Thread Rating:
  • 2 Vote(s) - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
One Minima to Rule them All
#11
Jack Wrote:Without the experience of the senior/experienced county mounties it is so easy to get out of doing any archaeology during a construction scheme its just not funny.

And there is the next real battle. archaeoogy fails if the council archaeologists disappear. we must support
Reply
#12
BAJR Wrote:And there is the next real battle. archaeoogy fails if the council archaeologists disappear. we must support

Damn straight.......on a related note, I have recently convinced the Green Party Candidate for Durham City (Jonathon Elmer) of the importance of a heritage policy and support for county archaeologists.
I know him from before he became a green so had an in. Given the impotance of heritage to the local economy he is on the same page.
I'm going to work with him to prepare some kinda thing to add to his manifesto......any one got links to ready made stuff or that statement 'why councils need county archaeologists?'
Reply
#13
Financial pressures on local authorities are likely to continue to impact on non-statutory functions, such as curators/county archaeologists. Clearly one answer would be to regularize government advice and statutorily formalise posts of this kind. But if that were to happen, why not make the obvious jump and remove this function from local authority control through the creation of an independent national curatorial service. The proposals for the setting up of the new Heritage England allow for an advisory planning role. It does seem that might be a possible fit...
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
Reply
#14
agree Kevin that the county or districts should not run any curators/so called county archaeologists. I don't buy into hostys/jacks
Quote:archaeoogy fails if the council archaeologists disappear.
what I suggest should happen is that all planning applications addressed to the planning committees should provide a heritage statement by the applicant and that a heritage statement is trumped with a field evaluation....excavation, pre application to show that no archaeology left on site will be affected by the development. If anybody wants to object that the heritage statement is not adequate they can through the planning consultation and the commitees can seek advise as to what conditions might be required post application. The objections could be you or I, general public, neighbour or any self appointed heritage organisation -English heritage and local museums (containing real curators) who might want the stuff. The objections could be worded. This heritage statement is inadequate.

I would also agree that statutory position of archaeology is in adequate and what I would like to see is a criminal offence of destroying archaeology even mistakenly-eg farmers ploughing and sub soiling putting land drains in without a "heritage statement".

I don't see what effect mounties can have on a minima
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
Reply
#15
Marc Berger Wrote:If anybody wants to object that the heritage statement is not adequate they can through the planning consultation and the commitees can seek advise as to what conditions might be required post application. The objections could be you or I, general public, neighbour or any self appointed heritage organisation

So in reality no one would object and you'd be out of a job the following week
Reply
#16
When you are self employed you are not in or out of a "job" so to speak. Jobs have first contact doing something then exchange of invoice for remuneration, I have got "jobs" started on the books going back years but can find many days in the week when I am not digging. I agree the reality is that we are mostly complacent are made to expect the so called curators to be "monitoring" everything. They never have fully and archaeology should not be a matter of opinion based on negative presumptions based on having a SMR but instead pure field evaluation which should be simply done pre-application unless a heritage assessment states a case that an evaluation is not required. We should be screaming at every client that comes our way to evaluate or put a heritage statement in with their application. The planning authorities should not accept an application if it does not have a heritage statement with it.

The facts are that no archaeologist should expect to be in a job next week unless they have already started it. Sites are finite and widely distributed. They are not conducive to anybody expecting a salary out of them unless subsidized or overcharged due to monopoly practises.
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
Reply
#17
Marc, in your world who maintains the HER and advises whether a development needs an archaeological condition putting on the planning application? Also who checks the heritage statements to see if were written by someone who doesn't know what they are talking about?
Reply
#18
I try to keep up to date with the discussion on bajrfed, but rarely comment these days, especially as I'm a county archaeological officer and discussions around that subject generally seem to get side-tracked by one poster's view as to how archaeology and planning should work.

Unfortunately I think in this instance Marc is wide of the mark – he is promoting an alternate system, but that is a separate debate. The issue that Jack initially raised (quite rightly in my opinion) is the hard and deep cuts that have been made and likely will continue to be made within the present planning system.

These cuts are not just to county archaeological officers, but across the planning system and especially in built heritage/conservation teams. Many councils are teetering on the brink of financial failure, with such pressures it is clear that historic environment functions may be ready casualties.

Unfortunately at the same time we seem to be facing a steady stream of low-cost contractors undercutting established companies, severe cuts to local authority planning teams and pertinently huge losses in planning enforcement staff. This along with an upturn in development seems to be creating a perfect storm and it is the archaeology that ultimately suffers.

My colleagues and I are constantly fighting to keep up standards in archaeological works and trying to bring those developers and archaeologists who are deliberately and willfully cutting corners to task, but without effective local authority enforcement teams this is seemingly a losing battle.

It is disheartening to see professional archaeologists deliberately lying to me, attempting to mislead me and misrepresenting the significance of archaeology on such a regular basis, just to keep themselves in the developer’s pockets – the same developer who is laughing all the way to the bank.

Unfortunately a few ‘rogue’ companies end up taking up a disproportionate amount of my time, meaning meagre resources are further stretched and the archaeology suffers doubly. It is not just in the field where these problems are seen, but also in the shocking decline in reporting and post-excavation standards. Often I find myself rejecting the same report multiple times and often see the same issues coming back again and again.

Such practices unfortunately mean everyone suffers and this constant undercutting and corner cutting does nothing to promote archaeology as a profession or help improve pay and conditions for anyone in the sector.

Sorry for the long rant, but it seems to be a particularly depressing time to be a curatorial archaeologists and I sense may of the problems we are seeing are impacting other parts of the profession equally.
Reply
#19
Jack I have tried writing a so called heritage statement, they are pretty much meaningless. Give me a field evaluation and I will give you a guesstimate of excavation costs, that's it. There is no such thing as heritage in that evaluation its purely archaeology. Hers have very little do with archaeology other than to tell you if the areas been excavated before and if it has it's still probably cheaper for the client to do an evaluation than visit the her, that they might have a copy of the report is a bonuse but you could say that what's in them is purely academic. As you have pointed out elsewhere even though the evaluation said it was iron age it can still turn out to be anglosaxon? Was it the end of the world?

I would like to think tmsarch that you hear the about reality here on bajr first. If the curatorial system goes down which as you say has happened in some areas what should a field archaeologist do in that vacuum? What do you think of the future for museums or can curators impose any minimal pay rates?
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
Reply
#20
Marc Berger Wrote:Jack I have tried writing a so called heritage statement, they are pretty much meaningless. Give me a field evaluation and I will give you a guesstimate of excavation costs, that's it. There is no such thing as heritage in that evaluation its purely archaeology. Hers have very little do with archaeology other than to tell you if the areas been excavated before and if it has it's still probably cheaper for the client to do an evaluation than visit the her, that they might have a copy of the report is a bonuse but you could say that what's in them is purely academic. As you have pointed out elsewhere even though the evaluation said it was iron age it can still turn out to be anglosaxon? Was it the end of the world?

What happens if you find nothing in your evaluation trenches even though there's obviously going to be archaeology in the site (we've all been there!)? Without the heritage statement [is that what they're called these days? - not done a DBA for a while] you'd be stuffed, with the heritage statement (black-and-white statement that there's likely to be stuff there even though the eval trenches missed it) you can at least potentially justify a watching brief when the site gets stripped

HERs - so if you are, eg. digging half a Roman building, you don't bother using the HER record of the other half dug back in, say, the 1970s? No wonder archaeology in this country struggles to move forward! There are situations where you could be really impressing your clients by e.g. saving them money getting C14 dating for a ditch on the grounds that XX Unit got 15 dates from the same feature the other side of the hedge 5 years ago...but of course if you can't be a***ed to do the research you'll never know Sad
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  More than Minima BAJR 7 2,265 21st May 2014, 06:32 PM
Last Post: kevin wooldridge
  IfA and pay minima make it to Private Eye BAJR 3 1,200 1st May 2013, 06:35 PM
Last Post: P Prentice
  IfA Minima Debate - THE RESULT BAJR 112 17,026 11th February 2013, 05:30 PM
Last Post: Unitof1
  Organisational relevance for Pay Minima Bodger51 13 2,181 30th January 2013, 01:14 AM
Last Post: GnomeKing
  IfA Salary minima 2012 Noddy 42 8,042 2nd December 2011, 08:13 PM
Last Post: angi
  Outrage at Hungarian government's 30 day rule BAJR 3 2,677 19th October 2011, 11:14 AM
Last Post: BAJR
  MOLA come out saying YES to Pay Minima linked to IfA Registration BAJR 12 3,479 18th February 2010, 02:21 PM
Last Post: oldgirl

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)