CIfA Conference 2014 - Workshops

CPD training workshops will include:

  • W1 Publishing in the Historic Environment, or How I learnt to stop worrying and got something into print
  • W2 Scanning environments, sediments and archaeology
  • W3 Social media: its dangers and benefits to archaeological practice and public engagement
  • W4 A sample of what’s on offer: getting the most out of archaeological science

W1 Publishing in the Historic Environment, or How I learnt to stop worrying and got something into print


Roger White (University of Birmingham) and Rachel Young (Maney Publishing)

Ever been frustrated at having perfectly good work that you’ve slaved over shoved onto a shelf and forgotten about because it’s viewed as ‘grey literature’? Ever got a high mark for a dissertation and wondered how to transform it into something that can be appreciated by a wider audience? Ever had a bright idea on how to improve working practices on site and pondered how to reach a wider audience to tell them of it? This workshop aims to provide some guidance to those who wish to turn their work and ideas into something that can be delivered to a global audience of academics and fellow professionals. Led by those who edit and produce the IfA’s own house journal, Historic Environment, Policy and Practice, the session will provide an overview of the editorial process, highlighting what the editorial board is looking for in reviewing papers. Practical advice will be offered on learning how to edit existing texts and reports to gear the text more closely to the academic demands of the journal, how to meet the exacting demands of referencing for a journal and advice on how to select suitable images. The opportunity will also be taken by the Maney publishing team to explain the new Open Access approach to publishing that is increasingly affecting the academic world. Above all, we will seek to dispel the mystery around academic publishing that may, in the past, have put you off from trying to publish something.

W2 Scanning environments, sediments and archaeology


Tony Brown (Tony.Brown [at], Laura Basell (lbasell [at] and Michael Lobb (ml6g12 [at]

This workshop will assemble a number of TLS users from different research areas in archaeology who will share their experiences and practices and communicate the direction of travel of TLS in archaeology. We would be interested to hear from those with good case studies which could be included as an example for workshop attendees, please get in touch with the organisers.

W3 Social media: its dangers and benefits to archaeological practice and public engagement


Stuart Prior and Aisling Tierney, University of Bristol

Social media has become an integral part of business practice in recent years. It benefits business by creating low cost marketing channels to reach a large customer base. For consumers and the public it serves as a venue to engage directly and immediately with archaeological practice. For all its positives, there are many pitfalls in using social media, notably knowing what content to share and how to display it appropriately.

This session will examine best practice in the professional use of social media. Industry specific case studies will highlight best practice in this field. Various social media platforms applicable to industry, research, museums and personal profiles will be explored and explained. Attendees will draw from their own experience and their sector to test which social media outlets are best suited to their practice. Social media will also be analysed as a tool to promote research. Pitfalls and problems arising from the use of social media will be investigated and discussed. The session will culminate in the creation of a set of guidelines for the professional use of social media tailored to each participant’s needs, which will be contrasted with the institutional example of the University of Bristol’s Berkeley excavation project, where social media and appropriate guidelines are already in use.

W4 A sample of what’s on offer: getting the most out of archaeological science


Jo McKenzie, Zoe Outram and Julia Beaumont

When do you contact the archaeological scientists? At the start of post-excavation? When something exciting pops up on site? At the planning stage? Do you automatically reach for the same email contacts - but wonder about those techniques you simply don’t know well enough to know if they’ll answer your questions better? Are you confident that you’re not only asking the right questions of the data, but that your sampling and recording strategies are geared towards the techniques that provide the most proficient and cost-effective way to answer them?

This workshop asks - why should developers and clients pay for archaeological research? Our answer: because it should be the natural outcome of a comprehensive, appropriate and cost-effective sampling and analysis brief and should be a key attribute of the professional product. This workshop is presented by three archaeological scientists with experience of both commercial and research sectors, specialists with the on-site experience to present guidelines for best practice that can help you create a lean, mean (and money-saving) sampling regime. As the saying goes, it’s not how big your sample archive is, but what you do with it that counts – and involving the right specialists at an early stage can help cut waste both in site time and storage space as well as selecting the right combination of techniques to get the best from your site... and that publication-ready dataset.

We’ll be focusing in particular on scientific techniques as explored through three key areas: soils and deposits both on and off site, site chronologies, and perhaps the most exciting new set of techniques exploring human behaviour: stable isotope analysis. We’ll discuss the best techniques to fit not only your site but your budget, how to dovetail these with more traditional data collection regimes, how and where to find out more, and sources of potential additional funding for larger-scale projects.