Paying to dig up old bones and pots
October 7, 2007 6:52 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find out about paleontology or archaeology "tourism"?

Years and years ago I once saw an advert where you could go on established digs and do some digging yourself. Basically you were paying for the privilege of doing someone elses job. You got to do something interesting and dig some stuf up, the got free workers and the money helped pay for the whole thing. Well I'm guessing that's how it worked.

Do such things still exist? Google isn't giving me the goods but I'm guessing it's through universities.
posted by dasfreak to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Archeology for the Public

Archaeological Institute of America

If you pick one, report back and let us know how it goes. I've always wanted to do one of these.
posted by olinerd at 7:06 PM on October 7, 2007

Archaeologist POV here, and you didn't give a location.
IIRC, Earthwatch is the biggest tourism dig collection. Things run through universities or local groups are called 'field schools' and you can search them through the AIA's website. Then there's local societies (like CT has 'friends of the state archaeologist' volunteers, which I have no association with) and the feds. is run by the Forest Service.

A lot of places will just take volunteers, as well, although you'll have to put yourself up if it's out in, well, the field.
posted by cobaltnine at 7:10 PM on October 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

There's a big segment of the tourism industry devoted to this, and the tourism industry luuuuurves the internet. Googling paleontology vacation and archaeology vacation should be a good way to get started. (Just, as always when researching tourism on the internet, make sure you get some independent reviews as well once you narrow down your options.)
posted by occhiblu at 7:39 AM on October 8, 2007

Response by poster:
Yeah I tried "tourism" instead of "vacation". Curse those keywords! :)
posted by dasfreak at 10:48 PM on October 8, 2007

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