Grants

Richard C. MacDonald Iliad Endowment for Archaeological Research

Archaeological Institute of America


Deadline: November 1, 2024

Announced: By March 1

Amount: Up to $20,000

Purpose: The Richard C. MacDonald Iliad Endowment for Archaeological Research will be awarded to projects that support research in regions that supply context to the study of Troy and generally help elucidate the Trojan War and its impact on ancient Mediterranean civilization. This can include but is not limited to Anatolia (modern Turkey), southeastern Europe, the Aegean and Crete during the third to first millennia B.C.E.

This grant will be awarded to projects that support research in regions that supply context to the study of Troy and generally help elucidate the Trojan War and its impact on ancient Mediterranean civilization. This can include but is not limited to Anatolia (modern Turkey), southeastern Europe, the Aegean and Crete during the third to first millennia B.C.E.

The grant may be used for the purchase of innovative technologies as part of the research, including but are not limited to remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), geophysical techniques, LiDAR, global positioning systems (GPS), and space imaging radar.

Requirements:

  • Applicants must be AIA members at the graduate student or professional level at the time of application and must have a PhD in archaeology or related field. The grant is open to all professionals working in the field. Applicants must be the director or co-director of the proposed research project. Permits must be obtained before funds are dispersed.
  • To be successful, applications must clearly demonstrate the impact of the project and the critical need for AIA funding. Although combining AIA funds with other sources of support is allowed, a MacDonald grant should be central to the success of the project.
  • 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. A final report with a reconciled budget is due within 6 months of the completion of the field season.
  • 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).
  • Winners are also encouraged to become an Interactive Dig on the AIA website. Full publication of the project results is encouraged, and plans for publication should be included in the grant application.

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.


Contact:

Fellowships Coordinator (Kati Albert)

fellowships@archaeological.org

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 MacDonald Iliad 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 MacDonald Iliad 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

Recipients


2024

Alvise Matessi

Bilkent University

With a 2024 grant from the AIA’s Richard C. MacDonald Iliad Endowment for Archaeological Research, Dr. Alvise Matessi (Postdoctoral Fellow, Bilkent University), will begin work this summer on a year-long quest to locate the ancient city of Tarhuntassa: the second capital of the Hittite Empire. While scholars have attempted to identify the location of this site using cuneiform treaties with the city’s contemporaries (including the city immortalized in the Iliad as Ilion) for nearly a century, none have succeeded—yet. Dr. Matessi will spearhead an interdisciplinary team of linguists, geochemists, archaeologists, and historians to examine the landscapes, texts, and materials that originated from Tarhuntassa to find its location. The project includes using analytical tools common in archaeology such as GIS, pXRF, archaeometry, and geochemical analysis. If they are successful in finding the lost city, not only would they help advance the archaeological understanding of ancient western Asia, but they might also demonstrate how many other unidentified pre-modern economic and political centers can be found with multi-disciplinary methods and existing datasets.


James Osborne
James Osborne

2023

James Osborne

University of Chicago

James Osborne will use the Richard C. MacDonald Iliad Endowment for Archaeological Research to fund the Türkmen-Karahöyük Archaeological Project. With over 3,000 years of occupation, a vast areal expanse, and inscriptions being discovered even on its surface, Türkmen-Karahöyük may be one of Turkey’s most important archaeological sites. This is especially true during the Late Bronze Age, when the Hittite Empire apparently used it as a regional center, and the Iron Age, when it became the capital of a kingdom that rivaled Phrygia itself. The Türkmen-Karahöyük Archaeological Project promises to illuminate this long-forgotten and never-explored city.


Brendan Burke
Brendan Burke

2023

Brendan Burke

American School of Classical Studies at Athens

Brendan Burke will use the Richard C. MacDonald Iliad Endowment for Archaeological Research to fund his 2023 excavation at the site of Eleon in Greece. His excavation and survey at ancient Eleon in central Greece is revealing not a palace, but a smaller community that contributed to the Greek contingent in the Trojan War. Ancient Eleon has a long history, starting with a monumental burial complex contemporary with the Age of Agamemnon. During the Palace period, it is a recorded in Linear B text and eventually suffers the same fate as the Mycenaean palaces. The site is remembered and reoccupied with the construction of a massive, polygonal circuit wall in the late Archaic period. His project is uncovering a site once only known from the text of Homer, ancient Eleon.


2022

Jacqueline Meier

University of North Florida

Jacqueline Meier used the Richard C. MacDonald Iliad Endowment for Archaeological Research to fund her 2022 excavation at the Petsas House in Mycenae.  The project aimed to study the remains of animals excavated from a household at Mycenae to better understand how human-animal interactions linked Aegean societies during the Late Bronze Age by collecting new evidence of the livestock species, wild animals, and pets recovered from different contexts of Petsas House. Study of the actual animal remains from Mycenae will provide a more nuanced view of the economic and symbolic behaviors with animals during the Late Helladic period, providing valuable comparative information to assess how animal roles changed in later periods by the time of Homer.


2021

Müge Durusu-Tanrıöver

Bilkent University

Müge Durusu-Tanrıöver used the Richard C. MacDonald Iliad Endowment for Archaeological Research to fund her 2021 excavation at the district of Polatlı (Province of Ankara, Turkey). The project aimed to intensively explore Polatlı (western Ankara) through field survey and archaeometric analyses to offer a bottom-up archaeological perspective of local communities forged through long-lasting conflict between political powers to their east and west.


MacDonald grant winner, Donald Easton at Troy (Photo courtesy of Donald Easton)

2020

Donald Easton

Independent Scholar

Donald Easton used the Richard C. MacDonald Iliad Endowment for Archaeological Research to fund his 2020 excavation at Troy. The project aimed to perform analysis on up to 26 samples of animal bone to be selected from two tons of specimens taken from the Troy excavations of 1932-38 and now preserved in the Osteo-Archaeological Research Laboratory, University of Stockholm. The purpose was to test whether there was a 170-year gap between Troy III and Troy IV and, consequently, whether a hypothesised intervening “Proto-IV” period existed. The project aimed also to determine whether consequent late dates for Troy IV and V, of c. 2000-1750 BC, are correct.

Read about Donald Easton's experience

2020

Bonna Daix Wescoat

Emory University

Bonna Daix Wescoat used the Richard C. MacDonald Iliad Endowment for Archaeological Research to fund her 2020 project, The Samothrace Exploration Project. The project aimed to shed light on occupation and land use on Samothrace across the third to first millennium BCE, and its relationship to contemporary human activity in the Troad, northern Aegean, and Balkan hinterland. With the MacDonald grant, the project undertook a LiDAR survey of the rugged and often wooded landscapes around Middle Bronze Age and Early Iron Age sites. This data will form the basis for the first integrated investigation of settlement and transition across the island and over time.


Florence Gaignerot-Driessen
Florence Gaignerot-Driessen

2019

Florence Gaignerot-Driessen

French School at Athens

Florence Gaignerot-Driessen used the Richard C. MacDonald Iliad Endowment for Archaeological Research to fund her 2019 project, The Tombs of Aidonia Preservation, Heritage, and explOration Synergasia (TAPHOS). The project aimed to addresses the problem of Homeric archaeology from the particular perspective of tumuli, as emblematic monuments in the Iliad. It argues in favor of a Homeric archaeology that is not purely illustrative but considers archaeological realities in the context of cultural, social and political patterns characterizing the epics. The project was based on the tumuli recovered from the Early Iron Age cemetery of Anavlochos (Eastern Crete), which were brought to light in 2018 by the Anavlochos Project.


2019

Kim Shelton

University of California Berkeley

Kim Shelton used the Richard C. MacDonald Iliad Endowment for Archaeological Research to fund her 2019 project, The Tombs of Aidonia Preservation, Heritage, and explOration Synergasia (TAPHOS). The project aimed to elucidate how Mycenaean mortuary practices and ancestor worship were adopted beyond palatial sites throughout the Bronze Age through the systematic excavation and interpretation of recovered materials from the Bronze Age cemetery at Aidonia Greece.


Deborah Carlson
Deborah Carlson

2018

Deborah Carlson

Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University

Deborah Carlson used the Richard C. MacDonald Iliad Endowment for Archaeological Research to fund her 2018 Underwater Archaeological Survey of Gökçeada and Bozcaada, Turkey. The project aimed to conduct an underwater survey of Turkey’s only two Aegean islands, Gökçeada and Bozcaada, which have not yet been the focus of comprehensive, systematic, rigorous underwater survey in order to discover ancient preserved seagoing ships which sank while sailing toward or waiting to enter the Sea of Marmara.

Read about Deborah Carlson's experience

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