Monday, 31 March 2008

Asia Minor Exploration Fund: Funding

One of the constant refrains of the BSA Managing Committee in the early years concerned finance. Yet this is hardly surprising given the demands from other archaeological projects in the eastern Mediterranean. George Macmillan was Honorary Treasurer of the Asia Minor Exploration Fund (AMEF) and made constant appeals:
  • 1882: £520 raised
  • 1883: £300 spent on travels in Anatolia; further appeal for £500.
  • 1890: appeal for £500 to cover the 1890 season
  • 1891: appeal for £400 to cover the 1891 season
  • 1893: £150 raised (of which £100 from the Royal Geographical Society)
  • 1893: appeal for £2000 to excavate at Derbe or Lystra
The BSA students were often involved with the work of AMEF from its earliest years, notably David Hogarth, John A.R. Munro, and Vincent W. Yorke.

The appeal for funds took a nationalistic tone:
It would be little to the credit of England if want of funds should oblige Professor Ramsay to leave the completion of his task to foreign hands. (1890)

One might wish that a foreign nation had not stepped in to a field which, with more liberality on the part of Englishmen, could have been covered completely by our own explorers, but the work is so vast that in the interests of knowledge the application of foreign zeal and money is not altogether to be regretted. (1891)

Very much yet remains to be done, and if the work so well begun by a small band of Englishmen is not to be left unfinished or transferred to foreign hands, English liberality must supply the funds necessary for its continuance. (1893)
It is little wonder that the BSA was only raising some £500 a year when there were such competing demands on the same subscribers.

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