Job loss gloom as business confidence slides
The IfA have issued a report on the archaeological job losses caused by the severe economic downturn. The survey points to a loss of 8.6% of the UK workforce of commercial archaeological practices in the last quarter of 2008. Larger organisations employing over 50 staff have been particularly badly affected. It is not clear whether these figures include fixed term staff whose contracts have not been renewed during this period.
Business confidence is very low right across the sector and the overwhelming majority of practices believe that the market will deteriorate further in 2009. Many expect to shed further jobs in 2009 and some archaeological practices are expected to cease trading.
The IfA intends to repeat this survey at quarterly intervals.
What is your view on how the maritime sector will be affected? What will the short and long term impacts be? Do those working in the maritime sector have as much to fear from a prolonged recession as their terrestrial colleagues? Will it result in a long term reduction in local and central government spending on maritime heritage? Will it impact upon archaeological work linked to alternative energy, port development or aggregate schemes and how will spending upon coastal survey work be affected? How will education-based work fare and how should archaeological contractors plan for the future?
The Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage entered into force on 2 January 2009.
Which country do you think will be next to ratify the Convention?
Across the North Sea: Later historical archaeology in Britain and Denmark c. 1500-2000 AD
The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, The University of Southern Denmark, Odense City Museums and the City Museum of Copenhagen are holding a conference on post-medieval archaeology in Britain and Denmark to be held in Odense, Denmark from 22-27 September 2009, with an additional programme in Copenhagen. One of the themes of the conference is the archaeology of the North Sea and its coasts. A call for papers has been issued.
New Assistant Inspector sought by CADW
Cadw are looking to appoint an Assistant Inspector of Archaeology. The new post holder will be responsible for providing general archaeological support within one of the Inspectorate regions. In addition they will provide support for work and policy relating to the maritime and coastal archaeology of Wales. The post is Cardiff based but will involve extensive travel throughout Wales. Further details can be found on the Welsh Assembly website.
What difference do you think this will make to maritime archaeology in Wales?
Excavating Nelson’s men
The February 2009 issue of Current Archaeology reports on the excavations carried out at the old burial ground of the Royal Hospital Greenwich and the subsequent analysis of the human remains of naval ratings.
The Winter 2008 issue of Industrial Archaeology News includes an article on the restoration of this historic steamship.
LGA / EH Conference
On 3 February 2009 the Local Government Association will be hosting a conference designed to support local authorities in making the most of their historic environment. The day will include sessions on heritage protection reform, climate change and regeneration. It will also include presentations from both Barbara Follet, Minister for Culture, Creative Industries & Tourism, and English Heritage Chief Executive Simon Thurley. For more information on the days program and how you can sign up contact Owain Lloyd-James on 0207 973 3841.
A petition has been organised to have historic ships included alongside wrecks in the Heritage Protection Bill.
What is your view – do maritime archaeologists pay sufficient attention to preserved historic ships?
English Heritage over the coast
English Heritage are reported to have discovered over 1000 new sites as a result of an aerial survey on the North East coast.
Ottoman wreck off Japan
A 76m long Turkish ship that sank in 1890 after delivering a letter and gifts from the Turkish Sultan to the Emperor Meiji is being salvaged off Kushimoto in Japan.
Yet more Odyssey
USA Today reports on the “Gold Rush”