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constitute an archaeological police force
#21
The one good thing about an archaeological police force would be Tony Robinson introducing 'Crimewatch' and all the identi-fits looking like Phil Harding....
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#22
Am I missing the point here? Is'nt this the role of Consultants?
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#23
alisdair Wrote:Am I missing the point here? Is'nt this the role of Consultants?

You and I may think that but there are a lot of folk who believe the role of consultants is to make money for themselves while saving money for their clients by cutting corners.
D. Vader
Senior Consultant

Vader Maull & Palpatine
Archaeological Consultants

A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of Tony Robinson.
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#24
While I agree that a good consultant can be an effective means of ensuring that work is done to a suitable standard, at the end of the day they're employed by the developer, so their independence would always be open to question. For example, it could be suggested that it would be in the interests of the consultant to pass shoddy work because it would save his client money. Before all the consultants on here jump down my throat, I'm sure this doesn't happen much, but the ultimate responsibility for consultants is surely to ensure that the person who's paying the bills isn't getting ripped off by the evil contractors trying to boost their own profits by undertaking work that isn't necessary!
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
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#25
Marcus Brody Wrote:...Before all the consultants on here jump down my throat, I'm sure this doesn't happen much...

But it certainly does happen, have been a victim...
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#26
Have to agree with Dino here (even though it hurts to:face-stirSmile. Having been involved in consultancy from both sides and being on the sharp end of other consultants messes.......Consultants are not independent and although those of us with a conscience try to ensure that the job gets done, its the county archaeologists who provide the ONLY enforcement. If the client doesn't want to do what their consultant suggests, they wont do it. Simple as that.

Have also come across large construction companies forming their own consultants/ companies who do as they are told and/or produce a list of some sites from the HER and pass it off as a DBA that, of course, claims that there is no archaeology and hence no preliminary works are needed.

Its the county archaeologist that knocks these back...........not the consultants.
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#27
Marcus Brody Wrote:...their independence would always be open to question. For example, it could be suggested that it would be in the interests of the consultant to pass shoddy work because it would save his client money.

Eh? If the work isn't accepted by the Curator and my client doesn't get his planning conditions signed off, it's only going to cost him more money and me potentially my job. I can save him money by vetting proposals for further work and agreeing what is either essential or will be productive.
D. Vader
Senior Consultant

Vader Maull & Palpatine
Archaeological Consultants

A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of Tony Robinson.
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#28
Quote: If the work isn't accepted by the Curator

and so what the consultant wants, or decides is suitable and productive is ultimately irrelevant, although they can certainly help a builder choose between a set of proposed wsi's and costings. Consultants and any archaeological contractors are not independent as we are reliant on clients to pay us. Ditto the IFA which is funded by all our subs.

The curators, and hence the chain of planning depts/local goverment/national government/the electors, are the only ones who can set and enforce standards. The fact that the curators are underfunded/under threat from those governments etc is the problem. If solved, the curators would effectively become this putative 'heritage police'. The IFA could then be wound up, go back to a nice little advisory role perhaps concentrating on advising all those amateur local societies out there or become more of an archaeological union for the commercial workforce than a setter of standards. Consultants can just continue their role as middlemen, helping those larger companies deal with their obligations and advising on contractors etc.

Of course, with local government shutting down, and the general public voting in all sorts of muppets, this is all but a dream.

No IFA or consultants ?- hey most of us can carrying on digging developer funded sites as usual and be suitably monitored.

No curators? oh dear we're pretty much all buggered...
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#29
And yet, in a parallel universe, architects perform the 'equivalent' role to the consultant: even though paid by the Employer (i.e. client/developer) they are independent and administer the contract in a fair and impartial manner, and yes sometimes the employer does try to stitch up the contractor, as well as t'other way round. As I droned on about before, cover a lot more than the Building Control (or Planning) officers. In principle there is no reason why the archaeological consultant cannot act in a similar manner. However, the big difference is that the Employer/client actually wants a building built, often (but not always) to the best possible quality (but usually for the lowest possibe price). Generally the employer does not particularly want any archaeolgical work done.
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#30
Sith Wrote:Eh? If the work isn't accepted by the Curator and my client doesn't get his planning conditions signed off, it's only going to cost him more money and me potentially my job. I can save him money by vetting proposals for further work and agreeing what is either essential or will be productive.

And yet the experience of some people on here still seems to be that consultants sometimes sign off on shoddy work? Shocking!

I've got a friend (unlikely, I know) who works as a curator, and who says that some consultants appear to attempt to minimise the significance of absolutely anything that's found, seemingly purely on the basis of saving money for the developer, and that it's a battle to get them to accept that there's any need for further on-site work or post-ex in any circumstance. I should stress that this is not a general attempt to bash consultants; as I said in my previous post, a good consultant can make a project run far more smoothly. However, it would be naive in the extreme to believe that there aren't some less-than-scrupulous consultants out there, just as there are some contractors who are happy to conduct poor fieldwork.
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
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