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One Minima to Rule them All
Also, of course, in practical terms, you end up looking a right dick if all the locals know more about the archaeology in the vicinity than you do xx(
where does it say that the only source of those reports is in the her, did you learn nothing in uni or by experience, going to your local library, museum, talking to the local? Are you saying that your excavation results are rubbish if you have no information from next door or are you saying that if you know what they have done next door you can get away with producing slightly better rubbish....The criminal system in this country spends a lot of time trying to stop juries from being influenced by opinion, it wants the truth to be objective. The whole ifa competence clauses are really an old boy network excuse. You wont find me worrying about any local knowing more than they need too.

Quote: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!)?

obviously what where? As I said an evaluation is to estimate excavation cost not to find archaeology, the closest that "finding nothing" might be is sample assessment by random trench and that is no different to geophysics or staring at APs with a diving rod. Please there should be a rule here-This is Site based archaeology not how to find a site. Curators make this mistake daily mostly on large rural sites. Lets put it another way which is that the only way that a watching brief is instigated is if an Evaluation did not produce any evidence of significant archaeology. How many watching briefs do not follow an evaluation-

What are the curators like round your way? tmsarch seems to have made you jump.
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
I have just spent the last couple of days in some trenches with a couple of self employed moonlighters except that they are not real cause they were moonlighting from Zero hour contracts with two Very well known "units". My heart sang- the end is nigh. Hosty challenged us to produce a self employed guide at the beginning of the year which I did but because of an unusual use of third party plural wasn't quite right and we have languished in producing a final draft but I feel inspired again. Unfortunately copyright will rear its lovely head. Anybody care to put on show a copy of their zero hour contract so that we can further the discussion on "pay" minima?
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
'an evaluation is to estimate excavation cost not to find archaeology' ....?? strange one that ....every evaluation I have ever done has been to find and evaluate any potential archaeology, excavation not always being the end result.....
so you are suggesting that an evaluation can produce archaeology without excavation or rather the evaluations that you undertook were excavations?
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
Looking through a lot of grey-lit evaluation reports, many evaluations consist of machining a big hole and then recording the archaeology somewhere up near the top of the sections - does that count as 'excavation'? }Smile:face-stir:
No it's an evaluation but what I am trying to get at is that it is ineffect the source of pay minima and a problem for it as well. The ifa has a standard for evaluation the wordings of which they regularly play around with. Currently they have this:


The purpose of field evaluation is to gain information about the archaeological resource within a given area or site (including presence or absence, character, extent, date, integrity, state of preservation and quality), in order to make an assessment of its merit in the appropriate context, leading to one or more of the following:

*​the formulation of a strategy to ensure the recording, *preservation or management of the resource;
*​the formulation of a strategy to initiate a threat to the archaeological resource
*​the formulation of a proposal for further archaeological investigation within a programme of research
. And they have dumped a load of algao rubbish in there like programme of research and a bunkum use of the word formulation but from it what I want to ascertain is a pay minima. The pay minima that hosty seems so enamoured of seems to be based around the ifa concept of "corporate" membership and paying a licence based on salary for "excavation" rights which is also something on which the ifa has decided that it's has authority to write standards or codes for rather than membership being by qualification to excavate eg a degree. So for instance is pay minima to be based on presence or absence, character, extent, date.....which basically contribute to formulating a price with the problem for pay minima that price is then competed on with the likely out come of do less with less staff and pay them less if you can.

What's going on here is that we have a system which is started by "self employment" - the evaluation is a looking for "work" which generates a price but which then hands over to a system that the ifa wants as a Rate-everlasting excavation teams ideally working on salarys. My view is that the over riding trend is towards everything is an evaluation and hence the self employed tax structure is the only tax structure suitable for an archaeologist.

Zero hour contracts are just another responce by public servants to maintain a salaried open copyright public ownership approach to archaeology:face-stir:

what I don't understand about zero hour is the access to benefits angle like job seekers. It appears that you sign up to zero hour contracts for specified months at a time but could potentially do very little work over the period. What level of national insurance has to be achieved to get any "benefits" off the state after or during the agreement is over as the safty net of benefits after the contract is over can be the only reason that diggers don't go self employed and claim legitimate expenses against tax.....particularly for the under 35s
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
Marc Berger Wrote:so you are suggesting that an evaluation can produce archaeology without excavation or rather the evaluations that you undertook were excavations?

Though I take your general point....I think?? dislike IfA/anyone else telling you how to do archaeology

Could the terminology 'field evaluation' cover say walkover surveys, condition surveys etc which can often charcterise archaeology without excavation, especially when used in combination with a HER and document search. How about building surveys?

I think (deja vu?) evaluation of a site and an archaeological evaluation excavation (trial-trenching) have been muddled up here.

And of course no excavation/evaluation should 'produce' archaeology (except for future archaeologists who are studying the ritual behaviour of the late 20th to 21st century of digging largely straight trenches, approximately 2m wide by between 10m to 30m. This obviously being ritual behaviour in the way that the people 'revered' the remains of their ancestors by carefully excavating, recording then selectively removing artifacts. There even was a case where some artefacts were dug up from one ritual site, moved to one of the central temples where these special items were stored, then re-buried outside the temple).

The archaeology is there or it isn't.
Quote:Could the terminology 'field evaluation' cover say walkover surveys, condition surveys etc which can often charcterise archaeology without excavation, especially when used in combination with a HER and document search. How about building surveys?

I think that the terminology "field evaluation" may include walkover /geophys but only if "characterised" by field evaluation. Building surveys are nothing to do with field archaeology.

National Policy frame work mentions "field evaluation", once in para 128 and is pretty specific that it is
Quote:In determining applications, local planning authorities should require an applicant to describe the significance of any heritage assets affected, including any contribution made by their setting. The level of detail should be proportionate to the assets’ importance and no more than is sufficient to understand the potential impact of the proposal on their significance. As a minimum the relevant historic environment record should have been consulted and the heritage assets assessed using appropriate expertise where necessary. Where a site on which development is proposed includes or has the potential to include heritage assets with archaeological interest, local planning authorities should require developers to submit an appropriate desk-based assessment and, where necessary, a field evaluation.

This what ppg16 mostly said about
Quote:(b) Field Evaluations
21. Where early discussions with local planning authorities or the developer's own research
indicate that important archaeological remains may exist, it is reasonable for the planning
authority to request the prospective developer to arrange for an archaeological field evaluation
to be carried out before any decision on the planning application is taken. This sort of
evaluation is quite distinct from full archaeological excavation. It is normally a rapid and
inexpensive operation, involving ground survey and small-scale trial trenching, but it should be
carried out by a professionally qualified archaeological organisation or archaeologist. The
Institute of Field Archaeologists (see Annex 1 for address), publishes a Directory of members,
which developers may wish to consult. Evaluations of this kind help to define the character and
extent of the archaeological remains that exist in the area of a proposed development, and
thus indicate the weight which ought to be attached to their preservation. They also provide
information useful for identifying potential options for minimising or avoiding damage. On this
basis, an informed and reasonable planning decision can be taken.

The archaeology is there if you go to excavation and the evaluation should give you a basis as to how and what you want to excavate. Non intrusive evaluation cannot identify excavation costs, Which brings us nicely back to pay minima based on "excavation rates". I think that there is something fundamentally wrong in thinking that the excavation of a "more" complicated site can be solved by having "more" salaried £60 a day diggers or their supervisors. Ifas minima and corporate membership structure is effect anti the point of evaluation. Its kinda saying that they already know how much it will cost. I don't understand.
.....nature was dead and the past does not exist
...and yet none of the documents you've quoted above seem to make any reference to evaluation being for costing, whereas there seems to be a lot about identifying the nature of the archaeological resource so that the curator can make an informed planning decision - its up to him/her what further work is required, which then has a cost implication

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