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Subject:

Re: Big Royal Dig

From:

Nick Boldrini <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

British archaeology discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 31 Aug 2006 15:14:58 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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You also need to be careful how these salvaged finds from the spoil heap
are interpreted as their recovery will skew the data.

If you assume all things are missed equally (pot bone metal etc) but
only metal is recovered off the spoil heap, this means metal will be
over represented in the assemblage, and this needs to be taken account
of. Not sure how big a problem that would be, but you would need to
consider it.

best wishes

Nick Boldrini
Historic Environment Record Officer
Heritage Section
Countryside Service
North Yorkshire County Council
County Hall
Northallerton
DL7 8AH
Direct Dial (01609) 532331

Conserving North Yorkshire's heritage - encouraging sustainable access
www.northyorks.gov.uk/archaeology 

This email is personal. It is not authorised by or sent on behalf of
North Yorkshire 
County Council, however, the Council has the right and does inspect
emails sent from 
and to its computer system. This email is the sole responsibility of
the sender

>>> [log in to unmask] 31/08/2006 14:59:34 >>>
Alan Radley wrote:
> detectorists were a serving a useful purpose, of finding the
> items in the spoil heap which the diggers have discarded.
> As they didn't have the time to sieve every spade full of
> dirt,  a lot of vital evidence could be missed ?

Detectorists or metal detectors? I dont think anyone has seriouly
doubted
that metal detectors (tool) can be useful in survey work and (in
certain
circumstances) excavation. I know a number of archaeologists who have
managed to work out how to use a metal detector (!) and have one in
their
toolkit. We now have "Our Portable Past" to guide their use (and hobby
detectorists) in archaeological projects.

Of course in the case of excavations, the art is to dig in such a
manner
that you dont get contextless stuff coming out of the spoil heaps... 
It can
never be "vital evidence" if it does not have a proper context.

As far as I am concerned, the only thing important finds coming out of
the
spoil heaps is "evidence" of is inadequate and over-hasty excavation
methods. Getting the metal goodies off the spoil heap is a short cut
which
merely represents bad technique and a falling of standards. If they are
not
being observed in situ as excavation procedes, what else is not?

Paul Barford

WARNING

This E-mail and any attachments may contain information that is confidential or privileged, and is intended solely for the use of the named recipient. If you are not the intended recipient, please be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or any action taken is prohibited and may be unlawful.

Any opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily the view of the Council.

North Yorkshire County Council.

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