>Strictly speaking, the incessant whining about the pay
>accorded to people undertaking commercial excavations on this list has
>nothing to do with 'archaeology'.
I disagree. Totally.
I would have loved a career in archaeology.
After a youthful few years imbibing Chronicle, Bronowski and the like, on
pre-Time Team pap-TV, I had the opportunity to study archaeology at
University, coming from a science & arts "A" level background. During my
undergraduate years Thatcher's government fought and (somehow) won a lucky,
petty, imperialist war in the Falklands, thus ensuring her and her minions
power-without-responsibility for a decade and more.
Archaeology became viewed as a "backwater", compared to the rights of
construction companies and business needs. It was hammered by the Right, as
were the unions, and hence we see the state of archaeology in the UK today.
Crap pay, people "do it 'cos they love it, so we can pay them nothing".
I got out with what was still seen as a fairly "open" degree in 1984, and
no student loan to pay off, to pursue work in a field that would pay me a
living wage. I would have loved to be writing today, with a twenty year
career in archaeology behind me. But it IS Thatcher's fault I'm not.
My champagne for her demise is on ice.