Kathleen and David Boochever Endowment for Fieldwork and Scientific Analyses

Archaeological Institute of America

Deadline: November 1, 2024

Announced: By March 1

Amount: up to $5,000

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.


  • Applicants must be AIA members at the graduate student or professional level at the time of application, with a PhD in archaeology or a related field, and are expected to have an academic affiliation. If the project requires a permit, applicants should also be the primary permit holders; if the applicant is not the primary permit holder, the application should be accompanied by a letter of support from the primary permit holder. Awardees must have the permit in hand before funds will be disbursed.
  • Awardees should submit a photo and a brief project description (one to three sentences) for inclusion on the AIA website and social media at the time the award is made.
  • Awardees must make a formal report to the AIA at the conclusion of the award period. This report should include a brief illustrated summary, written for a general audience, that can be published on the AIA’s website.
  • Awardees are expected to submit poster or fieldwork abstracts for presentation at the Annual Meeting (submissions will be evaluated in the general pool, and acceptance is not guaranteed).
  • For projects that generate digital data, publication of the dataset is especially encouraged, ideally in an open-access format.

Review the Follow-Up Check List for previous winners.

Non-Discrimination Statement

The AIA welcomes applicants of all backgrounds and is committed to equal opportunity for all. Under no circumstances will the AIA discriminate against qualified individuals on the basis of race, color, religious creed, retaliation, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender, disability, mental illness, genetics, marital status, age, veteran status, or any other basis prohibited under applicable law.

Fieldwork And Families

As part of the Archaeological Institute of America’s ongoing commitment to fieldwork and families, reasonable line items for the care of dependent and elderly family members are allowable expenses for AIA grants, fellowships, and scholarships.


Fellowships Coordinator (Kati Albert)

Application Process

  • Applications should be submitted via the online form accessible below
  • All supplementary documents should be uploaded as PDF files
  • Applicants must prepare a budget using the provided budget template which should be converted to PDF before submission. NOTE: AIA funds CANNOT be used to cover overhead or PI salaries.

Proposals will be reviewed according to the following criteria (roughly in this order of importance):

  • The fit between the project and the mission of the Boochever Endowment
  • The impact the research will have on our understanding of the past and on the use of technology in archaeology
  • The level of innovation in the use of technology
  • The feasibility of the project itself (how realistic its methods and goals are, in conjunction with its budget and timeline)
  • The possession of, or the documented ability to acquire, the necessary permits (if applicable)
  • The impact support from the Boochever Endowment will have on the overall success of the project (we assume that few projects will derive all their support from this source alone)
  • The qualifications of the applicant (training, demonstrated research productivity, knowledge of/experience in the research region)
  • The quality and feasibility of the publication plan, and (if digital data are involved) of the data management plan

Application Form


Photo of Rachel Horowitz


Rachel Horowitz

Washington State University

How did chert lithic resources circulate in the lowland Maya region? Dr. Rachel Horowitz (Washington State University) will use a 2024 grant from the AIA’s Kathleen and David Boochever Endowment Fund for Fieldwork and Scientific Analyses to find the answer at El Perú-Waka’ in Guatemala, one of the most densely populated sites in the ancient Maya lowlands. Horowitz and her colleagues will examine a collection of previously unanalyzed chert artifacts from fifteen years of excavations at the site that will offer a new perspective of ancient Maya trade networks and stone economies. The project will use detailed analysis and chemical sourcing of chert stone tools, including Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, to trace the chert from its extraction through production, exchange, use, and eventual discard. This novel approach to tool analysis will provide new evidence about chert tool production and trade in the region, as well as illuminate how ancestral Maya stone trade economies functioned.


Isaac Ogloblin Ramirez

University of Haifa

Isaac Ogloblin-Ramirez will use the Kathleen and David Boochever Endowment Fund for Fieldwork and Scientific Analyses to fund his research with The Early Occupation of Sicily (EOS). The EOS project will investigate the now submerged landscape that humans must have crossed when coming to the Island during the Last Glacial Maximum. The team of geo-archaeologists will explore underwater caves and will use geo-archaeological and classical archaeological techniques to reconstruct how humans lived and moved across these coastal environments in prehistory. EOS will produce unique new data on human movements, occupation, and interactions with Island environments at the onset of the “Anthropocene.” The project presents a uniquely innovative approach to investigating submerged prehistoric multi-stratified sites. The successful application of these techniques will open a new area of research not just for underwater archaeology, but for marine sciences in general. Additionally, the identification and documentation of underwater and partially submerged sites is essential to counteract the loss of archaeological deposits due to sea erosion and climate induced sea level rises. Critically EOS will work closely with the Italian Coast Guards, local stakeholders, recreational divers, and fisherman to carry out public outreach and public training programs to promote preservation of this unique cultural heritage.


Vanessa Muros

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.


Katherine D. van Schaik

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

Princeton University

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.

Brian Martens
Brian Martens


Brian Martens

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.


Alison Carter

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.

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