Whilst we are still at the stage of charging people for the training we
offer at Bamburgh, I am working very hard towards a stage where we no
longer have to charge and can pay staff a competetive wage rather than
I want a staff made up people chosen on merit, teaching people with a
genuine love of archaeology, and no financial burden involved whatsoever.
This will probably all come down to HLF/European funding, but even putting
the prelim stuff together for these takes an age, when you have a Research
Project to run.
What I can say though, is that we have cut our costs to the bone and I
believe we are one of the most competetively priced of this type of
excavation. Still, I do believe that people should not have to pay for
their archaeological training and that the mentors and teachers should be
paid equitably. The sad reality is we cannot afford it. Yet....
But at least I am doing something about it. And simply providing a forum
where people get first class training, in a stunning surrounding, digging 5
metres of strat in research conditions is quite an achievement. I am very
proud of what we have achieved at Bamburgh, but expect even greater things
for the future. Providing I continue to trespass on the goodwill of the
people who support the project, abuse the seemingly inexhaustable trust my
wife puts in me and maintain unending optimism in the face of tidalwave of
cynicism and burned out archaeologists.
What does keep me going is that I genuinely believe that archaology is
worthwhile and that it belongs to everyone. People have a right to be
trained and they have a right to see their archaology and have it
interpretted. That, and the fact that every year we get more people who go
away believing and saying that we are getting it right, and that they have
enjoyed learning about archaeology. If archaology is to remain alive and
well, then the people who do go off to become bank clerks and civil
servants must still retain a passion for the subject and those of us who
remain must continue/begin to pass on to the uninitiated or unconvinced
why archaeology is so absolutely necessary.