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Current Arch Poll on Community Arch
#1
http://www.archaeology.co.uk/index.php?o...&Itemid=26

Half way down on the right..

Who should be in charge of community archaeology?
Professional archaelogists.
Amateur groups.

Its a vote... standing at 74.5% / 25.5% just now

I would go for Pro input, as otherwise the group would be basing its knowledge on episodes of the Time Team. This of course does not mean that an amatuer group can't do the work, it may have pro's as membership....but advice in starting, excavating, reporting, recording etc is needed.



"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Khufu
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
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#2
Hmm, bit of a badly worded poll really but I wonder if thats not deliberate on CA's part? Rather implies "in charge of" would mean that the professionals would have total control of who digs what where and would act even more like the beauracratic bullies a lot of amateurs wrongly percieve us to be anyway.:face-huh:
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#3
well spotted beardstroker! }Smile :face-huh:

ps... note the new spelling of archaeologist

archaelogist... (not that I can talk with my mangled english [:I])

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Khufu
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#4
Ideally there should be room for both pro's and amateurs to work along side each other. But as the vast majority of sites are developer funded local amateur groups tend to be cut out of the picture, even when they have done lots of work fieldwalking or recording the local history.I think there could be a lot more co-operation between the two sides,after all its the locals history that we are digging up.
As for the new spelling,i have trouble at the best of times let alone after a couple of pints!
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#5
Does anyone know what the final result was for this poll? It seems to have been replaced on the CA website, and I can't find a way to view previous poll results.
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#6
They seem to have moved on. There is an interesting article by martin carver here though:

http://www.archaeology.co.uk/index.php?o...&Itemid=48

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#7
IS interesting, as are the replies.... hmmm... one feels that a structured element is required... vollunteers feel they would be used to bring down costs... not thinking that costs rise to supervise.... many groups are able to dig without supervision... but then... if every company had the same group as volunteers... then the cost remains the same... finally... this would not be viable on evaluations... how many would cope with staring into trench 64 of 85 as another sterile layer is viewed... aaaaaarg... on large complex sites/.... why not... on the 80% of sites which are evaluations... the question would be why?

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Khufu
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#8
This old chestnut keeps on raising its head!

I firmly believe that as archaeology was generated by the people it is a 'public resource'. As a profession we have seen huge benefits from the publics desire to absorb our heritage. OK we all may scoff at some of the silly questions asked on open days, but if wasn't for the pressure from the public would planners be so keen to place archaeological conditions on sites? (esp with a global loaming)

I don't know the percentages involved, but i suspect - from personnel involvement, that very few of the watching public have the time or interest to take part in fieldwork or research. This leaves the retired market (an untapped market) and the youth (our ranks have to be replenished from somewhere!)

We all question the professionalism and quality of amateurs ! This is a very real concern and one that needs to be addressed! But by the same token we have some very bad archaeologists working within the profession (at all grades). One MIFA who has bounced from unit to unit (and will not be employed again by said companies) is currently a project manager for a unit in the south-east! He/she has been known to machine through solid roman walls on a training excavation (when meant to training individuals!) Another individual, whom is recently a regular on this forum has no understanding of basic stratigraphy - and will only be employed by a single unit.

Wasn't there, a while back an attempt by an individual to set up an IFA special interest group into this very subject? The last i read on this, was that it had been successful in it's formation. However, it is not listed on the IFA website, nor is the individual a member ??? It strikes me that such a group is VITIAL and long over due.

Come on, it is vital that public archaeology continues, we all started with a amateur interest! To alienate them will be at the detriment to the profession. Sure it needs some work - but to quote our host if a job is worth doing.....
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#9
Nicely said, i have heard a few so called pro's who talk as if archaeology has nothing to do with the general public (do we belong to separate species then?) forgetting that aren't we the public also!and yes we do need to keep the rest of "them" interested in their own heritage-i was lucky to have my interest for archaeology given me by my father telling me about magical places like Troy,Rome and ancient Ur before i'd started school!
As for open days on sites,about 4/5 years ago a lady walked up to me and asked loudly "you,young man-where are the beavers?",caught of guard (plus a bit hung-over) i told her "aint no beavers round here,i think the locals et them centuries ago",and in a capt.Mainwairing voice she said "you stupid boy" and walked off![:o)]
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#10
Both sides have always had a tendancy to compartmentalise the other,sadly and a lot of it is based on hearsay and stereotyping. The term "amateur" actually covers a rather wide spectrum of people within the discipline and seems to equal "not very good" in a lot of peoples minds, which, as I'm sure most of us here would admit, is rather unfair.

From a personal point of view, I've found one of the trickiest things to get over to non professionals is the way we work in the commercial environment and that the whole structure of the profession, from curatorial side right down to the way sites are managed, can be rather convoluted at times (try explaning the role of a consultant archaeologist, especially when you're by no means entirely sure what they do yourself[:o)])
Having said that, I'd say the majority of people probably do grasp the concept, but a lot of it you can really only get a handle on if you do it, which most people from that side of archaeology don't have the oppertunity or inclination to do.

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