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making it up
#11
Superb! Tiz a good thing and whats more-in a brief and spec? Many beers to your curator! Better luck with the empty holes sir!Big Grin

..knowledge without action is insanity and action without knowledge is vanity..(imam ghazali,ayyuhal-walad)
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#12
Evening tile-man. Yes archaeological data is very structured.I produce it for a living.

Then you agree with me that it is very hard to fake convincingly, and certainly more effort than its worth for someone on an archaeological wage.

On curators-can you provide evidence to the contrary? Are you seriously expecting me to believe that curators check context sheets, drawings or matrices? Are you telling me that curators are so embedded in the fieldwork of units that their perception of standards are accurate? Are you seriously expecting me to believe that curators stand and watch the work carried out by units?

There are a number of different issues here. This thread I think started out on the final product ? the report. This is getting on to how agreed standards are monitored and by whom which is a different matter and has been discussed previously at great length ? How a specific curatorial body will monitor work varies in my experience around the country, depending very much on the nature of local implementation and interpretation as well as the support a given curator receives from their local authority.
In terms of provision of evidence ? The nature of natural justice in the UK means that you are innocent until proven guilty ? that means the complainant should supply evidence of wrong doing ? which as ever means that if you have evidence of these serious allegations you keep making can you please provide it to the proper authorities?
In terms of my experience (which is not curatorial) I have been asked on site several times to explain sequences, show context sheets and demonstrate running matrices.(usually in situations where it was a units first piece of work in a given district). I am also aware of a number of curators (about 100% of my sample of places where I have worked and curators that I have known) who will happily require work to be resubmitted, because it has failed to reach the agreed standards.

At the most, I have only ever seen a curator spend two hours on site. By on-site I do mean a swift walkies with the director before lunch in the pub. References and evidence?

I think this has been answered before by actual curators, and I think the gist went something like ? given the time and financial constraints priority has to be given to certain situations, for which the unit with the dodgiest reputation working on your patch will receive the closest attention, and so if you are working for a unit on the side of the angels you may never see a curator- (before you say it this isn?t na?ve but the practical reality of making sure that budgets are spent as responsibly as possible). Are you saying that you are working for a complete untrustworthy shower and bunch of cowboys who you think should be monitored to death? I think the actual original answer is in the archives?

If the profession took IFA standards seriously enough, we would surely be rolling in references relating to the real current state of play. My big mouth got me into trouble some time ago when a particularly naff unit were named on here. My post at the very least prompted the local curator to question the competence of said unit working in his/her area. About time too I reckon.

So you hadn?t complained about this unit at the time of the alleged behaviour then? I can only repeat what has been said before ? it is the responsibility of anyone who is concerned with standards to report wrong behaviour to the relevant authorities.


Bajr is and, has been a forum where individuals can offer opinion and, insight into their own little worlds. I`m afraid Tile-man that not everyones perception is the same as yours.

And I don?t think many people share your negative experiences. I personally think that the structures that are in place in this country, if given proper support, funding and legislation could relatively easily provide answers to a lot of the problems all in the profession are struggling with ? and this is done on an individual level and collectively through the different groups which reflect the different experiences of archaeologists in this country,


I do however concur with your last paragraph.A question for you sir-as tax-paying members of the public, perhaps you would explain to us just how curators ensure standards in the field?

well I?m only a finds specialist these days, and can?t speak for curators (who can stand up for themselves!) but some of the consultation on standards for stewardship can be found here
http://www.britarch.ac.uk/conserve/stewardship/

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#13
No Tile-man, I don`t agree with you.My experiences are obviously vastly different from yours.As are the majority of those with whom I have worked on the circuit.The structures in place that you mention are inadequate. The standards are optional and not policed.The IFA seriously expects short-term contracted temporary and casual workers to report their employers? Very clever.Maintains an overwhelming atmosphere of silence does`nt it? Very clever.Tell you what, I`ll make you a deal;stop throwing this "prove it or shut it" attitude at me and I promise I won`t involve the public in this dialogue via the mass media.As it happens, I feel that the public are indeed the "proper authorities".Who I work for is irrelevent.With the exception of one notable occurance, I discuss general concepts on here.I also listen to the views of others and learn from them.I have chosen not to go to the IFA with details of transgressions for my own reasons-one of which is that I feel that any transgression of standards is for the curators to deal with.They are the public representatives-not the IFA.

..knowledge without action is insanity and action without knowledge is vanity..(imam ghazali,ayyuhal-walad)
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#14
"Are you seriously expecting me to believe that curators check context sheets, drawings or matrices?"
Um, Troll, I do. On site and before the archive is accessioned. Curators like diggers are a mixed bunch; some would have had little or no digging experience, ten years ago in some counties, they would be retired gentlemen from other professions.With the advent of PPG16 archaeology became an industry and the effect of that has been that some of those who were diggers at that time are now in positions of responsibilty. Strangely, I am expecting an archive from I site I was a supervisor on 15 years ago. I will check my own context sheets and matrices.
Curatorship has changed as much as being a digger has but Tile man is right, it is unlikely that Curatorship will survive long enough for those changes to be felt.
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#15
No Tile-man, I don`t agree with you.My experiences are obviously vastly different from yours.As are the majority of those with whom I have worked on the circuit.


Well my experience, and those of the majority of the people I have worked with over the last 20 odd years is rather different to yours.


The structures in place that you mention are inadequate. The standards are optional and not policed.

Yes they are inadequate- but they exist, and so use them, and lobby for improvements.

The IFA seriously expects short-term contracted temporary and casual workers to report their employers?

Every complaint I have made for people I have worked for has been taken seriously, and I can?t say have adversely effected my career, in the case of the IFA, Well the new disciplinary procedures allow identities to be protected. Of course the traditional way to over come ?the power of the boss? was collective action joining a union, and so have such things as union representatives who could put problems to management, and also have access to legal resources if things were that bad. And of course if everyone makes a complaint you can?t sack the entire workforce and get your job done on time?.

Very clever.Maintains an overwhelming atmosphere of silence does`nt it? Very clever.Tell you what, I`ll make you a deal;stop throwing this "prove it or shut it" attitude at me and I promise I won`t involve the public in this dialogue via the mass media.

Actually I will take you up on your offer: please put up or shut up ? and please involve your allegations with as much public scrutiny as you can - to allow fair representations by all parties. You may want to consider putting your allegations on a blog? This link is quite useful

http://www.blogger.com/start?hl=en

The more public scrutiny the better because it brings out what is clearly a hugely under-recognised problem out into the open. Give the public something to scrutinise. It would be an excellent way of getting something down that we can move on.

As it happens, I feel that the public are indeed the "proper authorities".Who I work for is irrelevent.With the exception of one notable occurance, I discuss general concepts on here.I also listen to the views of others and learn from them.I have chosen not to go to the IFA with details of transgressions for my own reasons-one of which is that I feel that any transgression of standards is for the curators to deal with. They are the public representatives-not the IFA.

Well good so you have taken your evidence to the relevant curatorial bodies ? I?m glad to hear it. How are proceedings developing?
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#16
From Troll:
Quote:quote:I have chosen not to go to the IFA with details of transgressions for my own reasons-one of which is that I feel that any transgression of standards is for the curators to deal with.They are the public representatives-not the IFA

That seems to contradict many previous posts by you on other threads, in which you trash the IFA for not enforcing standards.

In practice, both the IFA and curators have complementary roles. The main reasons they don't always work properly are the same in both cases - lack of resources, and the tendency amongst archaeologists to grumble hard (e.g. on BAJR) but not to lodge formal complaints.

So, Troll, we have already established elsewhere that you do not lodge complaints with the IFA, despite their willingness to protect your identity. Now you say that the proper place for complaints is with curators. Have you ever actually complained about a specific transgression by a unit, or an individual archaeologist, to a curator, and supported it with evidence?

You have asked Tile Man to provide evidence to prove a negative. However, it is you that is making allegations about standards - so it is up to you to provide evidence, not him. You have promised not to go to the 'mass media' - why? If you can actually back up your allegations with evidence, I would encourage you to go to the media, and I personally would support a public campaign. Posting generalised, unspecific gripes on BAJR, however, does not constitute either evidence or a campaign.

You obviously feel strongly about this. So, do something about it, or else stop griping. By doing something, I mean either launch a public campaign (I am sure you could find like-minded people to join you from BAJR), or start lodging complaints with the IFA or with curators, or anything else (legal) that is intended to promote change. Posting on BAJR won't do that.

Take David Connolly as your example. He saw a service that the archaeological community needed - so, instead of complaining that no-one else was doing it, he launched BAJR. Then, because he thought the IFA needed reform, he joined it so that he could try to promote reform. He didn't just sit outside complaining.

1man1desk

to let, fully furnished
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#17
Quote:quote:"Are you seriously expecting me to believe that curators check context sheets, drawings or matrices?"
Um, Troll, I do.

As do I, on site, when visiting and with the archive. We have a very detailed schema for monitoring site work. If i am uncertain about the unit then i will turn up unanounced so i get a better idea of how they are working.
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#18
[quote]Originally posted by 1man1desk

You obviously feel strongly about this. So, do something about it, or else stop griping. By doing something, I mean either launch a public campaign (I am sure you could find like-minded people to join you from BAJR), or start lodging complaints with the IFA or with curators, or anything else (legal) that is intended to promote change. Posting on BAJR won't do that.

I whole heartedly agree 1man. B*tching doesn't get us anywhere, as Troll's own signature states "knowledge without action is insanity".
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#19
Agreed.After writing to the IFA/APPAG and not even receiving an acknowledgement years ago, I was naive enough to believe that dialogue here would go some way towards promoting change.I have been openly critical of the system for eleven years-not something remotely comparable to "sitting outside and complaining".1man1desk- thank you. I am seriously considering taking the course of action you suggest.Ladyjen- why is dialogue "bitching"?Big GrinI`m afraid that as members of a certain organisation see fit to impose frames of reference on dialogue for everyone else and, some find the forum oh so amusing, fieldies are reduced to "bitching". Communication has to be the way forwards.Not monopolised by the amused.I`m not remotely interested in indulging in emotion tennis anymore.The cards are on the table and the concept is incredibly simple-the current state of play can allow for appalling behaviour and thats it.Members of the profession can involve themselves in positive action or, not.Tiz going to happen anyway.Forum or no forum.

..knowledge without action is insanity and action without knowledge is vanity..(imam ghazali,ayyuhal-walad)Big GrinBig Grin
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#20



Well do something then.
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