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A question if you please
#41
Umm 'dectorists' dig through the topsoil don't they?
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#42
mostly ( I repeat mostly) in the topsoil)
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#43
would that that was mostly true....
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#44
As far as I see. it mostly is.
the times when it goes below. are the ones I would like to ensure don't happen without proper archaeological advice.
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#45
Quite so, my point exactly...
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#46
a bit tricky to quantify the number of significant finds metal detected from below the ploughzone as it is the number dug up by builders and not reported, or by ardchaeologists and never reported, and those that just got machined away because nobody new they were there.
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#47
That is the problem... I have been out with detectorists. and on one day the two people found...er... nothing... bits, an old thrupney bit,. some buttons... but nothing... so does that count as 47 lost artefacts? or none? not sure. Smile

Lots of hand wringing... no real stats
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#48
hmmm...

total area of topsoil stripped by machine per annum= xxx,xxx ,
retrieval rate of finds reported/archived as 'topsoil' from comic-ercial projects = xx finds/xx m striped,
group by factors (urban vs rural, arable vs pasture, alluvium vs colluvium, ...)
create predictive estimates... .... .... ..... ....
compare with PAS data grouped in similar way....

bake on low for xx years, and ... ... ... ... ... ... .. ... .

(probaly realise that it is all very contextual, and that minor damage to undesignated ploughed archaeolgoical sites while reporting to PAS is totaly insignificant compared to total loss of distribution/quantity data when comic-ercial sites are machine stripped...'oh its just ploughsoil find' we hear > well us 'researchers' need that presence/absence/abundance data to interpret issues larger than the one single site some random company or other happens to be currently hacking-up! it is also fundementaly useful and basic primary archaeological data, btw)
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#49
}Smile

unstratified: not-stratified, out of context, removed from original burial context.

I take your point from an absolute 'record everything' standpoint.

But (devils advocate) do you really think that finds in topsoil are so important that we should spend thousands of pounds (and hours) digging it off by hand? If so could you give examples, real or theoretical?
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#50
Jack Wrote:do you really think that finds in topsoil are so important that we should spend thousands of pounds (and hours) digging it off by hand? If so could you give examples, real or theoretical?
possibly, sometimes, but we should certainly spend more resources doing proper surface survey. the latest contexts on most sites are in the ploughzone. who looks?
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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