Gary Brun wrote:
My point Steve was that using more of the free technological resources
available would "save money" and leave "more" money for the suggestions
have given below.
These threads are very quiet considering the importance and wide
implications of things we are discussing are they not?
I take the point Gary that we need to be more innovative in how we
engage with the public, and I'm sure there are ways in which we could be
using digital technologies to reach out and educate/enthuse/engage,
despite our limited resources.
In particular we need to work out ways of engaging with a broader 21st
century audience. Are traditional societies with their meetings, trips
and journals still the best way to operate at a local level? They
clearly have a place and should not be ignored, but perhaps we need to
encourage local groups to become more active and think about how they
bring in younger members. The wave of new community archaeology groups
in recent years are an encouraging step in the right direction (see
CBA's Community Archaeology Forum - http://www.britarch.ac.uk/caf).
At a national level there is very good co-operation between the various
representative bodies for archaeology and the fruits of this can be seen
in the advocacy work of the Archaeology Forum, and the political
connections we have through the All Party Parliamentary Archaeology
Group and with Government Ministers and civil servants. I do not believe
it is divisive to have separate groups representing different parts of
our sector (IfA, CBA, ALGAO, FAME, etc) as long as we work to a common
agenda which I believe is the case.
There is little point in engaging in special pleading in the next year.
All areas of public expenditure face cutbacks and we will not be exempt
from that. We need to find different funding models and more diverse
income streams which pick up on and link in with the huge public
interest which archaeology generates (more so I would suggest than
This is a fundamental issue for everyone, not just for those lucky
enough to work in archaeology. We need to find ways to encourage wider
public participation - and the current draft PPS in England goes some
way in this direction (and we hope the final version will go further).
We need these key policy documents in place to allow us to build the
arguments for the retention of local authority museums and historic
environment services and refer back to when cuts are proposed.
I would strongly support the comments made on this list by Paul
Courtenay and Peter Twinn that now is the time to be thinking and
working together to make the arguments for the importance of what we
offer society. This topic should be one on which everyone has a view and
a constructive suggestion to offer....
One final thought for now: the future depends on the young people of
today and the more of them that have a good understanding of archaeology
the better. I would encourage all list members to go out and recruit new
members of the Young Archaeologists' Club, and volunteer to run local
branches offering hands-on opportunities right across the UK!
Get involved ... http://www.britarch.ac.uk/getinvolved
Dr Mike Heyworth MBE, Director, Council for British Archaeology
St Mary's House, 66 Bootham, York YO30 7BZ, UK
tel 01904 671417, fax 01904 671384, web www.britarch.ac.uk
A Company Limited by Guarantee, registered in England 1760254 &
Registered Charity 287815. Join CBA/YAC at www.britarch.ac.uk/shop