Mission Statement, November 2011
The Council for Independent Archaeology had its origins in the Congress of Independent Archaeologists, held at Wolfson College, Cambridge in July 1985. This was a great success, and was followed two years later by a second congress, also held at Cambridge in 1987. This was followed by a third Congress, held at York, at which it was decided to form a separate body, the Council for Independent Archaeology, principally to organise the future congresses. Andrew Selkirk, who organised the first three congresses, was elected Chairman, Mike Rumbold became Hon Secretary, and Kevan Fadden the Hon Treasurer.
At the time, professional archaeology was increasing rapidly and the Institute of Field Archaeologists had recently been founded as a body for professional archaeologists and it was felt that another body needed to be set up to look after the interests of amateur archaeologists. The Council has always been keen to ensure that it should do nothing to oppose the interests of archaeology generally and indeed the interests of professional archaeologists except where these are directly opposed to the interests of the amateurs; but there is a danger that the interests of the amateurs are overlooked, often inadvertently, by legislators and particularly by international bodies, which are dominated by countries where amateur archaeologists do not exist.
Two and a half major themes have emerged in the Council’s activities. Firstly there is the holding of meetings, the annual conferences: click here for details.
More recently there has been the production of a resistivity meter at a cost not far in excess of £2000 which would be within the price range of local archaeological societies and individuals. Thanks to Bob Randall and TR Systems, the meter has been hugely successful and over 100 had been produced until the EU directive on lead soldering brought production to an end. It is hoped to be able to resume production thanks to grants from the Council
The third aspect has been the hardest aspect, the oversight of legislation. The one successful example of this was our campaign against the Valetta convention, a convention of the Council of Europe which had two paragraphs that were directly opposed to the interests of amateur archaeologists: click here for details. We need to have someone to take general oversight of this and consider on a regular basis the impact of legislation on amateur archaeologists.
The council has always been a happy body and our meetings are still the only occasion where amateur archaeologists can come together to recount their successes and rejoice in the successes of others, and we look forward to continuing in this vein for many years. If you wish to celebrate the successes of those who love archaeology, please join us