The Rust Family Foundation is principally interested in funding the development of primary archaeological evidence that can help answer major questions about cultural development throughout the world.

The program emphasizes the following research goals:

  • Initial explorations in regions and/or chronological periods in which archaeological data has been previously lacking, and which may make significant breakthroughs in understanding human cultures.
  • Research which pertains to basic questions of human origins or of human cultural development (e.g. development of agriculture, origins of complex society, migrations, trade, etc.).
  • Projects that document, protect, and conserve important archaeological sites or artifacts from known and immediate destruction.
  • Research that emphasizes new scientific methods or the use of established methods in new and innovative ways.
  • Field archaeology, post-excavation analyses, processing, and pre-publication research.

Funding can be requested up to $10,000, although the majority of grants are made in the range of $5,000-$7,000 and are intended to support small but worthy projects. These include initial field seasons, specific components of larger projects, post-excavation analysis, processing and publication, as well as conservation and preservation projects.


All proposals are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis and grants will be made until the allocated funds for that year have been fully distributed.

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