Through the course of our residency we've become very interested in contemporary archaeology as well as the actual activity - both building and archaeology - on the site. We are proposing to set in place a (say) 25 year survey project moving forward from the 'first' new inhabitation on the site (following the current archaeology) and then surveying each year as the build progresses.
Next week we're bringing together an amazing team of archaeologists and academics to test out this idea using one archaeologists' portakabin and one builders' portakabin as the first sites to survey and as a way to develop our thinking about this proposal.
We like the idea that most of the ongoing surveys will initially be of 'brand new' buildings - perhaps the exact opposite of the sites usually percieved as suitable for archaeological investigation. Our interest lies in trying to forward face creating an archive about the NWC development by attempting to predict which mundane materials will become of interest in the future, and in trying to adapt different methods for surveying or collecting data to the new buildings and site.
Many of the team who'll be joining us we've met through the CHAT group (Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory). At the end of last year we attended their annual conference in London - I've rarely spent a more stimulated few days ... SO many of our shared interests were discussed and all in an accessable style in an informal but productive atmosphere. The conference theme was 'experience' and topics ranged from the archaeology of art in Berlin to a rock festival in Finland and 'the home as a site for historical awareness'. I'm really looking forward to re-meeting some of the delegates and some new faces in Cambridge next week.
*The action of looking forward into the future.