This is my last normal working week before our ‘summer holiday’, even if the holiday has to be in the inverted commas, since we have to do some finds work in order to clear our desks and get Remembering the Dead project wrapped up. This just seems to be lingering on – mostly because of the most usual of laments, i.e. the lack of money. Sadly, this time around the other main reason is one other person’s lack of time. I have got promises, but what I fathom from the records I have received this far, the promised schedule is already lagging behind so much that the results will be different from the expected.
The landscape I most reliably see nowadays is my computer screen. I have multiple articles on the go and hope to see major progress with the projects I am writing up by early autumn. Then I hope I will be only one winter away from having my basic publication responsibilities met and becoming free to pursuit other projects. I am dying to get back to the field and hope the commercial archaeology will pick up if the government will resort to the infrastructure project so that the employment prospects and archaeological professional landscape will become more positive. The current news is filled with prominent archaeologists made redundant, and museums and departments being closed.
How the things are today can be read from the Rescue cut map. The Institute for Archaeologists has a Protecting Archaeological Services page where it gives tips for action. This reflects the turmoil Britain is in – considering yesterday’s GDP figures. The less than rosy situation is also reflected by the Diggers’ Forum work away report that points to the high cost of travel. Archaeology is not the only field were the salaries do not really support travelling to work. This is something government should probably think about when they try to get unemployed to the employment alongside the childcare options - something that can restrict working in the commercial sector as well.
The return from the holidays will see another familiar archaeological ‘landscape feature’ reappearing – the next round of money applications is looming...