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Author Topic: How does archaeology benefit the world?  (Read 2556 times)
hedgehog
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« on: March 27, 2009, 06:58:42 AM »

Just reading the French asylum post and had this thought. What is in it for the general population, it is very time consuming, wallet busting and non productive . What is the actual point of it?
Is it a hobby that they are paid to pursue?
What does it cost the taxpayer?
If they are that interested , why don't they spend their free time chasing the past like we do?
Farmers are aware of the cost to them when archaeologists become involved , I would guess more has been buried than we would care to think about!
Is archaeology a middle class sport/hobby?
I would be really interested in any arguments for or against.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2009, 07:35:43 AM by hedgehog » Logged
waltonbasinman
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2009, 09:06:25 AM »

As you know Steve i liked archaeology so much i went and got myself a degree in it. Once i started working in the profession i soon became disillusioned with the attitude, practice and sheer bloody mindedness of a lot of the so called professionals. I know artefacts have disappeared off sites amongst other things. But you are quite correct when you say it is a middle class hobby. I could not have put it better myself. Smiley
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Jonola (Jon)
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2009, 09:17:20 AM »

When does it change from grave robbing to archaeology? Tutankhamun was interred in a sacred ceremony and to his own religious beliefs. The Victorians and Edwardians were "Appalled" that some tombs had been robbed in antiquity by people who had desecrated the possessions and bodies of the early Egyptians. The reaso they were so appalled is because tha was EXACTLY what they had planned to do THEMSELVES.
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hedgehog
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2009, 09:30:31 AM »

I have come to the conclusion that we have made the great discoveries and these are protected, so what is the point in financing these people to pursue their interests , I just don't get it any more, does anyone?
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proconsul
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2009, 09:33:28 AM »

By some estimates there are about 50,000 detectorists across the UK. If metal detecting was banned and the government had to replace us with paid archaeologists, by my reconing it would cost the British economy something like 1.5 BILLION pounds a year.

Can you see the government taking 1.5 billion pounds away from schools and hospitals to fund a load of archaeologists?
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2009, 09:39:11 AM »

1.5 billion pounds for archaeologists? no! Bankers...well thats another matter  Wink

I think that archaeology to save sites threatened with destructon from building work or suchlike is necessary but some of the other work undertaken is mere frippery.
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hedgehog
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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2009, 10:38:15 AM »

All of these sites they are "saving" , what are they saving them for? Knowledge of the past is nice but what use is it?
I would guess that archaeologists would happily schedule the whole country until they have time and funding to investigate them.
But what is the point? Is there anything new to learn that will advance the human race. what is the point in "saving" any more? Surely there is enough information out there about the past now!
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hedgehog
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2009, 11:03:10 AM »

Sorry to harp on about this one but I (having thought about it) cannot see the point in archaeologists scheduling any more sites, there must be thousands of acres that have been scheduled because of ridge and furrow because of what may be underneath it, read the link if you want to be bored.

http://www.articlearchives.com/humanities-social-science/anthropology-archaeology/1298012-1.html

What does archaeology do for the grass roots British public, what is there to learn that is new?
Ask an arkie how long it would take to investigate thoroughly all of the current scheduled sites (sorry how many thousand years!!).
Back to the question with the sites that they are "saving" now, what are they saving, and who are they saving it for, what do they contribute to the economy?

One last thought , keep the PAS and FLO's going (underfunded at the moment) , get rid of the rest of the arkies, if they want to go and dig something up then they should buy themselves a jcb and fund it themselves!

Here is a link to some of their concerns  :'(

http://antiquity.ac.uk/projgall/Aitchison/
« Last Edit: March 27, 2009, 12:15:23 PM by hedgehog » Logged

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