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Public open days
#1
was also privy to a rather successful open day during last summer (think you know which one troll) that was attended by hundreds of people. It was great for the attendees, not so great for the organisors who were expected to set it all up and run it for very long hours for no extra pay. We did it because we knew that those who attended would love it, and they did, but we should not have been expected to do it for nothing. Get them written into budgets, get people in, get them interested and show those who have to do it that its appreciated by paying them for it!

++ i spend my days rummaging around in dead people ++
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#2
I have organised a few of these in my time, both during my field career and since joining the dark side. I well remember, for instance, leading the local Rotary club around a muddy field, all in suits and some with gold chains of office around their necks, while the heavens opened and all the site staff went home.

More recently, we were involved with a very successful one this summer, involving local school children. It was initiated, with some enthusiasm, by the main contractor (one of the major international civil engineering companies) after requests by local people.

1man1desk

to let, fully furnished
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#3
Done quite a few myself; Sniper's right, hard work, but very rewarding. No extra pay though? That's appalling, but I know who you work forSmile.

Some I've done have been part of the brief, which I'd like to see much more of. OK curator types?
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#4
very rewarding, but can I just say mercenary, it was not my current employer who didn't pay me for open days. I have done some for them and have been paid, was referring to a previous employer who shall remain nameless Wink

++ i spend my days rummaging around in dead people ++
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#5
Stand corrected.Big Grin
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#6
Quote:quote:Some I've done have been part of the brief, which I'd like to see much more of. OK curator types?
- from Mercenary

Just like to emphasise that the one referred to in my previous post was at the initiative of the civil engineering contractor. The curator, when asked, showed no interest, didn't even respond to e-mails on the topic, and certainly didn't turn up - but then, they never turned up to monitor the actual project either, despite lots of warning and repeated invitations.

1man1desk

to let, fully furnished
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#7
To be fair, having open days of the type you describe is only going to work on select sites. I work in a predominantly urban area, which means the excavation work is on construction sites, and no one in their right mind is going to insist a local amatuer society comes along for a site tour. Seen it happen once, elderly lady took a tumble, bad scene. But beyond that, some archaeology is just plain not exciting to look at, difficult to interpret on site, and not welcoming to a visitor.

In our briefs (yes, I do occassionally write them [:p]) there is a section of public access or involvement, and I do generally expect to see this for all excavation WSIs submitted. However, public engagement does not have to be limited to open days and site tours.

Simple things such as: cutting viewing holes in hoarding; putting up signs or posters explaining what you are doing (also is good publicity for the developers and cuts down on people pestering jard working diggers from the street); I also like to have open days after the fact - where a lecture is given to the local group after the dig is complete, including artefact handling. Wessex Archaeology has had a web-cam on site, as did English Heritage at the Chester Amphitheatre excavations. Visiting schools.

All good ways of getting the message out there, that are not hampered by site constraints.

ML




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#8
agree monitor, we do put up signs, hold lectures, run things for schools, organise community archaeology events etc etc, and it seems to work very well. We also have an online database where past excavations are published online for public access to the report and the finds database, including photographs etc. Would like to see more units do similar

++ i spend my days rummaging around in dead people ++
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#9
I heartily agree with most points you all offer.It does occur to me though that;
1. all archaeology is interesting if it`s explained properly.
2. If live urban sites are dangerous for the public to visit....since when do archaeologists working on them suddenly become non-members of the public?Big GrinSeriously guys-when professional indemnity insurance runs into hundreds of pounds a year and public libility- a few quid, what are we saying?Seriously again-I don`t buy the argument that it`s ok for archaeologists to work in dangerous conditions but anathema to allow mop`s to visit them.I am a member of the public!
On a humourous note-a colleague of mine had huge amounts of fun painting strangely-shaped Human bodies this side of the hoarding-leaving the cut-hole for Mr/Mrs publics head.Who needs Brighton?!!Big Grin
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#10
There is a difference between employed staff being on a site (be it a constrcution site, archaeologicla site, both, a factory, a farm or an aircraft carrier) and members of the public, the main things being different insurances and liabilities. On the practical side, staff can reasonably be expected to know what they're doing, be familiar with the conditions generally and site-specific, and to have all appropriate PPE. Joe, Joanne and little Johnny Public will turn up in large numbers (maybe) in trainers and T-shirts, mobiles and Walkpersons, cans of coke and so on and are likely to slip and slide all over the place. Severe danger of them damaging your beautiful section!

Today, Bradford. Tomorrow, well, Bradford probably.
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