March 19, 2012 by Lorna Richardson
The 29th February saw the launch of the DigVentures Project ‘Flag Fen Lives’. From 23rd July – 12th August, the DigVentures team will be working with Peterborough-based cultural management organisation Vivacity to excavate some of the Bronze Age site of Flag Fen.
Flag Fen, near Peterborough, is internationally acknowledged as one of the most important Bronze Age sites in the world. Due to extensive drainage and development of the surrounding area, the archaeology is vulnerable. The 2012 season of fieldwork there will be Europe’s first ever crowd-funded and crowd-sourced archaeological excavation. The funding window launched on the 29th of February runs until the end of April, and the project needs to have raised £25,000 to support this summer’s project.
The project was born-digital, and the team are busy using a variety of social media platforms to publicise the project. After exploding onto the digital archaeology scene online, they have sucessfully used Twitter, Facebook and the bright, colourful website to draw attention to their innovative quest for public funding. The ‘site hut’ area on their website will contain regular site updates, and provide exclusive information about the project for subscribers. The project has had a high-profile start, with plentiful publicity in the national media and online, and the enthusiasm of the team for social media as a vehicle for publicity is infectious. Their use of social media is off the scale of previous projects. How far this works to raise public interest looks to be a useful test of social media in archaeology, and this is a digital project to keep an eye on. You can subscribe to the project, or purchase days, weekends or week-long experience during the summer fieldwork on the Dig Ventures website here..