Annoyingly, without connecting the two dates in my mind, I accepted an appointment for a terribly boring meeting that lasted all of the morning of the Day of Archaeology. Most people I know try to do something interesting but much of the time spent by a local authority archaeology officer consists of meetings, staring at maps and trying to work your way around the acronym soup of life in local government.
First thing was off to English Heritage to discuss proposals for reorganising Archaeological Priority Zones (APZs – keep up!) or Archaeological Priority Areas or many of the other names that these float around on maps issued by local authorities buried under a multitude of other coloured and bounded areas with their own acronyms. View the joy that is the Southwark adopted policies map here, APZs, as they are in Southwark, can be found by ticking next to Design and Conservation. Patrick, at English Heritage, is doing some very good work looking over a number of the boroughs and considering where we know archaeology to be, where we can expect it to be found in the future and drawing logical areas to connect this on the maps. My contribution to the meeting was to try and get the acronyms to become Areas of Archaeological Significance, to match up with the new emphasis on ‘significance’ in many planning documents. Think about it for a while, I feel it is more memorable.
Imagine my joy on getting back to the office and finding out that an area action plan had passed its first hurdles. The Old Kent Road Area Action Plan is beginning to move forwards. Archaeological, this area contains some of the more interesting and significant archaeology within the borough, not least the remains of a mesolithic tool making site that is now under a B&Q, other interesting and enigmatic areas of prehistoric archaeology and the main road into London from the Kent ports through the Roman and medieval periods. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to do a full assessment of the archaeology of this road and look at what is happening in its hinterland. I feel this is incredibly petty but the acronym formed from the name of the document gave me the greatest joy O KRAAP!