Can't let this pass....and it is within the remit of this list so:
> Moreover, what about all these other rants, that patently have nothing to do
> with archaeology ? Do recall what 'archaeology' means--the study of the past,
> or 'the scientific study of the remains and monuments of the prehistoric
> period' (OED).
Well, you take too narrow a definition of what archaeology is. There is
no consensus as to what constitutes archaeology either in theory or in
practise. The cover-all OED definition just provides a convenient
shorthand one, it is not the authority on what archaeology is or isn't.
> Strictly speaking, the incessant whining about the pay
> accorded to people undertaking commercial excavations on this list has
> nothing to do with 'archaeology'.
This isn't whining, it's complaint about absurd pay and conditions.
Babies and children whine and moan for no reason, the complainants here
articulate their complaints and provide reasons for them.
You belittle and demean these workers by implying their work has nothing
to do with archaeology. They are front line archaeologists often working
in physical danger, difficulty and discomfort and in all weathers and on
all days and hours of the week. I've served my time in the trenches and,
personally, feel your comments to be insulting. What was I doing if it
wasn't archaeology ? If it was merely glorified navvying then shouldn't
I expect navvying wages and conditions anyway ?
We could even extend this argument: insofar
> as many excavation reports contain few, if any sections, that might be
> regarded as representing a 'study', much less a scientific study, then most
> of 'commercial archaeology' cannot properly be regarded as'archaeology' at
> all. The reports satisfy planning requirements, and as I have stated in
> earlier messages, they have little research merit.
Well, whatever the merits of the reports in terms of research value all
digs are conducted to methodologies scientifically based. Agreed digs
should have a research framework but this is one of the topics that we,
as archaeologists, 'whine' about too. Nevertheless archaeologists have
to go out and rescue dig and salvage what they can from the excavations.
Studies they may not be but they still provide systematically derived
data which can then form the basis of research in the wider arena.
Maybe you should get out of your armchair and take this debate to one of
the theory lists.