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A handbook for new diggers?
I agree with the A Guide to Professional pathways...have a copy of that as well on my Kindle (sad I know)
Diggers Forum input would be useful...
BAJR Guides are all available as well.
The initial outline feels comprehensive. the important thing will be to get this to students in first year... rather than when they pop out.
As a friend said recently... All i want is someone who can write a context sheet, dig a ditch has a driving licence and a CSCS card. If they know what they need to before the graduate, it will help us all.
This handbook idea sounds great! As someone in the target audience, it's a real struggle to try and compile that sort of information from the numerous (and sometimes conflicting) sources all over the place. If you need a proof-reader (when it gets to that stage) give me a shout.

BAJR Wrote:As a friend said recently... All i want is someone who can write a context sheet, dig a ditch has a driving licence and a CSCS card.
What am I going to be wasting three years at uni for then? :face-huh:
Quote:What am I going to be wasting three years at uni for then? :face-huh:

hahaha... I think that's a different topic! Big Grin
The power of technology would allow a simple basic guide to outline as Martin suggests 'the essentials'.... with more detailed in-depth coverage of subjects (such as the 'pros and cons of self-employment', 'IfA what is it good for') being provided through links to stand alone documents or supplements.......if you make it in digital format you could offer the option to users to download and print in their own time (and at their own expense!)....or BAJR could added printed and bound copies to its toolstore items...
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
A section on ethics, too
Dinosaur Wrote:Facebook, Twitter etc seem to be taking over as the place where word of jobs gets passed around these days judging by the crew I know - sorry BAJR!

Is that because the units inquestion pay less than BAJR/IfA rates by any chance??:face-stir:
Don't units have their own internal guides for excavation and recording etc, based on their own sheets and methods? If they don't then they should- the guide proposed here would be best targeted at the other subjects in my opinion-to try and incorporate all the various methods would be a job and a half...

The outline list in the earlier post seems about right to me and ethics should def be included!
vulpes Wrote:as for books that cover this type of thing, there's Joe Flatman's 'Becoming an Archaeologist: A Guide to Professional Pathways'. ... Chiz Harward would be worth talking to as his training handouts on site skills look rather nifty. Wish there was an equivalent in my day. :face-approve:

Joe's book looks good, we're intending to review it in the Diggers' Forum newsletter.

Thankyou for the compliment on my handouts, they were originally intended to eventually combine into a sort of manual on excavation and post-excavation techniques, I will be continuing the series with the Diggers' Forum as I get time and can rope others into writing new handouts. Is a very useful format -good for getting the basics over to new Diggers, as the basis for a site toolbox talk, or as a reminder for more experienced Diggers who want some 'top tips'. The format also works for finds (a kind of 'Shire Book in a page') and for site skills and terminology. If anyone hasn't seen them, there are a couple of examples in my article in the latest issue of The Archaeologist, or on my old Urban Archaeology blog: (scroll down). It is of course a similar product to the Tools of the Trade pieces which appear in the Diggers' Forum newsletter.

I prefer this modular approach myself as it can be expanded and updated as required, rather than something that gets out of date before it is complete, and is more achievable to produce as and when time is availible. I still think Roskams' Cambridge Manual on Excavation, plus the MoLAS red manual is essential and covers alot of the basics, but there are a lot of other areas where it is very hard to get comprehensive information. Its something the Diggers' Forum are trying to address, but time and manpower is always short.

I'm working on rewriting an excavation manual right now, and am trying to get away from the 'how to fill out the box on the context sheet' approach, and get formation processes and interpretation and excavation tactics into it in more detail. Its hard to produce a single document that is useful on site though, and I do think modular is the way forward.
May I ask just how many professional jobs are there out that this crock of wonder might help out with?
Reason: your past is my past
pdurdin Wrote:What am I going to be wasting three years at uni for then? :face-huh:

I know that this is off the main topic of this thread, but I do wonder whether the increased uni fees will result in a return to the situation where a degree is no longer a necessity for working as a digger. After all, it's questionable whether it's sustainable to expect someone to take on debts of ?27,000 in preparation for a job than may only pay ?16k, possibly rising to ?30k after a number of years if they're lucky. Some of the best archaeologists I've worked with don't have degrees, having come into archaeology during the MSP of the 80s. They learned their trade on the job, and it may be that this sort of model becomes more prevalent in the future.
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum

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