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West Country Archaeology Network

Hello britrachers!

I have just set up a new social network on the mighty Ning! for anybody who is interested in the archaeology of South West Britain to discuss matters of relevant interest, and hopefully to get to meet other like-minded folks. The network allows for setting up personal profiles, special discussion groups, listing events and sharing photos (such as the one above of a watch from a recent strip and record project I took part in at Brislington near Bristol), videos and music.

Please do take a look if the SW is what floats your boat: West Country Archaeologists


(pretty much x-posted from my own blog)

Pagan Archaeologists

If anyone is interested, there is a new blog (and associated Facebook account) called Pagans for Archaeology.

Cognitive archaeology

i'm doing an essay on cognitive archaeology and am having major problems getting my head around all the jargon in the books.

Does anyone have any information that can be simplified down to idiots english?



In the news...

Some news appropriate for the season - First Dec 25th Christmas tied to pagan shrine. The Christmas link is a wee bit tenuous, but if they have indeed found the Lupercale that would be very interesting.

And some good news for Essex for Christmas - Colchester's Roman Circus has been granted scheduled ancient monument status, which will hopefully protect the site from developers.
Just cos I've had a bad day at work, I'm going to post a little rant that has been coming on for a while. People just don't know anything about the job I do, which admittedly isn't really their fault, it's because archaeology is so under-represented, but I'd like to try and redress that a little, even if it's only here. Sorry to those of you who already know all of this, but I'm sure you probably feel my pain.

If I had a pound for every time I'm asked one of these questions, I could retire to the south of France. If I answered these questions in the way I'd like to, I'd probably be fired.

1) What are you hoping to find?. The most frequent one. I'm not hoping to find anything, what do you think this is, a well-funded research dig or *horrors* Time Team?! It's contract archaeology; I'm digging to find whatever is there, cos some builder is making a bloody fortune by cramming as many tiny houses as is humanly possible onto this plot, his planning permission requires that we have a look, and he's spending a tiny fraction of his budget (less than he spends on tea and biscuits for his brickies, probably) on the archaeology and is whinging about every minute we spend here.

2) Have you found any gold? . Ah the perennial favourite. NO. I have never found any gold. I probably will never find any gold. I only know 2 people who have ever found gold; one coin, one ring. This doesn't not amount to a heap of treasure. And even if I had found gold, I wouldn't tell you cos you'd be right back here this evening with a metal detector. Don't get me started on metal detectorists.

3) Do you keep what you find? Yep, all that gold I find every day, it's all finders keepers, that's why I'm driving around in a Porsche. No, the good stuff goes to the local museum, and the rest gets looked at briefly, then is stuffed in a box and forgotten about.

4) When's Time Team coming? *Derisive laughter*. Next question.

5) That must be an interesting / easy job? Rarely. Most of the time, it's pretty dull, and bloody hard work. Do you fancy coming in here and shovelling crap loads of mud over your head for eight hours a day, in all weathers? No? Thought not.

6) You must get paid loads. *Howls of derisive laughter*. Seriously, several builders have said this to me, and I have a really hard time convincing them that yes, I spent 4 years at university learning how to do this, and I earn about half the national average wage, and probably about a third of what they get.

7) When are you going to get a proper job? - my personal favourite, even though it's only been asked once, by a particularly obnoxious volunteer. Even though the money is dreadful, this is still a proper job, and in my humble opinion should be considered a profession, given that it's virtually impossible to get a job without a relevant degree these days (although I do know a couple of people who've managed it).

Anyone have any other gems that they'd like to rant about? I know that most of these questions are only asked in forgivable ignorance, but they get asked so often that I just can't help getting annoyed.