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HS2 high-speed - archaeologists jamboree?
#1
To archaeologists, the HS2 high-speed rail scheme is "one huge trench across the country", an unprecedented 350-mile bonanza that promises to open up England's ancient backbone and shoulders for meticulous study in a way never before possible. To many historians, however, it is a colossal folly, an unwarranted assault on the nation's historic heartlands that will dislocate a wealth of precious links with the past. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/...nvironment an interesting way of looking at things?

fave quote,

Quote:Dr Heyworth acknowledges that the prospect of the unprecedented tidal wave of archaeological work which would arise from HS2 – against the clock, on a tight budget, and amid unprecedented cuts in funding in the heritage sector – would place a severe strain on the profession.

"There will be a shortage of skills and manpower. There's been a shrinkage in the number of professional archaeologists, and a loss of skills. And if suddenly we're getting a lot of new housing and building development, we're going to run out of archaeologists. We won't have the skills base we need to do a professional job.

"One solution may be to bring in archaeologists from other parts of the world, and certainly our colleagues across Europe are very well trained and experienced. There are some who would argue that you don't need that academic background... you don't necessarily have to have a great deal of experience of that as long as you are well supervised."


That aside.

this is an odd article... http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/...nvironment
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#2
I presume Dr Heyworth hasn't noticed that there are numerous archaeological units capable of snapping up the work, and that each are very used to working on tight timescales and budgets. Furthermore, despite a bit of a recovery, there are still many archaeologists (or aspirational archaeologists) out of work, so no shortage in being able to recruit, which sound alot like....oh yes....most of the construction industry.
This is a massive project as a whole, but aside from the watching brief angle, surely will be broken into many smaller sites. There was an advert a while ago looking for a DBA specialist to be employed directly by HS2. I wonder if there is any preliminary information arising from them on the scope of work, and whether more archaeologists will be employed directly by HS2, at project manager or wider level, or whether all the excavation work will be locked into a 'framework' agreement between one or two large operators?
I think its a bit premature to be highlighting the archaeological industry as a barrier, when in contrast to many other HS2 issues, its one the industry will happily solve for them (did someone mention work?)
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#3
Actually, re-reading that I may be a bit harsh on Dr Heyworth, but he does acknowledge that with correct and experienced supervison, relatively inexperienced field team members could be assembled. From that abgle it could actually provide on the job training for a new generation of field archaeologists, who previously only had their academic studies behind them with little site time.
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#4
or is he alluding to the possibility that community groups could take on a large part of the required mitigation? inviting foreign archaeologists, and presumably foreign companies is an equally entertaining ideaSmile
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#5
Putting aside the issues of providing jobs for archaeologists does anyone really think that in the long run HS2 is a good idea? Extending the London commuter belt to the north of England with a massive project that inevitably will run over budget and delivery time seems like a waste of money very much needed elsewhere. And what ever happened to preservation in situ?

Time for this country to cut loose from London a city that pulls resources from the rest of the countrySad!
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#6
Wax Wrote:Putting aside the issues of providing jobs for archaeologists does anyone really think that in the long run HS2 is a good idea? Extending the London commuter belt to the north of England with a massive project that inevitably will run over budget and delivery time seems like a waste of money very much needed elsewhere. And what ever happened to preservation in situ?

Time for this country to cut loose from London a city that pulls resources from the rest of the countrySad!

silly old hippy
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#7
P Prentice Wrote:silly old hippy
I will take that as a compliment

There are serious issues behind HS2 and providing jobs for archaeologist should not blind us to them. Probably best discussed elsewhere.
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#8
Would an archaeologist's jamboree involve banjo enclosures....? :o)
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#9
Wax Wrote:There are serious issues behind HS2 and providing jobs for archaeologist should not blind us to them. Probably best discussed elsewhere.
here is fine. we professionals work in development - houses, roads, nuclear reactors, airports and train tracks. cant think of anybody giving up a contract (in this country)because they we re ideologically opposed to the development.

i quite like the idea of an additional train keeping more people off the road network - progress surely
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#10
P Prentice Wrote:here is fine. we professionals work in development - houses, roads, nuclear reactors, airports and train tracks. cant think of anybody giving up a contract (in this country)because they we re ideologically opposed to the development.

i quite like the idea of an additional train keeping more people off the road network - progress surely

Yup put number one first! jobs are more important than protecting our heritage and countryside.

HS2 is all about supporting the developers who manipulate our government in their favour. HS2 is not about linking the North and South. It benefits London it isn't even to have stations in some of the rural areas it is passing through. The country would be better off putting the money into improving the current rail infra structures. And in this day and age with home working and internet connections Skype and tele conferencing who needs to get from A to B faster? It is often quicker and cheaper to fly to London and HS2 won't change that.
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