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Is a decent specialist report a luxury?
redexile

The only stats-based survey that I am aware of is the Hey & Lacey 2001 Planarch report - Evaluation of Archaeolgical Decision-making Processes and Sampling Strategies - at one point it concludes that 'Despite the assertion that a brave and knowledgeable curator might be able to work with a 2% sample, in reality this does not appear to supply the level of confidence required when making planning decisions that might need to be defended at Enquiry. At a sample of between 3% and 5%, enough information was generally available to provide an assessment of the site to meet planning requirements and form the basis for designing a mitigation strategy'. It then goes on to recommend doing 3-4% and then coming back for a second more targeted approach.

Beamo
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That certainly sounds like a more sensible approach - just enough to get a hint of what might be there, then go looking for it properly :face-approve:
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Dinosaur Wrote:That certainly sounds like a more sensible approach - just enough to get a hint of what might be there, then go looking for it properly :face-approve:
yep - when though will it ever happen
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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beamo Wrote:The only stats-based survey that I am aware of is the Hey & Lacey 2001 Planarch report - Evaluation of Archaeolgical Decision-making Processes and Sampling Strategies

Ah yes, forgot about that - is it available on line? Been wanting to read it for a while.
\"Whoever understands the pottery, understands the site\" - Wheeler
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redexile Wrote:Ah yes, forgot about that - is it available on line? Been wanting to read it for a while.

http://thehumanjourney.net/components/co...ations.pdf
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tmsarch Wrote:http://thehumanjourney.net/components/co...ations.pdf

Excellent! Thanks.
\"Whoever understands the pottery, understands the site\" - Wheeler
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I take it you are all aware that Lacey & Hey 2001 is biased, methodologically unsound, and a key cause for current problems ?!
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RedEarth Wrote: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!

This is why PPS5 "sufficiently understood" was a very useful concept - however, it requires HIGH STANDARDS of field work and DETAILED monitoring by Counties/Planning to be effective as a means of ensuring good archaeology.
Failing that, Lacey Hey 2001 attempts to present a formula 'Idiots Guide', which was intended to be of some use in orchestrating whatever monkeys were actually out there... It should not have become the industry standard it now is.

Please read the Document. Pay special attention to how the degree of success in 'locating archaeology' is highly variable and closely dependent on the nature of the archaeology. Not only is this an objectively poor instrument, it is also dangerously self referential.




Hey was certainly on the circuit in the late 90's delivering this paper and 'research'. I listened (i think twice) back then to her presentation, along with some much more senior (academic) people. Many of them were not convinced. Neither was I.

The audience were interested in the papers conclusions for 'best practice' and that they matched up very closely with the method statements of a particular commercial company that Hey worked for. It was also interesting how European Union funds had been made readily available for the 'research'.

Issues regarding the sub-optimal practice of computed/predictive modeling generally (and specifically, i.e. Australia) were raised, as-well-as criticism of the the way this particular data had been collected and used (especially how 'expert archaeological decisions processes' were modeled - yes, I do mean you MR N.S. !)

A detailed criticism of this report and its impact of the culture of professional archaeological practice could provide a powerful spring board for many positive changes...(for somebody with time / funding to do )

IN SHORT:
Please read Lacey "Hey & Lacey 2001 - Evaluation of Archaeological Decision-making Processes .."
But, Please Please don't believe a word of it!
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GnomeKing Wrote:Please...Pay special attention to how the degree of success in 'locating archaeology' is highly variable and closely dependent on the nature of the archaeology....Issues regarding the sub-optimal practice of computed/predictive modeling generally (and specifically, i.e. Australia) were raised, as-well-as criticism of the the way this particular data had been collected and used (especially how 'expert archaeological decisions processes' were modeled

So probably not asking the local expert (e.g. the person who dug the next field) where/what's likely to be there before blundering in? (...not referring to any particular ongoing 'comedies' around here, honest...)
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'It should not have become the industry standard it now is.'

GnomeKing is right to point out that this document should not be accepted on an uncritical basis - there are some fundamental issues reagrding the methodologies etc. I'm not sure that it has become an 'industry standard' - plenty of people within the industry (including myself) have our own preferred ways of approaching evaluation on a site-by-site basis according to a number of parameters. However the document stands as the only one of its type and therefore has some relevance - I have been involved in Pubklic Inquiries where it is cited as a Core Document and variations from its conclusions and recommendations have had to be justified in cross-examination.

Perhaps it is time for a renewed survey to look at the post-2001 data and recent practices (strip, map & sample, anyone). There is a bit of discussion in the CIRIA 2008 report Archaeology and Development: A good practice guide to managing risk and maximising benefit, but that document is aimed a different target audience to the one here (as the title indicates).



Beamo
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