Rebecca Beardmore (Post Excavation Officer, Birmingham Archaeology)
This paper will discuss the experiences of those individuals generally found ‘looking in’ on the process of post excavation from an external position. Groups such as contractors, consultants and local authorities can be left out in the cold when it comes to post excavation, which is often perceived as a ‘black box’ from which the final product will (hopefully) emerge. The main aim of the research behind this paper was to gather a wide-ranging sample of views from those people with no involvement in the internal management of the post-excavation process, in order to understand how better to present post-excavation to the consumers of archaeological work. This paper will present the findings of this research, and in doing so explore the perceptions and experiences of these ‘outsiders’. The paper will then assess how these insights can guide us in making post excavation a more transparent and easier process to follow for those unable to wander into the finds room with a query.