.............did you read them all the way through? Or did you get bored:face-stir:

P Prentice Wrote:............and then we wonder why the punters don't understand why what we do is important.

Ah, yes. But that's a larger issue that I would argue is entirely separate from the format and style of site reports.

You might as well say that 'no one knows how important scientific study into DNA is because the material published in journals isn't written to engage with the wider public.'

Oh hang on a minute...........the public (in general) does know how important DNA studies are.........wonder why that is?Rolleyes
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#13
Horses for courses, the site report is aimed at a particular audience and fulfils a specific purpose. There is no reason why, apart from cost and time, that the report cannot be condensed into a more reader friendly publicly available publication. In the Manchester area this is now being built into the conditions for some of the larger developments so is developer funded. There are now at least three of these glossy little booklets in general circulation with more on the way. Though with the current threat to county archaeology services this may not continue.
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#14
Does reading them while writing them count?
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#15
Dinosaur Wrote:Does reading them while writing them count?

reading? thought it was all done using templates & cut and paste from old reports :face-stir:
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#16
P Prentice Wrote:Well nothing hear that gainsays the contention that we write boring reports that nobody reads and then we wonder why the punters dont understand why what we do is important.


After all anything boring can't possibly be worthwhile or important - minutes of UN resolutions, pretty boring I'd imagine 'yawn yawn... declared war... boring boring... weapons of mass destruction... blah blah... loads of casualties...'

Archaeological reports often are pretty boring, especially grey ones, but that doesn't undermine or devalue what they are for or why they are done. It also doesn't mean that they should be sexed up.
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#17
Jack Wrote:Ah, yes. But that's a larger issue that I would argue is entirely separate from the format and style of site reports.:

go on then - why is it?
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#18
Wax Wrote:reading? thought it was all done using templates & cut and paste from old reports :face-stir:

Mostly.............except for the fun bit at the end oh and the narrative........erm and the introduction, location, topography, geology.............
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#19
RedEarth Wrote:Archaeological reports often are pretty boring, especially grey ones, but that doesn't undermine or devalue what they are for or why they are done

yes it do!! If they are used to inform a planning decision the only people who have to know what it sez dont need to read all that boring stuff

If it is the end result of a programme of works it should be aimed at an intelligent 12 year old and if they wont read it you shouldn't have bothered
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#20
P Prentice Wrote:go on then - why is it?


Bad press, current social perception, lack of interest from industry/governments.

The last is coz we don't produce much that can be marketed on a scale that produces mass profit or saves the planet/ human race.

Need to find that stargate, or find a site on mars that proves we are all aliens or summit - especially if its got alien weapons on it. Then all of a sudden every corner of industry/governments would be desperate to have archaeologists and the funding would pour in.

Take climatology as an example. Poorly funded until the world was about to end.

Most people seem to still have social progressionism ingrained in their thinking.
By that I mean 'anything in the past isn't as good as what we have now and people in the past were less clever and less evolved than us.' Hence archaeology is just a luxury, or a hobby. Its 'interesting' but we can't learn anything new from it as it only relates to the past. Its not as important as bashing protons together, or measuring sea level for instance that relate to now and the future hence we can learn something new.

I think (but not sure) that social progressionism comes from Victorian (or maybe earlier) propaganda designed to make it ok to exploit 'less advanced' cultures throughout the world. Because they don't have all the shiny technologies that we have so they must be less evolved and more like we were in the ancient past; its our duty to 'educate' them in how to live proper and speed up their evolution.

But of course, it was just an excuse to exploit them and steal their resources. The reasoning seems to still linger though, although often at a more subliminal level.
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