in answer to your question are you paying as a taxpayer, the answer
is yes I am afraid, in that Universities receive a certain income to
undertake research (it is called the QR, and is assessed on an 8-year
cycle know as the RAE). Your outrage is rather similar to a TV
viewer, who has just seen a programme on the BBC that they dont like,
and complain about a 'waste of license payers money'.
My view is that the Van dig is a valuable exercise, even if it starts
a debate as to what is archaeology.
On 27 Jul 2006, at 08:53, Nigel Swift wrote:
> I have much sympathy for this view, expressed in the website -
> "If the project is only useful as analogy then why not test
> methods on a site type more relevant to the majority of
> fieldwork such as a house, or a church or a fortification?"
> and less for this -
> "To which Emma's response is to argue that archaeology is a
> concerned with the relationships between human behaviour and the
> human environment
> (however constructed). Most of us spend a great deal of time in the
> environment of our motor vehicles, so this is an entirely valid
> But most of all, I have sympathy for myself, as I'm a taxpayer. Am
> I paying?
> As a member of the public I do understand that this may teach much
> techniques but I can't help feel that a little thought could have
> been given to
> choosing a project that did that AND added to other knowledge as a
> spin-off. Is funding for the sector so generous that costs don't
> have to be
> carefully targetted to liberate maximum benefits? In addition,
> choosing an
> archaeologists' van, rather than say a plumbers one, was a tad
> unwise IMO since it
> will add much to the Daily Mirror's fun and nothing to the
> However, perhaps I'm speaking out of turn, and I'm not paying.