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Current Archaeology on Community Archaeology
the latest Current Archaeology has an opinion on Community Archaeology which is pretty damning ... however BAJR quite agrees with most of it... though I did smart as I am currently working on 2 (organising one!) and am getting into training and other advice... including making templates for "How to.... " get money OR find tools OR carry out a survey etc...... where are the resources.... etc

But its funny.... I gave a donation to a society (and it turned out my donation was the largest they had that year ... even HS gave them less! So how can the clubs survive, when there is little support...

Where are the FLOs for Digs? In Scotland we have the wonderful Helen Bradley, Adopt-a-Monument Officer from the CSA who has to cover the WHOLE of Scotland - but brings valuable help to groups...

Why not 5 or 10 of her? Why not more archaeology in the classroom? what about building communities with archaeology/heritage/natural resources... actually use archaeology for something positive?

Not just to mitigate for a development, but to be part of a community soul?

Last weekend, we fieldwalked, washed, recorded, geofizzed, dug and researched… over 70 people turned up.. and more are coming for the Easter Big Dig… many are coming over the winter to learn survey and dig and draw etc etc….. new skills ! An they love it… absolutely love it!

And so do I….

I looked at the CBAs Community Archaeology Forum - a great idea… however..

The Latest News is October (2 months ago…)

There are only 13 projects

Two finished in 2005, one was last updated in January 2006, many pages don’t work some are quite good indeed… however… you find there is only 10 actual groups involved… and spread across 2 years and the whole of the UK it is a bit …. Er…. Small?

I started a list of Groups across the UK… but felt I did not want to get in the way of the CBA site.. but I can tell you.. I could collect around 2-3000 groups! Some only 5 people others with hundreds!

So we have the desire… we have the people, we have the potential …. But where is the support… the cash? The templates? The resources?

Oooooooooo eck…. Can I feel a BAJR crusade… have I found a new direction??


Read the Current Archaeology … give us an honest view…. Shooting for the stars… or p##sin in the wind

rant over :face-huh:

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
Sorry Mr. Hosty, but I thought that the article was Cr[xx(]p of the highest order.
It's written from an ill-informed point of view with no examples to back up a set of sweeping generalisations. Yes, there are a couple of vaguely noteworthy points made, but the general tone of the piece suggests that it should be ok for non-professionals to conduct poor-quality archaeological work with little or no pre-planning, point or publication, and that those of us who work in professional archaeology should actively support such shoddy practice.

Besides which, if the authors of the piece had cared to do any research, they would've actually found at least one County bordering on their Greater London area that does indeed offer a streamlined system for registering and recording finds, a simple and easy-to-use template for project designs, and even a couple of Archaeological Planning officers who have a) given advice to community archaeology projects in the past and continue to do so now, and b) have actually worked in the field with such projects.

Perhaps they should also have a look at some professional standards documents and the Valletta convention before writing another article too. Sad
Now here you are in some respects right… the article leaves a lot (and I mean a LOT) to be desired in checking facts… however .. being the glass half empty person who wants to find out how to make it full… I stand by several points that are made.. albeit clumsily…

And rather than attacking County Archaeologists it should look to the real causes.. the lack of funding for HERs, the reliance on goodwill to get projects going, the lack of information available to simply explain to a group, WHO to talk to, HOW to carry out work, WHERE to get funding WHO will help, HOW to report.. etc etc…..

Apologies if you already have this… but please share it… so I can crib J

Now like you, my hackles raised … after all in both East and Midlothian we are active… and are supported by a sympathetic council .. however… we don’t have the staff / time… I carry out my community work in my spare time, and others have been grateful at receiving guides, training and preprinted forms etc etc….. I hope to produce a template guide to How to set up a project… with checklist … the same for metal detecting rallies is in progress… People, like me, need a bit of help…. And a template would be the best way… There are loads of resources… but bringing them together… in one place..??

The CAF website has a bit… but mainly just gathers what is already out there, throws it in yer lap and says… you work it out…

The need for community archaeology is there… the article took pot shots at the wrong people – and showed a lack of understanding of contracting archaeology – with the little test pits etc J HOWEVER… it does make us confront what is happening (or not) and what can we do…

If everything is rosey… great… if it can be better…. Then how do we do it?

And once again...sweeping generalisations.... they should think before such actions...

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."

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