Saturday, August 27, 2011

Aug 2011-1) Conservation and Excavation

Blogger Candice Jarman (People's archaeology blogspot) has problems understanding what conservation is.
There is nothing more destructive to the archaeological record than archaeological excavation! I thought all archaeological students were taught that very early in their undergraduate studies. All those time equivalent layers carefully trowelled away, all those artifacts removed from their contexts and placed in Museum or University storage, never to the see the light of day. That's why it's imperative that archaeologists publish the results of their excavations.
Candice asks the PAS what is the point conserving the record for destruction when its excavated, and what about the information lost when excavations are not published. Can the PAS explain to members of the public like Candice Jarman why the archaeological record is conserved? There seems some confusion in the public mind, can the PAS as part of its archaeological outreach clarify this issue? Thanks.

UPDATE 7/9/11: The only response to emerge from the PAS to this is that they are going to visit more metal detecting clubs, which seems a wholly inadequate response given the circumstances.

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