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London-Birmingham rail link HS2
#31
Jack Wrote:[I]He half-heartedly poked at the charcoal patch as the pipe-trench excavator edged closer and closer. He wasn't sure what the blob was...there wasn't time to dig a proper section across it.

Probably nothing he told himself as he was shooed out of the way by the workmen.

Shockin ! ...... and I would fire him immediately.................... has he no shame......... nor read the brief ?
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#32
http://www.bucksas.org.uk/hbgprojects/2011_1.html
[INDENT]Shiny assed county mounty, office lurker, coffee junkie and facebook scanner[/INDENT]
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#33
Jack Wrote:That is always the rub. Current archaeological excavation always destroys some information, we just don't have the technology to record everything that might be vitally important to future researchers.


And at any moment in time we never will have the technology. In the situation under discussion there comes a point when you have to decide if it?s better to ?save what you can? or let it be destroyed because you can?t do it justice.

Jack Wrote:Some consultants, and pretty much all engineers still consider archaeology exists only in small defined sites, with large areas of blank in between.


We certainly don?t believe that to be the case here at VMP, however, even with our powers of persuasion it is impossible to justify substantial expense (be it taxpayer?s or individuals) on the off chance that there might be something there.

Jack Wrote:Watching brief methodologies invariably mean large amounts of archaeological features are missed, either through some remains being difficult to spot in the short time between stripping and tracking or trench excavation, the (sometimes) inexperience of the person doing the watching, pressure to release areas from managers or the client, dirty tactics by the engineers or ground crews the list goes on. You just have to look at publications of some linear projects, especially by overlying the impact footprint over the 'excavation' areas and 'watching brief' areas to see all those archaeological features magically stopping at the start of the watching brief areas.


Perhaps a strip, map and sample methodology would have been better because a watching brief is just that - watching. At least with SMS the archaeologist is in control and a more appropriate machining method would be used (a 360 with a toothless bucket rather than a bulldozer or grader). By the sound of it that?s what your fictional digger is doing so he should be on the phone to the Consultant rather than his boss, as it?s his job to shout at the construction contractor and remind him that he?s in breach of his emplyer's planning conditions.

Jack Wrote:A shocking but seemingly unstoppable current working methodology involves stripping a 5-10m wide strip under archaeological conditions along the length of the corridor. If you don't find any archaeology within that strip, the rest of the topsoil within the 20m, 30m etc wide impact footprint gets bulldozed off, destroying any trace of the archaeology just outside the initial strip.


Hmm, recent experiences in Ireland should be a lesson to anyone who advocates that. It doesn?t matter how much of a sample you excavate, there?s always room for a site of National importance to be lurking just beyond the baulk.
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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#34
Jack Wrote:A shocking but seemingly unstoppable current working methodology involves stripping a 5-10m wide strip under archaeological conditions along the length of the corridor. If you don't find any archaeology within that strip, the rest of the topsoil within the 20m, 30m etc wide impact footprint gets buldozed off, destroying any trace of the archaeology just outside the initial strip.

when i invented this it was a good compromise for the landscape i was in - didnt know it would be rolled out as precedent
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#35
P Prentice Wrote:when i invented this it was a good compromise for the landscape i was in - didnt know it would be rolled out as precedent

Interesting.............in which year did you invent this? I'm only asking because I have seen this methodology on at least five projects going back as far as 2003.
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#36
Really doesn't seem to work with things like dispersed Neolithic pit-scatters, good chance you'd miss the lot - have an example of two stretches of landscape a mile apart, one stripped to 50m (resulting in site of probably national importance), the second to 5m....eerm, think they should have stuck to the original methodology........ :face-crying:
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#37
Jack Wrote:Interesting.............in which year did you invent this? I'm only asking because I have seen this methodology on at least five projects going back as far as 2003.

twas last century - on a pipeline on which no other evaluation was undertaken - after the first brand new Roman site was revealed, the engineers were shocked at the delay so a continuous eval trench down the middle enabled some mitigation and easement narrowing when the next ones appeared
never ideal but better than nowt
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#38
Kevin- do you remember the furore over Newbury and its infamous by-pass? The archaeologists working on it were among the founder members of Archaeologists Against Roads (or something similar anyway-can't remember the exact name). They protested alongside the tunnel diggers etc, causing some embarassment to their employer! When I worked on another major road scheme in the West Country (mid 1990s) we had to sign a disclaimer saying we wouldn't engage in anti-road political protests etc...which we all duly did sign-seeing as the choice was either that or lose our jobs.

My least favourite job was on the site of a McDonald's drive-through on the A30...as a vegetarian of many decades that was a bit of a bummer to say the least! Lovely archaeology though..
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#39
Mr Fasham never looked back after the Newbury Scandle!
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#40
funnily enough it was Mr Fasham I was working for on the McDonald's job in Cornwall (Babtie back then)
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