--- David Petts <[log in to unmask]>
> But surely there is a fundamental difference
> between a dig paying volunteers
> to skimp on cheap labour and a completely
> non-commercial dig, such as
> Bamburgh, paying expenses to attract someone to
> do finds.
I am sure that there are differences, but maybe
not as 'fundamental' as you suggest. Most
archaeologists of my acquaintance who presently
work for 'commercial' bodies did not start out
that way. The majority of us began working for
local government bodies and were 'commercialised'
by various funding crises during the 1990's.
All I am really saying is that archaeology
(professional or otherwise) ought to be grown up
enough not to have to hide behind euphemism. If
we can't afford to pay sensible wages for staff
on research excavations, we should say so and not
try to maximise what is paid to participants, by
saying that it covers tax free 'expenses' rather
than provides a wage.
I am all for people donating their time 'pro
bono' to good causes and wouldn't wish to stop
anyone fieldwalking or meeting with metal
detectorists for the love of it, but as Dave
Connolly said earlier, we are in a sorry state
when we have to rely on the donation of unpaid
time to provide the basic training element of our
profession. Hence my dis-ease with the manner in
which this advertisment first appeared.
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