Monday, 4 June 2012


There is an obvious reason as to why Europe is currently experiencing economic meltdown: there are no archaeologists in charge.

Not one.

From Greece to Ireland, Portugal to Finland there is a total absence of circuit digging experience: an archaeo-political deficit if you will. Not one European leader has ever got their knees muddy scrabbling around for Neolithic pottery nor had the joy of finding their ears full of 2,000 year-old wind-blown soil. 

'Why is this important?' I hear you all scream (well, in my imagination you are). Well, I'm glad you asked.

Both the UK Prime Minister and the German Chancellor, when discussing the economic crisis, the meltdown of the Euro and the necessity (from their point of view) of maintaining and further enforcing severe austerity measures, were quoted as saying: "when you're in a hole you have to stop digging".


Absolutely, totally and emphatically no.

When you're in a hole you keep digging. You dig until you get to the geological natural, and then you dig some more elsewhere. You keep digging until your hands are raw and your mattock and shovel are worn down to stumps. You dig in the rain, sun, sleet, hail, snow and never stop. You dig as the bulldozers and mechanical diggers are revving up behind you and the site foreman is politely asking you to please finish examining the mosaic floor as he would very much like to smash it into oblivion. You dig and dig and dig and you never ever stop. Stopping is not an option. 

That's why Europe is in a needs better economic, social and political analogies. It needs, at the very least, an official metaphor checker with some experience of working in archaeology.