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IfA to be abolished and replaced by......
How are you going to prove that neo pits were not "there". Are your musings on neopits the same thing as archexs negative results from a watching briefs or evaluations.
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
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It's easy to prove neo pits aren't there. You just have to look for features properly, then if there are none, eliminate the possible reasons why you didn't find any..........and hopefully what you end with is a proof (beyond all reasonable doubt) that no pits were dug there in the neolithic period.....wasn't me by the way...........think the paper was by Jan Harding.....its one of Dinos favourites...............Dino?


But I know where you are going, archaeological features get missed, either through ground conditions, inexperience with the local geology, time pressures, methodologies etc etc. On larger scale projects like a pipeline you can look at a long stripe, assess the factors that may affect the visibility or survivability of archaeology and plot where stuff isn't, then think about why it isn't/wasn't there and look for supporting evidence.

I think there is too much focus in archaeology on where stuff is, without fully understanding where stuff isn't, or even where no one has ever looked for it............too much 'think of a theory', e.g. round barrows are on tops of a hill, then look for evidence that supports the theory, 'look there's one on a hill, oh and another, it must be a fact.'

Too little focus on a) where have we looked, b) where haven't we looked, c) where are the zones of preservation, d) where are the zones of destruction

not to mention too few large databases of the actual evidence, and too little analytical interrogation of said databases.

As for negative results from watching briefs and evaluations...........if both have been carried out well and the methodologies and limiting factors are known and stated, then these can be incorporated within the general distribution patterns as blanks (with provisos!)
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"It's easy to prove neo pits aren't there." Are you saying that this will lead to proof that the neos would not place a pit or pits "there". What are we talking about: 10yr2/1 soil when found between a fork in a river looking east with a hill over looking it from the north. Was this some kind of a taboo place found in no ones land between the territory of three Tribes one of which had elongated skulls. I would tend to worry that the neos did not place pits in "most" places. Wouldn't it be more straight forward working on the places where neo pits have been found and trying to spot the similarities between them and then testing this theory of similarity by finding other like places and post-dicting place of neo pit. And then it also turns out not all neo pits are the same thing....I am of the theory that most neo pits were Melolontha melolontha traps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXmserp6ZGs. Obviously where you find one of these cockchafer pits I predict that there would have been a beech tree nearby in the Neolithic http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12146792
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
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Marc Berger Wrote:"It's easy to prove neo pits aren't there." Are you saying that this will lead to proof that the neos would not place a pit or pits "there".

nope. I did not/will not say that

Marc Berger Wrote:What are we talking about: 10yr2/1 soil when found between a fork in a river looking east with a hill over looking it from the north. Was this some kind of a taboo place found in no ones land between the territory of three Tribes one of which had elongated skulls. I would tend to worry that the neos did not place pits in "most" places. Wouldn't it be more straight forward working on the places where neo pits have been found and trying to spot the similarities between them and then testing this theory of similarity by finding other like places and post-dicting place of neo pit.

Nope, not in isolation.

Where the pits are is important, but where they aren't is also.
You can't even have a stab at understanding them until you can understand their actual distribution and how this distribution relates to the past landscape. The places where I have seen neo pits 'interpreted' there are vast areas unexcavated around them...........Even so the distributions of recorded pits still were imbued with some kind of meaning.

also to really understand their original distribution you have to take into considerations all the factors affecting their discovery: experience of archaeologists, time pressures on the excavation, research agendas of the excavations, truncation on each site, geology/visibility, methodologies of each excavation etc etc.

Marc Berger Wrote:And then it also turns out not all neo pits are the same thing....I am of the theory that most neo pits were Melolontha melolontha traps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXmserp6ZGs. Obviously where you find one of these cockchafer pits I predict that there would have been a beech tree nearby in the Neolithic http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12146792

I had heard....but think on this............are all neo pits the same?...........do the have the same dimensions/ profiles? Do they have the same fills? Do they contain the same artefacts, ecofacts?

And one of Dino's favourites......how many pits on a project that contain no dating evidence were neolithic? How many unexcavated blobs?

Though is nothing to do with the IfA...............or the debate on chartered status
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I am not sure that it's got nothing to do with chartered status, presumably if we were cmifa we would know if neopits undertook sexual reproduction with all the inherent evolutionary consequences that that entails. What we are trying to do is what find out what con/dem granted chartered archaeologist status gets the members of ifa. Having a chat about neopits is the equivalent of blowing raspberries in the general direction. As per article three of the Valetta convention does what ever conviction on neopits give anybody ascendancy on the right to impose post determination conditions on TCPA? We have ascertained from the qualifications required to obtain cmifa that graduate certificates are decidedly excluded and so may make academic authority irrelevant.

All your insistence that neopits have importance makes me want to know if there are neopits which are not important and how can we discount them from our searches? I personally don't care about neopits distribution one bit. What i would say that I care about is digging a pit. What I often do is to split contexts top middle bottom on the off chance that I might have missed a context change. I also do this to try to isolate the area of the context boundary because that seems to be where most things happen. It's a bit arbitrary because it relies on predicting how thick the context is and a bit of working all the way round the pit and fully excavating using single context planning.
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
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Marc Berger Wrote:.........<snip> What I often do is to split contexts top middle bottom on the off chance that I might have missed a context change. I also do this to try to isolate the area of the context boundary because that seems to be where most things happen. It's a bit arbitrary because it relies on predicting how thick the context is and a bit of working all the way round the pit and fully excavating using single context planning.

Oh dear.............
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Quote:also to really understand their original distribution you have to take into considerations all the factors affecting their discovery: experience of archaeologists, time pressures on the excavation, research agendas of the excavations, truncation on each site, geology/visibility, methodologies of each excavation etc etc.

Hope that it helps with the really understanding their original distribution.
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
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Marc Berger Wrote:Hope that it helps with the really understanding their original distribution.
i doubt it will
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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where i agree with Marc is that i don't care about anything other than excavating the pit. the noodling and theories comes from tht. notother way round. intersting concept. all pits with no dating material are Neolithic. time to get the OSL programme rolling out on that one Smile
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