In case you haven’t heard of the term ‘crowdfunding’, it is a very successful way to raise money for a new business or project idea, and Archaeological projects are no stranger to the crowdfunding world. A new project on KickStarter aims to raise money for a 9-passenger bus turned mobile archaeology lab for use in field and educational applications across the nation.
The lab would act as a mobile resource for field schools, remote historical sites, and time-sensitive investigations anywhere in the continental U.S., Alaska, Canada, and Mexico where funds are not available to provide their own.
With a mobile archaeology lab, artifacts can be cleaned, preliminary identification can be documented, photographed, measured, weighed and the information can be digitally stored on-site.
Given that archaeology is a destructive science, initial preservation steps should take place as quickly as possible. The project’s owner, Molly Mossman in Corvallis, Oregon, believes in this project so much that she is willing to drive anywhere for an educational event.
In her 2011 field school, she came up with this idea after seeing that the artifacts they collected had to be transported back to the University for cleaning, interpretation and archiving – a process that could be both timely and costly. Many of these objects that are brought back end up sitting and waiting for months to be cleaned and cataloged once brought back into the University’s queue of projects.
KickStarter’s rules are that you will not be charged for your contribution unless the total project goal has been met. Molly needs to raise $18,550 for the full project and she has 29 days to go. Supporters who pledge $10 will receive a signed certificate of appreciation and a small flashlight with the bus’s ‘On-Site’ logo. Those who pledge $25 or more will receive a set of 2 field brushes with the ‘On-Site’ logo.
And if you’re able to really contribute to the project with $1,000 or more, your name will be engraved on a plaque displayed at the entrance of the lab. You’ll also receive a field kit that includes a Marshalltown trowel, small folding shovel and collapsible stool in a sipper carrying case. If you’re willing to pitch in $10,000 or more, you’ll not only be a part of the supporter’s plaque, but you will have the opportunity for the lab to be driven to an educational activity of your choice for public viewing and a presentation on the science involved in archaeology.
If you’re interested in contributing to this project, check out the KickStarter Project page.