Friday, July 01, 2011

The Maeander Project

Do you remember watching Indiana Jones as a kid? And how cool being an archaeologist seemed? Obviously real archaeologists don't (always) act like Mr. Jones (Dr. Jones?), but they are still pretty cool. [Also, as an aside, I can see how constantly being reminded of Indiana Jones could get irritating for an archaeologist, but I sort of wish archivists had a parallel film hero.]

Two of my cool archaeologist friends (Colleen and John) are participating in a very interesting sounding project this August in the Maeander River area of Southwestern Turkey. When their funding stumbled, the group didn't give up, instead they started a Kickstarter page to raise $5,000 for the trip.

If you aren't familiar with Kickstarter, it is a neat system where people can pledge money to a project in exchange for a graduated level of thank you gifts (like when you contribute to PBS). If the project doesn't meet its funding goal within the designated time frame, no one pays anything. If it reaches its funding level, everyone contributes the bit they've pledged and project goes forward. I love the idea of crowdsourcing funding for good people to do interesting things. Some projects are never going to be attractive enough to big corporations, governments, or universities to support them, for whatever reason, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't get funding. Guys, we can fund them! With as little as $1!

The Maeander Project is up to 48 backers and $3,098 as of this posting, with two weeks to go. If they hit the $5,000 goal, they have a donor who has pledged to match it. Do me a favor and read their proposal and then contribute if you can. And even if you can't contribute, spread the word about this worthwhile project.

[Photo credit: Rol1000 on Flickr. Also I don't know much about Turkey or archaeology, but this is tagged as being in the Maeander River region with a Creative Commons license and I thought it was a nice illustration. So there.]

No comments: