Tag Archives: Current Archaeology

CA Festival of Archaeology Conference

First off.. I would like to thank Lisa, Rob, and of course Andrew Selkirk for a brilliant conference. And another big thanks to the Cardiff students who worked their socks off, as well as the guy, who kindly lent me a couple of cigs! (and his lighter). The conference was more than I could have expected, it was well attended, and I took copious notes from more than a score of seminars I attended. I intend to write this all up into a review for Past Horizons magazine. Did it inspire? YES. Did it give me information that even as a professional I found fascinating and relevant? YES. Did it talk down to the public who attended? NO. There were so many highlights, and so many great speakers I am going to have trouble fitting it all in. In truth, if I was to pick out one single event? A[prat from the kids in the National museum being Neanderthal musicians.. to walk through a museum with drums and whoops — inspired! Nice one Steve Mithen! As I said, if I was to pick one talk… it would be Prof Brian Fagan who proceeded to talk without his images (when the Mac refused to connect to the projector) and hold the entire audience rapt with all the skill of a Homeric Poet, as he went on to explain one reason why archaeology is relevant in the 21st century, examining the connection between the Medieval Warm period, and what is happening right now with climate change. His words were a warning from the past and a hope from the future – as he said, will humanity survive.. yes we will, as archaeology has taught us that no matter what, we as a species are infinitely adaptable.. and although the world will change.. it always does, civilisations will fall and rise, we will survive.. I came away thinking, I have just heard a classic. Will I go to the next one? You betcha. Will I say to you.. sign up! YES YES YES if you go to one conference in 2010.. go to the next one in London. Watch out for the next issue of Past Horizons and ca to read more. (5 star!)

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Community Archaeology – Healthy Scene or Deathbed Gasp?

Current 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…

http://www.scottisharchaeology.org.uk/projects/adopt.html

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 field walked, 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..

http://www.britarch.ac.uk/communityarchaeology/wikka.php?wakka=HomePage

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??There are people ot there doing lots of work, there are projects going on…  but how to find them, how to finance them and how to start them?  

 The intake of British archaeology students is down…  the chances to learn before is vague..  Mention it and people say…  ” oh..  theres lots going on”…  So I say where?   When, who can get involved…

Sarah McLean had the best idea with UK Archaeology Opportunities..  sadly the site was hijacked so don’t go there!  She has indeed been in touch and given me some useful pointers… 

Past Horizons is trying to fill the gap…  but people have to know its there..  it has to be publicised and beyond that…  people have to step forward and say…  This is going on here…!

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…..

Let’s get it moving…
 
Read the Current Archaeology … give us an honest view…. Shooting for the stars?… or p##sin in the wind?

Go beyond the initial reaction and look at the reality… 

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