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Is a decent specialist report a luxury?
I would suggest all Forumites give themselves a late Christmas present by exploring the "Ignore List" function of their profile which can be used to hide the posts of the less coherent members.
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RedEarth Wrote:You kind of have to read between the vitriol and phlegm to get to the kernel of truth, which may be mixing metaphors.

I did try that, but 90% of the few bits that were comprehensible appeared to be based in an alternative universe I'm not familiar with, and I've got better things to do than to try and reason with idiots on internet message boards. I don't mind a bit of lively debate, and was enjoying this thread until Captain Caveman turned up and shat all over it - there were some quite interesting points being made. But that's t'interwebs, hey? Ah well, back to moaning in the pub....
\"Whoever understands the pottery, understands the site\" - Wheeler
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Unitof1 Wrote:the area having to be topsoil stripped and that you are using these features to justify that it be done under archaeological control?

Think this one'll be a bit more than 'strip, map and record'! - anyway, it'll be a lot more complicated than that since effectively it's 3 separate developments, shifting a big gas pipeline, re-aligning one road and then building a big balancing pond for another, although wierdly they're planning to put that on the higher ground in between two ancient ponds - gawd bless engineers!

Some subsequent palaeoenvironmental work's been done by another outfit but I haven't seen the report yet

Anyway, where does the 'justification' bit come in - we've identified the archaeological significance of the site (courtesy of the bits of dead cow - 2 vertebrae) and of course the client is over the moon and anxious to have the place investigated properly - least ways I'm sure that's what they're thinking Wink
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A decent specialist report SHOULD be the standard ! ...... and should be written into all briefs without question...no decent report/no pp for development end of.
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redexile Wrote:Then why do they keep claiming that they're maintaining standards in archaeology?
.

Haven't noticed much of that lately.....standards at an al time low country-wide,,,,,,and falling by the day Sad Sad
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I think we really do need a national standard for everything. Had a visit from a client today, they're evaluating a site which straddles a county boundary. On one side of the site, they're doing a 5% sample on the other 1% - the developer is utterly baffled as to why they're not required to do the same sample level on both sides. He's not the only one.
\"Whoever understands the pottery, understands the site\" - Wheeler
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redexile Wrote:I think we really do need a national standard for everything. Had a visit from a client today, they're evaluating a site which straddles a county boundary. On one side of the site, they're doing a 5% sample on the other 1% - the developer is utterly baffled as to why they're not required to do the same sample level on both sides. He's not the only one.

The ones I love best are where they don't even give a percentage and you are just supposed to guess how much! God help anyone working across three or more county boundaries! So much for research aims though, eh!
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Does 1% achieve much other than 'we didn't find much but there could be anything (a villa, say) in the other 99%'?
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redexile Wrote:I think we really do need a national standard for everything. Had a visit from a client today, they're evaluating a site which straddles a county boundary. On one side of the site, they're doing a 5% sample on the other 1% - the developer is utterly baffled as to why they're not required to do the same sample level on both sides. He's not the only one.
1% is cetainly derisory but is it the case that it is to be weighted towards the county boundary or similar? certainly highlights the amazing vaguaries of curatorial rationale. pity the regional research framework programme never really addressed this issue sufficiently well to aid the beleagured and bereft planning archaeologists
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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P Prentice Wrote:1% is cetainly derisory but is it the case that it is to be weighted towards the county boundary or similar? certainly highlights the amazing vaguaries of curatorial rationale. pity the regional research framework programme never really addressed this issue sufficiently well to aid the beleagured and bereft planning archaeologists

I get the distinct impression that most of the DCA sampling strategies are simply pulled out of thin air - I've certainly never seen convincing, stats-based support for any of them (unless some of the sages on here know otherwise....), although a statistics professor did once tell me that we should be digging 100% of everything as that would still only be a tiny sample of what was originally there in artefact terms. I have it from a very reliable source that the 2% sample that was "the standard" for a long time was literally made up on the spot in the late 80s when one of the pioneers of contract tender was asked what level of sampling he intended to use.
\"Whoever understands the pottery, understands the site\" - Wheeler
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