The Council for Independent Archaeology


Where now?


The Sharpes Pottery Museum

The Sharpes Pottery Museum

The e 2017 meeting of the Council for Independent Archaeology took place on 22nd October 2017 at Swadlincote in Derbyshire, where 30 members enjoyed an excellent day of lectures and good fellowship.  A summary of the meeting can be seen here.


Sadly, however, this may prove to be the last meeting of the Council. The Officers have all been in post too long, and old age and ill-health has meant that they are no longer able to organise any future meetings. If any volunteers are prepared to come forward and undertake the practical work of organising meetings, we would be pleased to hear from them.

However  perhaps the time has come to ask the big question,  whether there is any future for the amateur in archaeology:  should not archaeology become an entirely professional occupation, with the only participation of amateurs being as part of a professionally run community project. If so, there is no role for the CIA, and we should die gracefully.

Yet if anyone were to come forward to run the society,  we still have a number of assets.  We have still around 200 members on our lists, we are financially viable with a positive balance sheet, while the production of the resistivity meter continues: if anyone is interested in purchasing a superb resistivity meter, please email Kevan Fadden and ask to be put on the waiting list.

I believe the need for the CIA is still there. If archaeology becomes wholly professional, and exists only as a plaything of politicians, there is a danger that it will be become liable to political pressures and political correctness and independent thought and independent action will become impossible.

I still have a dream that we should organise a final conference to form a grand funeral for independent archaeology. We need to ask whether there is any role for the CIA, and if so what changes need to be made in legislation and the organisation of archaeology to allow independents to co-exist and occasionally challenge professional archaeologists. I believe we need to have a body that can challenge the shibboleths of the establishment while at the same time valuing the essential role of professional archaeology.

This is probably merely a dream, but if there is anyone out there who would be willing and able to take forward the cause of the Independent in archaeology, we would be pleased to hear from them.

Andrew Selkirk.

Chairman (moribund), 
Council for Independent Archaeology
11th May 2018


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