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T5 Heathrow recording
Are there any veterans from the t5 Heathrow Framework excavation out there ? I'm trying to track down the context sheets used to encourage diggers to record their interpretations as well as descriptions.

If you dug there, did this experiment lead to changes in approach elsewhere?
Have broadened the search... I know people who were on it. but will see if I can contact them.

Perhaps the silence is telling in itself. Sad

ps. I always thought the Description - Discussion was always on context sheets.
Any chance of sorting out the problems/inconsistencies in the final published report(s) while you're at it ?
From my experience I would say the answer is a bit yes and bit no. If I am honest, I don't think the system was asking for anything particularly new, but I think it did encourage people to think about what they were digging and in a round about way helped to understand the archaeology more, but also more time was taken to make sure people knew how to fill out the recording sheets in the first place. But I suspect it was because we were actively encouraged to think rather than knock it out and move on. Of course some people did take the proverbial. }Smile
As someone who has checked paperwork from T5 and from other commercial sites, I can say that the paperwork from T5 was often much better to read and much better thought out than some of the back of a fag packet inconsistent recording I have seen since then.

As to changes of approach, I think many diggers who worked there took what they learnt and ran with it, I don't think it changed any practices on a grand scale though.
Huh. When I was working as a volunteer (under a professional/commercial archaeologist) down this way I was encouraged to put down any interpretation on the context sheets for the areas I'd been digging. Until this thread, I assumed that was normal. :face-huh:
When I was trained on Wessex Arch field schools, they gave guidance on filling in the "Description" section which included giving our own interpretation. That was only four and five years ago. When did it fall out of favour?

I've always been led to believe that the interpretation of the person who dug a feature/context is both encouraged and important, and feeds into the overall interpretation. I'm only a beginner, but I've never been told just to record something without forming and expressing some kind of personal opinion about it. In any case, many elements on a context sheet (or in my more direct experience, pottery recording sheet) are subjective and interpretive. If you ever find a Munsell Chart still in use, you'll be hard pressed to get two people to agree on which code to apply to the same context (or pot sherd). I couldn't usually agree with myself if I tried it twice in succession.
That's interesting Kel - you'll have to take it from me that there was once a very strong emphasis on objective description because interpretation was the director's job (this view is refltcted in Roskams Stratigraphy and Carver's Excavation).
I was under the impression that recording the excavators interpretations on context sheets was common practice? Maybe I've just avoided sheets that don't include this!
Quote:you'll have to take it from me that there was once a very strong emphasis on objective description because interpretation was the director's job
Absolutely and that's an interesting top-down processual approach. I'd think that the input being solicited from those who dug a context/feature is more post-processual. Perhaps things are swinging back the other way now? It would take rather less harrassed directors than I've seen (especially in the commercial environment), who'd be able to spend much time considering the interpretation of individual features and contexts - although they obviously have ultimate control of the site overview and interpretation.
Its a while back now since this project so forgive me if my memory is a bit hazy..... but wasn't part of the point of the exercise not only to capture the excavator views on the archaeological interpretation but also something of their thought process, mood and general feelings about the site and their work? I seem to remember we had a name for this kind of exercise back then and it probably rhymed with Hodder, but it definitely weren't 'post-processual'.....I think at the time I felt generally in favour of the approach that Barrett and Lewis took and I'd be interested to hear whether the organisations involved have developed this further on subsequent excavations....
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...

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