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

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):

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The Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxfordshire and…a conclusion (part 4)

AT THE END…

This is the final in a series of posts on my chapter (co-authored with Dr Dan Hicks) on Oxfordshire in the book World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum: a characterization. Conceived by Dr Dan Hicks (Curator of Archaeology) and managed by both Dan and Dr Alice Stevenson (Researcher in World Archaeology) the project involved a host of specialists examining over 30,000 objects from 134 countries in a process not too dissimilar from a  MoRPHE post-excavation assessment.

This post presents my personal thoughts on the significance and potential of the Oxfordshire archaeology collections of the Pitt Rivers Museum. It is based on notes I wrote in 2010, so some aspects are likely out of date now (particularly references to ‘big society’ and a ‘new government’). You can read my introductory thoughts here, the chapter itself here and an extended discussion on Pitt-Rivers (the man) and his work at Dorchester Dykes here. Continue reading