Antiquities, archaeology and the public
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Antiquities, archaeology and the public

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Talk for the Public and Popular History seminar at the University of Cambridge, 8th February 2011

Talk for the Public and Popular History seminar at the University of Cambridge, 8th February 2011

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    Antiquities, archaeology and the public Antiquities, archaeology and the public Presentation Transcript

    • Antiquities, Archaeology and the Public Dr Helen Geake Finds Adviser (Post-Roman Artefacts) to the Portable Antiquities Scheme c/o McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge [email_address]
      • What are the secrets of their success?
      • How have they changed people’s view of archaeology?
      • What effect have they had on archaeology as a discipline?
    • PAS staff in post 1997 PAS staff in post 1999 Since 2003 we have recorded finds made by members of the public across the whole of England & Wales
    • The database on which the public’s finds are recorded Our funder:
    • He’s looking for things She isn’t
    • (Portable Antiquities and Treasure Annual Report 2007, p. 9) Metal-detectorists are a skewed demographic
      • In a recent survey:
      • 92.4% were male
      • 93.5% were over 35 years old
    • The Daily Mail, September 25 th 2009
    • The Crosby Garrett Roman helmet
    •  
      • How has the PAS changed people’s view of archaeology?
      • Archaeology is all around us, not just on ‘sites’
      • Archaeologists are friendly and approachable
      • BUT there’s a risk: that archaeology will be seen as being all about finds, and the more valuable the object (in monetary terms) the better
    • Time Team (1994 onwards)
    • Choosing the sites
      • Two things to balance:
      • a high chance of finding archaeological evidence that you can film
      • a good story to make a television programme about
      Jim Mower, Development
    • Project Design for Castor, Peterborough (filmed 2010)
    • Schedule, Day 1 (Tottiford Reservoir, filmed 2010)
    • A script! (from Llancaiach Fawr, a fortified manor house in south Wales – filmed 2010)
    • Some vain attempts to script the end of Day 3 It’s hard to know in advance what will be found
    • A camera crew Sound man Cameraman Camera assistant Director
    • Tim Taylor, Series Producer
    • Discussing what to do next at Sutton Courtenay Anglo-Saxon ‘palace’ site (filmed 2009) Tim Taylor Mick Aston Victor Ambrus
    • From survey… to digging… to recording… … Time Team projects are well-resourced, scholarly pieces of archaeological research
    • Challenge Anneka BBC1, Saturday evenings 1989-1995
    • Changing Rooms BBC, 1996-2004 Ground Force BBC, 1997-2005
    •  
    • Assuming that a mass audience wants superficial content…. … is perhaps a snobbish and elitist position
    • Social pigeonholes A    Professional/senior managerial B    Middle managers/executives C1   Junior managers/non-manual C2   Skilled manual D    Semi-skilled/unskilled manual E    Unemployed/state dependents
    • The public face of the PAS At a show In the field At a school
    • Television watching by social grade
    • Time Team in 2009 had an average of over 2m viewers
    •  
      • What are the secrets of their success?
      • How have they changed people’s view of archaeology?
      • What effect have they had on archaeology as a discipline?
    •  
    •  
    •  
    • Quarry Archaeology (a Neolithic house)
    •  
    •  
      • David Starkey:
      • well washed
      • very clever
      • perhaps a bit forbidding
      • Phil Harding:
      • dirty but friendly