Archaeological Institute of America
Deadline: November 1, 2023
Announced: In February
Amount: up to $4,500
Purpose: The Boochever Endowment supports both fieldwork and laboratory research informed by new technologies. While the fund’s primary purpose is to help defray the start-up costs of new projects, archaeologists exploring innovative applications of new technologies in any stage of their work are welcome to apply. Projects proposed by archaeologists who are at an early stage in their careers (within 8 years of receipt of the PhD) will be given priority.
Projects may concern any location in the world and any time period, but must be designed to address significant questions about the human past through the use of state-of-the-art technology, understood broadly to include not only digital tools and approaches, but also those developed in engineering, chemistry, biology, physics, etc. The best proposals will make use of emerging or experimental technologies, or will apply existing technologies to archaeological research in new ways. The fund will support research activities such as regional or site survey, geophysical prospection, remote sensing, exploratory excavations in both terrestrial and maritime contexts, or innovative laboratory analyses.
Proposals will be reviewed according to the following criteria (roughly in this order of importance):
University of California - Los Angeles
Vanessa Muros used The Kathleen and David Boochever Endowment Fund for Fieldwork and Scientific Analyses to fund her research at the Ancient Methone Archaeological Project in Greece. The project investigated the efficacy of two low-tech methods, UV Induced Visible Fluorescence (UVIVF) examination and the Raspail microchemical test for plant terpenoids, to identify organic residues in archaeological ceramics excavated from Ancient Methone (Pieria, Greece). The two techniques were tested on laboratory made ceramic tiles coated with four organic materials, three plant resins and a wax, that have been previously identified in archaeological ceramics from northern Greece and the north Aegean. The results of the experiments on both unaged and aged coatings will then be used to test vessels with visible residue or staining excavated from Ancient Methone. These techniques could be used on their own to characterize traces of organic residues in pottery or incorporated into a larger residue analysis project to help reduce the number of vessels needed for sampling or narrow the focus of the investigations.
Harvard University (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School)
Katherine D. van Schaik used The Kathleen and David Boochever Endowment Fund for Fieldwork and Scientific Analyses to fund her research at London and Bournemouth, UK. The project investigated bone lesion formation on using samples obtained from 32 skeletons from the 18th-19th century British Royal Navy, and integrated epigenetic data, advanced imaging analysis of fracture patterns and bone integrity, and traditional osteological analysis to identify the epigenetic mechanisms that underlie heterogeneity in frailty and selective mortality, specifically those associated with fractures and bone repair. The project was the first to bring together these modalities into one study. Findings provided explanations for heterogeneity in frailty with regard to bone structure and integrity and a model for how such work might be conducted with reference to other bone lesions.
Caroline Cheung used The Kathleen and David Boochever Endowment Fund for Fieldwork and Scientific Analyses to fund her research at Pompeii, Ostia, Morgantina, and Cosa in Italy. The project examined ceramic storage vessels, many of which feature ancient repairs executed in metal. The study employed gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCMS) to identify organic residues and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to identify metals in these storage vessels. Results helped researchers understand that these vessels contained, whether certain buildings such as shops used these pots for specific goods, whether there was mixed storage, and whether these vessels contained different contents during their use or were reused. Identifying the metals led the team to understand the value of the vessels and repairs, the processes in forming the repairs, and potentially the identity of the mender.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Brian Martens used The Kathleen and David Boochever Endowment Fund for Fieldwork and Scientific Analyses to fund his research at the Athenian Agora in Athens, Greece. The project used innovative scientific techniques to trace the sources of marble used by sculptors at Roman Athens. Archaeometric analyses (electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, stable isotope analysis, and X-ray diffraction) of samples from thirty-eight statuettes from the Agora were conducted. Documenting the sources of marbles used at Athens offers the possibility to reconstruct trade networks, and in turn produce a fuller panorama of the making and diffusion of art throughout the Roman-period Mediterranean basin.
University of Oregon
Alison Carter used The Kathleen and David Boochever Endowment Fund for Fieldwork and Scientific Analyses to fund her research at Angkor Wat, Cambodia. The project sought to identify an ideal method for undertaking soil chemistry analysis on occupation surfaces. Using a pXRF, in situ soil samples were taken and exported for analysis using ICP-OES and pXRF in a controlled laboratory setting. These different methods were compared to identify the most accurate measurement of elements in anthropogenic soils that can then inform researchers about potential activity areas on the house mound. The study aimed to provide a controlled comparison of different soil chemistry methods while also expanding our understanding of the daily lives of Angkorians.