I need help. [Yes, yes. I know! But I'm not talking about that.] What I mean is that I've been asked to return to Pod hradem Cave (Czech Republic) in June and July 2012, to take part in a research project that went into the field for the first time last July.
As some of you know, Pod hradem was the site on which I based my Ph.D. (Gargett 1996), and which I'd never seen until last year. I'm one of only three people alive who've published research based on the 1950s excavations--the other two are the archaeologists that actually did the excavating back then, Karel Valoch and Rudolf Musil. Last year Ladislav Nejman, the Principal Investigator, asked me if I'd like to visit the excavation. Thrilled at the opportunity, I paid my own way and took leave without pay. Lad has asked back because I was able to make a substantive contribution to the project during my visit, and he's keen to have me back. Unfortunately the project budget is severely constrained and may not cover the expense of getting me over there. I still have to pay the rent while I'm away, and the bills that come due once a month. So I can't take leave without pay. I'm left with no choice but to beg!
You may remember that a few days ago I asked the readership if there were funding sources for those of us 'independent researchers' who don't have an institutional affiliation. One concrete suggestion was to use a PayPal Donate button. So, it is with great humility and some trepidation that I have, this day, placed such a button on the Subversive Archaeologist. It will remain in the uppermost position on the sidebar until such time as I reach my goal of $5000, which would cover my travel expenses and whatever time I would need to take without pay from my employer, or I don't reach my goal and descend into a pit of despair deeper than one of Solecki's soundings at Shanidar [hyperbole mine, rhg].
I'm as surprised as anyone at the positive response to my very young blog. In that regard I note that today Robert J. (Bob) Muckle says some very nice things about the Subversive Archaeologist in his January contribution to the American Anthropological Association's Anthropology News. Heck. I was happy enough thinking that people were visiting the site. It's even better knowing that many of you like the content that you see put up here, and that you (evidently) keep coming back! So, if you appreciate the material that I publish here, I would very, very much appreciate whatever you could spare to help me get to the Czech Republic again this year.
Whether or not you're able to make a contribution, I want to thank you for your continued support of the Subversive Archaeologist. I'll keep coming back as long as you do!