Tag Archives: archaeology

Connecting Heritage with the web

This came into me from a friend who runs the fabulous Voices of the Past  site


Throughout the world, people are connecting about heritage preservation issues on an unprecedented level. One of the ways they are doing this is through “social media,” the term applied to online tools that inspire conversation and interaction. These tools are generally both easy to use and free.

The web address below will take you to ten questions regarding how you use the web and your perceptions of how social media may be used to improve the work of those involved in heritage professions. This anonymous questionnaire is one part of an ongoing study on the topic. This is an open link, so please feel free to forward copies to your colleagues.

Thank you in advance for taking 5-10 minutes out of your day to participate. We will use your feedback to evaluate information and training needs for these topics in the context of heritage preservation. Results will be shared through a Creative Commons license.

Thanks again,

Jeff Guin, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training


I have already done it….  took me 3 minutes top!


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INRAP on strike – Archaeologists take action in France


Yes it just goes to show that you can push people too far.

This article is from a French Blog, which I have translated using Google translate (so apologies for some weird grammer and words)

Yesterday, the strike was passed at a meeting of the headquarters staff of the ‘National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Research.At this meeting I attended in part, the staff wondered how to respond to recent government announcements about the relocation of the headquarters in Reims. He also discussed the current action in many cultural institutions, especially the strike in the museums.

This new action against the relocation of the headquarters in Reims occurs after the project had been reaffirmed recently by Francois Fillon during a visit to the capital of Champagne. How does this strike the CEO Inrap?  Nothing, because yesterday, he no longer CEO.  Nicole Pot, as expected for three years, left this function last Friday.  Frederic Mitterrand and Valerie Pécresse, who co-supervised Inrap, they have a power pen?

Hier, la grève a été votée lors d’une réunion du personnel du siège de l‘Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives.
Lors de cette réunion, à laquelle j’ai assisté en partie, le personnel s’est demandé comment réagir aux dernières annonces gouvernementales sur la délocalisation du siège à Reims. Il a également discuté de l’action en cours dans de nombreuses institutions culturelles,  en particulier la grève dans les Musées.
Cette nouvelle action contre la délocalisation de ce siège à Reims survient après que ce projet eut été réaffirmé il y a peu par François Fillon lors d’une visite dans la capitale champenoise. Que pense de cette grève le directeur général de l’Inrap ? Rien, car, depuis hier, Il n’y a plus de directeur général. Nicole Pot, comme prévu depuis trois ans, a quitté cette fonction vendredi dernier. Frédéric Mitterrand et Valérie Pécresse, qui ont en co-tutelle l’Inrap, ont-ils une panne de stylo ?

the full French version can be read directly here


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Adventures in Archaeology


Issue 10

Adventures in Archaeology
Issue 10 Past Horizons Online Journal of volunteer archaeology and training.
November 2009

Past Horizons now celebrating its tenth issue, consists of 48 pages of free to read content. The main articles cover current archaeological excavations and conservation around the world. We also have the much loved contribution from Annie Evans our very own ‘Dig Cook’ and the Back Pages present four comedyvideos for your enjoyment, on the subject of archaeology.

Read it here

or here

Up From the Ashes  14
In 1815 on the Indonesian island of Tambora a massive volcanic eruption caused a pryoclastic flow which wiped out all in its path. The tiny Kingdom of Tambora disappeared under the ash. Now, almost two hundred years later the carbonised but well preserved remains are slowly being uncovered.

Making Preservation Happen 32
Slovenia is a small nation with big ambitions to preserve its wealth of historical buildings. Two Slovenians are at the forefront of this work and have reached out to the international community for help. Now in partnership with Colorado based Adventures in Preservation, hands on workshops are now up and running.

Archaeology Through the Keyhole  8
Dating of hillforts has long been the subject of debate amongst archaeologists. Murray Cook argues that keyhole excavation is the way forward.

Prepare for Action  38
Dominic Hall, a field skills expedition leader shares some of his top tips for enjoying a safe but exciting adventure.

A Series of Fortunate Events  20
Metal detectorist Peter Twinn describes the series of events in his life that led him to discover a passion for archaeology.

Fort St. Joseph  26
A 18th century French frontier fort involved in the fur trade provides the subject for an exceptional award winning community archaeology project.


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IfA Council Statement on Archaeological Salaries


I will leave people to read it.

It is quite far-reaching and will be open to (indeed it welcomes) debate.

In a nutshell, the Council decided to not allow ROs to reduce salaries, but will work on a system of Pay Bands rather than minima ( I would say a bit like the overlapping bands of BAJR) and finally that in 2010-2011 there will be no increase in pay rates.

That simplifies a complex document – so do please take the time to read it before commenting.

Come here to join the debate


Pay deals in the UK could come under renewed pressure next year despite signs of an economic recovery, a new study has warned.

According to the Labour Research Department (LRD), a significant number of long-term pay deals are set to expire next year and this is one of several factors that will place downward pressure on salaries.

It found that one in seven deals in 2010 will be long-term arrangements, compared to one-quarter of settlements in 2009.

Lewis Emery, the LRD’s pay and conditions researcher, believes a number of other factors could keep pay deals on the low side next year, despite signs of growth since April.

He said: “At least four crucial questions overshadow the chances of continuing pay growth: Will current pay freezes be lifted? What kind of pay offers will employers make with fewer long term deals setting the pace? Will Retail Price Index inflation return? And most decisively of all, what will happen with public sector pay?”

Recently, research by Incomes Data Services revealed that a third of businesses have imposed a pay freeze so far during 2009.


However, averaged over the whole year, however, the picture does not look quite so bleak. From August 2008-July 2009, 30% overall received less than a 2% rise, including cuts and freezes, covering almost one-third of the workforce; however, a significant 22% (over one-fifth) of deals were for 4% or more, covering 13% of the workforce. This leaves over two-fifths (41%) of deals achieving between 2% and 3.99%, applying to almost half (49%) of workers.

So I would suggest a wait and see – Lets wait until April 2010 and see where we are as an industry, before saying freeze. I don’t feel we know enough… and given that the planned return in the main VAT rate to 17.5% from January 2010 would affect us all. Continued weak or frozen wage growth would imply a squeeze on disposable incomes (which for a 15k a year – working every week! – is already non-existent) , potentially undermining prospects for consumer spending and an economic recovery in general. Accommodation? Travel? lots to mull over. AND this is complicated.

I don’t have a full handle on this yet, so perhaps the IfA could comment more on the statement

Where did this come from, as it seems to have taken up a Council Meeting, and must have origins

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Current Archaeology Awards for 2010 – get your entries in!

Current Archaeology is pleased to announce that the English Heritage Presentation of Archaeological Heritage Research Awards will be joining in this year as part of the Archaeology 2010 conference at the British Museum, February 26-28, 2010. ( a date for your diary – As both BAJR and Past Horizons will be there as well)

But this is not the only award they have with the Robert Kiln Trust award and the Jeffrey May awards to name only another two. Cash prizes and lovely things to have on your CV. Closing date for all is 15 November.

English Heritage Award for the Presentation of Heritage Research competition is designed to highlight the fascinating research being done in the heritage sector. We aim to bring it out of monographs and specialist journals and to the attention of the wider public, whose understanding and support are crucial to the preservation of our heritage. Anyone who works, or has participated in, research on British and Irish archaeology, historic buildings and heritage conservation is encouraged to enter the competition.

Three prizes are offered: an open first prize of £1,500, a runner-up prize of £500, and an under-30 prize of £500. Entrants should send in a completed entry form including a summary of their proposed presentation, not to exceed 750 words (up to two figures may also be included), to arrive no later than 15 November 2009.

View details on this award here…

The Jeffrey May Award is named in honour of Jeffrey May, an issue editor for Current Archaeology and a long-term friend and supporter. The award, for the best article submitted by a new writer for either Current Archaeology or Current World Archaeology magazine, consists of a £1,000 prize and publication of the article.

View details on this award here…

The Robert Kiln Trust award is given for the best project, or a series of works or projects, carried out in the UK by a voluntary body or individual. Robert Kiln was a great believer in amateur participation and his charitable trust, founded in the early 1970s, has distributed more than £1 million to conservation, the arts and archaeology. This award is meant to carry on Robert Kiln’s tradition of encouraging higher standards of fieldwork and excavation in the amateur ranks. There will be a small prize given. Additionally, each finalist will be given two free tickets to the Archaeology 2010 conference.

View details on this award here…

So what are you waiting for….. the opportunity to get recognition and some very useful money for either yourself or your project.!! Just think what you could do with £500, £1000 or even £1500. So stop reading this… and get along to here NOW!    http://www.archaeology.co.uk/grants-awards/

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Dig your own – Ethics of pay to dig out entire sites

Recently on the American Archaeology Fieldwork website the following website was highlighted, after it appeared in a google ad.


but they are not alone, with other sites offering a chance to dig up entire sites and keep your finds.

What about this one

Randy’s Dig is a private pay dig on private property located in

Kerr County, Texas – the heart of The Texas Hill County.

Dig for arrowheads 7 days a week.


and of course the wonderfully named Digfest


UPDATE________________     LOOTERS message

The picture of digfest you have is me and my best friend. You do not have our permission to show this picture and I would appreciate you removing it immediately.


so picture of  people who take without recording has been removed.   🙂


and this one

Yea that was a good day of digging DIGFEST 09 had fun dug up some good ones some of thoes old looters know more about texas point typeology than you ever will and thanks for the link to Randys dig found some good ones there to


So there you have it… looters who are happy to be looters!

I did point out that they may know more but they don’t contribute anything…  and the typology that they know was built by archaeologists…  they take  you lose…  🙂


So there you have it…  Looters who are happy to loot your heritage.    sad..  sad sad!



Enjoy this looters… and stand proud – you take… we all suffer!









Here, we are seeing mining of sites… this goes beyond surface collection or any other type of artefact collection from the topsoil….this is mining that bears a resemblance to the site looting we see in Bulgaria and Iraq for example.

the image below is from http://www.savingantiquities.org/feature_iraq.php

Looters waving from Isin. the archaeological site

Looters waving from Isin. the archaeological site in Iraq

Can you spot the difference?  I can’t…   the entire removal of an archaeological site in a disorganised and unskilled way is deplorable?   Is it illegal?   Well seems that Private land is Private in the USofA   and you can do anything it seems…  BUT…  what about the states legislation of Native American Artefacts and burials?  What happens if they hit one?   worth a look by the authorities Hmmmmmm

The Archaeology Fieldwork has sent these websites to AZ SHPO and AGs office – but will it force them to be more secrative…  and who are these ‘diggers’?

Seems that this is more common than we thought..  but some collectors are not that happy either and demand support and action


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OPEN ARCHIVE – a new web based system for accessing our past

OPEN ARCHIVE – a new web based system for accessing our past

The wealth of information gathered by local archaeological groups and societies on excavations, surveys and documentary research is one of the important sources of data for the study of archaeology in the UK.  Currently, this archive of British archaeology is stored locally, within libraries and local history centres as well as with the originating group themselves.  In addition, PhDs and other research can be found in locations often scattered throughout the country.  The premise of Open Archive is to collect the records of the past and present and share them with everybody.

Open Archive is an accessible library of user generated reports and publications where archaeology societies, PhD research students, graveyard recording and community groups can share their discoveries with a wide audience.

The easy to use interface combines intuitive searches by period, type of project and location with a map based view showing the location of the selected documents.  Each item can then be viewed as either a short description or as the complete publication.  This resource creates a public portal to the records of our shared heritage that were previously only available on a few local archaeology group websites OR as paper copies in the local library.  The idea is to allow this to be both interactive and open to sharing via feeds and direct data transfer.

The data entry form is modelled exactly on the Discovery and Excavation Scotland (DES) fields, and has the potential to allow direct transfer of this data to the record.  (For future projects this would mean every record sent to Open Archive that is located in Scotland could be automatically be sent to the DES along with a copy of the report.)  In addition, we are working on automatically sending Treasure Trove reporting, Open Archive is developing for the future and your comments are welcome.

Loading the pdf versions of the document onto Open Archive is a quick step by step process, maintaining ease of use without compromising the value of the information gathered.  The more users that utilise this secure public archive, the more useful it becomes, building a written record of the past in Britain by those that know it best.

Free to register and use, we are currently in consultation to help take paper records and transform them into searchable digital formats, where the rediscovery of these publications may even re-ignite interest in the area.

Open Archive is exactly that – a public resource, created for everyone.

You can view the current Version here http://www.openarchive.co.uk

and we welcome comment info@digitalpast.co.uk

David Connolly and Steve White (Digital Past)

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