Anthropology, Paleontology, Data Science, Biology, Chemistry, Social Science, Earth Science

Supported By

Rachel Kropa
Rachel Kropa

Like anyone from my generation, my very first introduction to archaeology was through Indiana Jones. When you start studying the subject, you quickly realize that’s not exactly how it works.

I started studying archaeology as an adult because I was always told it wasn't “practical” for a career. I waited a long time and ultimately decided to do it for fun.

To me archaeology research is important because I care deeply about the planet and its resources. Archaeology can help us understand why societies succeeded or failed previously. It is also a field where solving mysteries using physical clues is crucial, and I think that’s pretty rad.

Archaeologists study our human prehistory and history stretching back beyond 3 million years, pieced together using materials and clues left in the land.

The Projects

Browse the participating projects

Feeding the Gods: What Plants Were the Maya Growing in the City Center of La Milpa, Belize?

We know that at La Milpa, the Maya built agricultural terraces. We don't know what they were growing there...

People of the Swamp: LiDAR and "Invisible" Structures at El Pilar

Aerial LiDAR surveys have been popular tools for mapping ancient Maya settlements through the dense rainforest...

Mapping and dating one of the most important early human settlements in eastern North America

With geophysical techniques, we will search for Paleo-Indian archaeological features around the famed Bull...

Islands and Resilience: A Maya City After “Collapse”

This project aims to map and analyze settlement patterns at Topoxte, an archaeological site which outlived...

Can experimental stone tool-making help us understand how our ancestors shaped their world?

Humans are the only known species that shape tools from stone. I study the evolution of stone tool-making...

How do humans cooperate in large-scale game drives? Documenting wild vicuña drives in the Andes

Large-scale communal game drives among humans have never been scientifically documented in action. This...

More About This Challenge

The sciency details

Challenge Amount:
Submission Deadline:
Sep 30, 2016
Campaign Launch:
Oct 13, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

How do challenge grants work?

Challenge grants are prizes to supplement existing crowdfunding campaigns. We will accept proposals for campaigns related to archaeology, and all the campaigns will launch together on October 13th, 2016. The project with the highest number of backers after three weeks will receive an additional $500. There are two runners-up prizes of $200 each.

When will the grant be awarded?

On November 3rd at 5PM PT, the prizes will be awarded according to the posted schedule.

Can I still submit a project?

We are no longer accepting projects for this grant, however we will be launching many more challenge grant opportunities. Sign up for our mailing list for up-to-date community news.

Please Note:

If we see suspicious acitivity of researchers or backers potentially cheating during the challenge, the project will be completely disqualified from winning the grant.

Challenge Aims

The field of archaeology reconstructs our understanding of the past through the careful excavation and analysis of artifacts left behind. Researchers survey or map the land and structures, excavate what may be hidden in the earth, and describe their findings through methods of classification, dating, and composition analysis. Much of history pre-dates writing, and much of the material represents lifestyles and societies that would otherwise go unrecorded and unknown.

We invite researchers working in archaeology to submit Experiment projects and join our upcoming grant challenge. Any aspect of the field is welcome! If you'd like to chat more about your idea, please get in touch. You can begin a page by clicking the button below.

A few examples of past successful archaeology projects:

Archaeology & Drones: Mapping Neolithic Structures in the Black Desert, Jordan

Did our ancestors use wooden spears as hand-thrown hunting weapons?

Colonial Period Archaeology in Northwestern Belize

Of Monks and Men: How medieval construction brought monasteries and lay communities together

Where are the Spanish Colonial Jesuit Missions at Guevavi?

Did the Pima Indians design arrow points specifically to penetrate Apache rawhide shields?

Project Eligilibity

Any archaeology project is invited to participate. Please get in touch if you aren't sure about your idea, by emailing us at Interdisciplinary projects are more than welcome! Researchers must be based out of institutions or organizations in the US, UK, Australia, or Canada, though field work can occur anywhere.

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