Funding Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of North Dakota
As the readers of this blog certainly know, this year has been a banner year for Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of North Dakota. The success of field programs in both Greece and in Cyprus has been made possible by the support from a whole number of institutions – from private foundations like the Institute for Aegean Prehistory to the various universities that work together to make our research program possible, like Ohio State, UND, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Messiah College. The generosity of these institutions, however, only provided part of the support than an active research and education program in the Mediterranean requires.
We are fortunate to have a small, but dedicated group of private donors who have supported our work. Thanks to these donors we have collected over $15,000 for the study of the material culture of the Mediterranean world at UND. Over the next two years, however, we hope to add another $15,000 to take the next step in developing our efforts to bring the Mediterranean world to the University and to develop a long-term presence for the University in Greece and Cyprus.
We have three clear goals that contributions made over the next year will benefit:
1) We’d like to become a member institution at the American School of Classical Studies. The American School is the official representative of all American archaeological research in Greece. Supporting this institution ensures that faculty and students at the University have an academic home in Greece for their research and teaching. Membership for a University like UND is approximately $500 a year.
2) Mediterranean Archaeology at UND is committed to graduate education both in Grand Forks, but more importantly in the Mediterranean. Over the past 3 years, we’ve had 5 UND students (and more than 10 students from other graduate institutions) work with us in Cyprus . This program has not only allowed graduate students at UND to gain hands on experience in archaeology, but also brought them in contact with their peers from around the world. It costs around $3,000 dollars for a graduate student to come and work in Cyprus. We’d like to create a $1000 scholarship to defray some of the costs of travel and work on Cyprus. The best Mediterranean archaeology programs in the US provide funding for their students to do fieldwork in the Mediterranean, and we feel that this a good investment in the continuing development of our program.
3) Computers play a more and more central role in Mediterranean archaeology. They are central to processing the archaeological data in the field, analyzing results of our summer seasons on campus, and disseminating our findings to our classes and the public. Blogs, video, podcasts, interactive webpages, and eventually an online Museum will provide almost unprecedented access to the whole range of Mediterranean archaeology to students at UND. To maximize the potential of the “new media”, however, we need to commit to developing “cyber infrastructure.” This blanket terms includes everything from access to digital storage and space on a maintained servers, to funds to support the development of innovative techniques to deliver both archaeological data (of interest to researchers) and multimedia experiences that bring the Mediterranean world to our students and the general public. $5000 over the next two years would go a long way to ensuring that our program of research and education has the high tech tools to complement the opportunities our field work in Cyprus and Greece have provided.
Funds raised from private donors are particular crucial for developing the kind of infrastructure that Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of North Dakota needs to succeed and grow. For information on how you can support our work, contact me (Bill Caraher) or Mike Meyer at the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Dakota.