If you've ever wanted to be an archaeologist or a museum curator, now is your chance. A new open source crowdsourcing platform, called Micropasts, is asking the public to help catalogue more than 30,000 prehistoric artifacts discovered over the past two centuries.
The project—a joint initiative of the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology—has photographed hoards of Bronze Age (2500 BC – 800 BC) metal objects and scanned thousands of paper records of additional artifacts. Volunteers who register at the site are asked to transcribe information that has been hand-written on reference cards or to use an online tool to trace outlines of objects for 3D imaging.
"This information has long been known to be an extremely important untapped resource," says Bronze Age curator Neil Wilkin, who adds:
"Metal finds are not only crucial forms of evidence for dating Britain's prehistoric past, but also tell us a great deal about prehistoric society and economy. Once we have digitized the thousands of objects in this catalogue….The result will be the largest national database of prehistoric metal finds anywhere in the …. This will allow rethinking of almost everything we currently know about the use of metal in Bronze Age Britain, giving us a far more comprehensive view of our prehistoric past."