John, I can see this from both sides. On the one hand there is no doubt
that a big project like the Mary Rose which was iconic enough to get
national media interest was a very good investment for commercial
companies to get publicity. On the other hand, I run a small village
website and most local businesses won't get off their backside to give
me their details for free let alone pay me to include them in the directory.
And you are right - you need to have the time and money to sell what you
are doing and ideally someone with the ability to sell.
And there are very few people who can be a good archaeologist and a good
salesman and a good financier - so unless it's a reasonably large
project one has to make do with the skills available.
Which is why I'm intrigued by the idea of putting together a huge
archaeological project akin to the space mission. Because maybe it could
assist an awful lot of people who couldn't be helped on their own.
I've also noticed that "2020" is coming up ... and 20:20 vision makes
"seeing clearly" a nice hook.
That suggests some kind of imaging ... like Lidar or aerial photography.
But, I'm reminded of the BBC project based on "doomsday" where they
wanted everyone to detail their locality. And I'm just wondering how
many people could be persuaded to go out and do a geophys survey if you
lent them the equipment ... and how much that equipment would cost.
On 22/11/2014 08:33, John Wood wrote:
> It is hoped that 'crowdfunding' will cover the cost of the moon mission.
> Funding something by public subscription is nothing new, it has been going
> on since classical times, but with the powerful communication tool of the
> web the potential is greater than ever.
> It enables people to donate money to projects that they woud like to
> support themselves rather than their taxes going onto whatever the
> government decides.
> I have always said that the archaeological sector has chronically
> misunderstood its own financial potential. The problem that archaeology
> suffers from is a moralistic element that the past belongs to everyone so
> it shouldn't profit the individual. However it is only the archaeologist
> who thinks this, the commercial sector that so often benefits from our
> heritage, tourism etc, rubs their hands whenever another attraction appears
> in their locality.
> Each summer London fills with tourists from around the world, they don't
> come for the weather but to experience our heritage. Heritage sector
> employees see little of the billions generated by this tourism instead it
> goes to those who make a living off the back of people's interests.
> There are a great number of people worldwide with an interest in the past.
> Most if these rarely get the opportunity to experience the past first hand,
> but are more than willing to do their bit for those who do!
> During the early 80s there were a lot of archaeologists disgruntled by how
> much money was being spent on the Mary Rose project. Very little of the
> money spent came from the government, millions were generated especially
> from the US because when people became aware if the project they were more
> than willing to support it.
> The Mary Rose project approached many large commercial organisations with
> the hope of funding. Marks & Spencer were not willing to donate any money
> but what they did instead profoundly transformed the projects funding.
> Instead of giving money they seconded one of their marketing executives to
> the project for a year. The executive, Ian Dahl, marketed the project with
> a commercial interest using the customer's interest in the past as its
> product. He once told me how he found it quite remarkable that one could
> generate so much money from such an intangible product.
> On 21 Nov 2014 22:43, "Michael" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> On 21/11/2014 22:28, John Wood wrote:
>>> Perhaps we could boldly go where no man has gone before, and make a mint
>>> for British archaeology too!
>>> I am sure loads of people would pay to have something personal put into a
>>> time capsule on the moon but I bet they would be equally compelled if
>>> instead one was buried under the centre of Rockhenge.
>>> As we all know if aliens are going to land anywhere, at anytime, in the
>>> future it is more than likely it will be at Rockhenge. Or at least it
>>> wouldn't be too difficult to make willing donors think such!
>>> On 21 Nov 2014 17:02, "John Clark" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> That's an excellent idea.