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Archaeologists - whats in a name
proud to have no degree (well a bit!)

I would like to see a full register of people able to carry out contracting archaeology with standards and enforced disciplinary procedures (ooooer)

It hink the time is coming for us to admit... there is a difference from carrying out archaeology and carrying out developer funded archaeology - one is about spending years on a site that has been specifically picked for specific reasons... as opposed to mitigating the potential for archaeology on a area that has been picked by the developer to place a construction...

Something we wil be looking at at the BAJR 07 conference in York - 23rd September (Sunday) 9am - 4:30pm... email me if you want to book.... its Free!

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Posted by Muddy:
Quote:quote:Archaeology has always been famous for providing opportunities for those without acdemic qualifications resulting in some outstanding archaeologists (our mr hosty for example, god bless him)! One has only to look at the IFA membership book to reealise this. Conversely, there are MIFAs, AIFAs etc qualified to the hilt with BA's MA's, PhD's whom really don't know a soil change from a clothes change... a munsell colour to a hair colour..... Is the profession really going so far backward up their #### in striving acdemic respectibility???

Protecting the name is not about academic respectability - it is about professional respectability.

Any enforceable means of protecting the name would need to take account not only of academic qualifications but also of other criteria relating to experience and achievement. There is no reason why a relevant degree should be an absolutely necessary requirement. It could also incorporate CPD requirements and periodic review provisions, to ensure that skills are kept up to date. And it would have disciplinary provsions that would enable incompetents to be struck off, however well qualified academically - that is the whole point.

This is all about protecting the name for professional archaeologists. Effects on amateurs should be minimal - after all, they will mostly not want to call themselves 'Archaeologists'; they will define themselves by their main job. One of my hobbies astronomy, on which I spend a lot of time, effort and money, but I don't call myself an 'Astronomer'.


to let, fully furnished
Hi All
Being called an archaeologist is a different matter now that the title has legal implications. Since the Treasure Act 1996 archaeologists are not normally eligible for payment when they discover artefacts covered by the Act. This implies that an "archaeologist" is a recognised title and one definable under law. It is my opinion that an archaeologist has to have an appropriate Job Description which describes their duties as being associated with archaeological remains/data. This would also cover HER Officers etc and Finds specialists. Therefore you really have to be employed, or normally be employed as an archaeologist (i.e. if your "between jobs"). People who have volunteered on excavations cannot be an archaeologist any more than a metal detectorist who has detected spoil heaps etc for archaeological units. It gets a bit more difficult when thinking of students studying archaeology but in general students are not considered to be part of a profession but they are often eligible for associate membership (or affiliate in the IFA). If someone is an "archaeologist" by virtue of volunteering on a site then any metal dectorist who has done this would no longer be eligible for reward under the Treasure Act which appears to be nonsense and it is very likely that a coroner has alraedy passed legal precident on this matter by rewarding a metal detectorist finder who has volunteered on excavations from time to time.

The problem implied by hostys comment is people who set themselves up as self-employed archaeologists without appropriate qualifications or experience but we are not the only profession to suffer this, the building trade and garages are famous for their cowboy element.

Bring on that Charted Status!

Hi Stephen,

Good post, and I agree up to a point.

I suspect that for this purpose an 'archaeologist' would include anyone actively involved in an archaeological operation at the time of the find. That means that a volunteer on an excavation, who was not a professional archaeologist, could not claim a reward for a valuable find. The same person probably would not count as an 'archaeologist' when not working on a formal archaeological operation.

I also suspect that this definition will remain uncertain unless and until it becomes an issue in a court case (does anyone know if this has happened?).


to let, fully furnished
Excellent post indeed... and follow up 1man!

I think this highlights the absurd nature of 'archaeologist' who are we?????

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Totally agree ... anyone would find it extremely hard to disagree. The title archaeologist should be reserved for those who put in the hard yakka - be it years in the field (which should in itself merit formal recognition) .... or years of study.

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