You are currently browsing the daily archive for 07/02/2012.

The Government wants a Big Society. The CBA has a long term aim to “support local communities to become active stewards of their archaeological heritage”and Chief Inspector Mark Harrison says the most important part of the heritage crime initiative is “the engagement of communities across the country”.  However, although  it seems a great idea (as we said here and here)  we’ve heard little to indicate that English Heritage is considering harnessing  the enthusiasm of  amateur “megalithomaniacs” to monitor the welfare of prehistoric scheduled sites.

We’ve presumed there must be practical difficulties we haven’t thought of.  So we were intrigued to see an article just published by the Archaeological Institute of America – Public Partnership in Site Preservation. It seems to indicate that amateurs CAN be effective as the eyes and ears of the conservation bodies quite easily. Any concerns that might be felt over here about standards, consistency, control or even cost seem to have been adequately addressed over there by the simple expedient of running training workshops paid for at modest cost by the enthusiasts themselves. It seems possible that a similar model could work as well or even better over here.

As everyone knows, amateurs have more time than professionals so can examine every part of a site

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