Feel Good Hit of the Summer

15 Sep

Last week Robert Chapple posted an excellent guest post by Stuart Rathbone on working conditions in archaeology (there’s an interesting Facebook discussion on it here). Predominantly focussed on the Republic of Ireland, it builds on personal experience and surveys of the profession (i.e. McDermott and La Piscopia 2008) to debate a wide range of issues (pretty much all of which will be recognisable  to UK archaeologists).

I found myself agreeing with much of what Stuart wrote, except for one point: drugs. Continue reading

2 Become 1

2 Sep Stone Row at Molly Gallivan's

A short blog on archaeology, tourism and information panels inspired by a trip to a Neolithic Stone Row in Ireland.

The Getaway

The N71 towards Kenmare (the Caha Pass) offers the fastest escape from the kitsch of Glengarriff; it’s views of the stark Beara Peninsula a welcome tonic after overpriced  sweaters and Guinness branded tin whistles.

There’s also a a Siren call to holidaying archaeologists: a brown sign to a Neolithic Stone Row. Continue reading


25 Jun

Fourteen years ago I walked into a room. Facing the door, illuminated by a single wire reinforced window, sat the post-16 careers guidance counsellor.

What did I want to do after sixth form?

I was thinking of studying archaeology.

The advisor stared into the distance, glanced at my CV.

Had I considered an HND in forestry?

Continue reading

The Curious Incident of the Local Authority Archaeology Website: Response from Sandwell

21 Jun

A few days ago I wrote a blog on the changes to Sandwell MBC’s website and their removal from it of nearly all information relating to archaeology in the area. Yesterday, in several tweets, Sandwell kindly responded. I thought it seemed only fair to incorporate these into an updated blog and provide their side of the story. I’ve added my own additional questions and comments beneath each tweet.

I’m sure you are correct. Then again, it’s an easy deletion to make when you’ve made redundant everyone who could present the case for retention. Continue reading

The Curious Incident of the Local Authority Archaeology Website in the Night-Time

19 Jun

As some of you may remember in late September 2011 news broke that Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council was planning on sacking it’s Borough archaeologist after it declared that archaeology and heritage were “not core services to the planning service and could almost be considered to be a luxury“. 

I last wrote about Sandwell’s decision in December 2011 after the council, in an astonishing move, deemed Twitlonger an appropriate service to announce that they had cut their archaeologists.

A few months later I had a further discussion on Twitter with the leader of Sandwell MBC Councillor Darren Cooper about the nature of the consultation that occurred prior to the Council’s decision. During this I noticed that there had been some changes on the Sandwell website (read the tweets that led to this part of the conversation: 1, 2 and 3):

Continue reading

The more things change…

5 Jun

Whilst doing a bit of research earlier I came across an article in The Observer that I missed when it was published. With continuing threats to heritage funding in the UK dominating many archaeological discussions I thought it would be worth summarising here for anyone else who didn’t see it :

“Large quantities of important archaeological material, the fruit of years of fieldwork, are at present lying, unexamined…” Continue reading

A Storified Archaeological Science Question Time

24 May

Over on Storify you can read a slightly belated review of the first ever Archaeological Science Question Time event hosted as part of the UKAS 2013 conference organised by the Department of Archaeology and Conservation at Cardiff University.

Have a read and let me know what you think!


Written by +Matt Nicholas


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