Bill Moffatt writes: I do not believe that quality is neccesarily driven
out by cost cutting.
We are going to have to disagree here I'm afraid - I have seen
opportunities to excavate sites extensively using the best available
techniques pass us by because of inadeqaute funding. Equally I have been
unable to carry out necessary work on pottery assemblages (including basic
thngs such as getting material drawn) because of the lack of funding
available from the developers. The tendering process, even when mitigated
by the constraints placed on them by curators, tends to favour the cheapest
bid. In such circumstances cuts are regularly made in the scale and scope
of work, both during excavation and at the post-excavation stage. We need a
mechanism that retains the principle that costs should be borne by the
developer while removing from the developer the right to dictate the scale
and scope of archaeological work.