The biennial British Archaeological Awards are the most prestigious awards in British archaeology. Since their foundation in 1976, they have grown till they now encompass 12 awards covering every aspect of British archaeology.

BRITISH ARCHAEOLOGICAL AWARDS 2002

LIVERPOOL TOWN HALL, 7 NOVEMBER, 2002

The 2002 Awards were presented by Sir Neil Cossons, Chairman of English Heritage at the historic Town Hall in Liverpool at on 7 November: Sir Neil is a graduate of Liverpool University.

The biennial British Archaeological Awards are the most prestigious awards in British archaeology. Since their foundation in 1976, they have grown till they encompass 12 Awards covering every aspect of British archaeology.

The Awards reward good practice and acknowledge the help which archaeologists have received from others. The Awards are given for the sponsorship of archaeology, the discovery of artefacts, the presentation of archaeological projects to the public, the best re-use of a historic building, the reporting of archaeology by the media, the best film or video, the best book, the best field project, and the ‘Silver Trowel’ for the most innovative project in British archaeology. Many of these Awards are sponsored by business.

They acknowledge the role of the professional and the valuable contribution of the independent archaeologist. They encourage the archaeologists of the future and recognize the wide and growing interest in archeaology and the past.

Professor David Breeze, Chairman of the British Archaeological Awards, said:

‘British archaeology owes a great debt to British industry and business, which gives it such stalwart support. Developers fund the excavation of hundreds of sites each year bringing to a wide audience valuable information about the history of these islands. They support research projects, excavations, the improved management and presentation of archaeological sites and the re-use of historic buildings. The high calibre of the contestants for the British Archaeological Awards is a clear demonstration that this is money well spent.’

For further information contact:

Dr David Breeze, Chairman BAA
Historic Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Edinburgh EH9 1SH
Tel: 0131 668 8724

New Contact
Caroline Raison
c/o The Society of Antiquaries
Burlington House
Piccadilly
London W1J 0BE

Old Contact
Alison Sheridan, Hon Secretary BAA
Department of Archaeology
National Museums of Scotland
Chambers Street
Edinburgh EH1 1JF
Tel: 0131 2474051


YOUNG ARCHAEOLOGIST OF THE YEAR AWARD

The Young Archaeologist of the Year Award is supported by the National Trust. Each year the Young Archaeologists’ Club, part of the Council for British Archaeology, has a competition to encourage the archaeologists of the future.

As 2002 marked the 50th anniversary of the Queen’s Accession to the Throne, the Young Archaeologists’ Club decided to invite contestants to design a menu fit for a King or Queen.living in any period in Britain up to 1945. The menu was to be accompanied by a written explanation of the chosen food items using archaeological and documentary evidence; a brief description of the person for whom the menu was intended, along with details of any serving implements and tableware used.

The choice of competition proved to be very popular as the well-researched, and imaginatively designed entries clearly showed. The choice of food items ran the gamut of the edible and not so edible, presenting, as they did, an assortment of starters, main courses and sweets, designed to make any gastronome’s mouth water or, in some cases, stomach churn.

This year the Award was sponsored by the National Trust. Thanks to their support and that of the Norton Priory Museum and Gardens, the Young Archaeologists’ Club is able to offer a special prize of a trip to the Museum where chefs will prepare and cook a selection of the more appealing dishes from the winners’ menus for them to taste. This event, which will take place tomorrow, is also being covered by the Radio 4 children’s programme Go4it.

The Awards is organised into two categories, those from participants aged 9-12 and those aged 13-16. The unenviable task of judging this year’s entries went to TV Chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Hugh was very impressed by the high standard of entries. The detail and research, he thought, was remarkable and he found it incredibly difficult to pick just one winner from each category.

In the 9-12 age group the winner was chosen for a number of reasons. This young lady’s Victorian banquet seemed to come alive on the pages, which utilized her own photography, illustration and collage to great effect. It was accompanied by a stunning and authentic menu and included plenty of background information, not only for how the dishes were prepared but even how the produce was grown. A really superb entry which clearly showed a great enthusiasm for her topic coupled with excellent research skills.

Congratulations to Sián Rigby, Whitington, Shropshire.

In the 13-16 age group the winner was chosen for her wonderful Roman menu. The entry included the ingredients and methods for cooking a three course Roman meal which included archaeological evidence for the food items chosen, the tableware that would have been used and even the seating arrangements! The entry was well researched and beautifully illustrated with pencil drawings.

Congratulations to Clemency Cooper, Spalding, Lincolnshire

For further information contact:
Loraine Bathhurst,
YAC Co-ordinator
Council for British Archaeology
St Mary’s House
66 Bootham
York, YO30 7BZ
Tel: 01904 671417
(Now Nicky Milsted)


THE TARMAC FINDERS AWARD

The Finders Award, sponsored by Tarmac Group, is for the best non-archaeologist who by exercising intelligent alertness in the course of his/her routine, non-archaeological employment or activity accidentally chances upon archaeological artefacts/remains and causes them to be reported to the appropriate authorities.

All six entries demonstrated the keen observation and recognition of artefacts which have contributed significantly to archaeological knowledge, and some exemplary instances of prompt reporting to the appropriate authorities. Three of these finds are nationally significant discoveries, adding immeasurably to our understanding of British prehistory.

In the end, there were two entries that stood out from the rest. Highly commended is Michael Chambers’ discovery of a pre-Anglian handaxe which he made whilst beachcombing along the Norfolk coast. Recovery of this tremendously important find provided an archaeological context for other beach-derived material, pushing back the date of human occupation in Britain by 200,000 years to over 700,000 years’ ago. His reporting of the find to professional archaeologists at Norfolk Museums Service led to research excavations on the East Anglian coastline which otherwise would not have been carried out, leading to the discovery of further flint tools and bison bones bearing butchery marks.
Michael Chambers receives a highly commended certificate.

In October 2001, a digger driver, George Caton, working for the Osborne family near Mill House Farm at Lopen in Somerset, who noticed a number of small tile fragments whilst excavating topsoil. Nigel Osborne with George Caton then searched carefully and discovered part of a Roman mosaic pavement. Realising this could be an important archaeological discovery, they wanted to report it to the appropriate authorities, but did not know who to contact. They turned to Yellow Pages, looked up Archaeology, and found Exeter Archaeology advertising their services. After a telephone call, they were directed to the Somerset County Council Archaeologists and, following a site inspection, the discovery was confirmed as the well-preserved remains of a previously unrecorded mosaic fragment. A professionally-run excavation, with support from English Heritage, followed, revealing a 4th century mosaic of geometric pattern with a series of images within the main pattern of wine cups, a small fish and a very impressive dolphin. This regionally-important find from a previously unknown villa complex has stimulated negotiations to secure the long-term protection of the site and the development of a local heritage project, co-ordinated by the Lopen Local History Group, with funding they have raised through public events and from the Local Heritage Initiative Fund, to construct and document a replica panel of the mosaic and to tell the story to local people.

The winners of the Tarmac Finders Award are Mr George Caton and Mr Nigel Osborne.

For Further Information Contact:

Dr Robin Holgate
Chairman: Judging Panel
Head of Collections and Information
The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester
Liverpool Road
Castlefield
Manchester M3 4FP
Tel: 0161 833 0027

Bob Croft
County Archaeologist
Somerset County Council
County Hall
Taunton TA1 4DY
Tel: 01823 356089


THE WEDGWOOD SPONSORSHIP AWARD

To be awarded for the best private sector sponsorship of archaeology by an individual, company, organization or charity in the United Kingdom during the last two years.

Sponsorship plays a major role in archaeology, and while PPG16, and the planning process, ensures that rescue excavations are now properly undertaken, there is still great need for sponsorship if archaeology is to raise its sights beyond the restricted horizons of rescue archaeology. If we are to have new projects and new ideas in archaeology, we must always be seeking new and innovative sponsorship.

This year finalists for the Sponsorship Award, again supported by the Wedgwood Group, represent two outstanding examples of sponsorship, both of very different type, the one a follow-up of a rescue excavation, the other very welcome support for perhaps our most important long-term research excavation.

Firstly, the runner up. There are frequently projects that need to extend beyond the strict planning requirements. At 30 Gresham Street London, some giant Roman wells were discovered, at the bottom of which were the iron and timber remains of a bucket chain lifting mechanism for raising water. Land Securities plc, who were developing the land had already paid for the excavation and the cost of writing it up, but they realised that finds of this importance should be put on display, so they sponsored a temporary exhibition ‘Roman Waterworks’ with a working schematic model of a tread-wheel system. In addition, they also enhanced the educational work of the museum by sponsoring ‘The Dig’, a simulated exercise for children in which 1750 children and their families ‘excavated’ sand-filled trenches in the 10 weeks it was open from August to October 2001.

The Awards therefore names Land Securities plc as excellent runners up, represented by Mr Trevor Mitchell.

The long-running excavations at Vindolanda beside Hadrian’s Wall, with their discovery of numerous writing tablets have become one of the most important excavations anywhere in the Roman empire. However, in 2001 Vindolanda faced a crisis when the advent of foot and mouth disease meant that the number of visitors on whom they depend for much of their income fell by three-quarters, and they feared they would have to close. At this junction, the Northern Rock Foundation, which was formed in 1997, when the Northern Rock Building Society converted to a plc, stepped in and made a grant of £31,000 towards the protection of their 2001 core excavation activity and research programme, with a promise of a further £31,000 for 2002. This sponsorship effectively saved their archaeological research programme, and the whole of the volunteer season.

For this significant financial contribution, the winer of the Wedgwood Sponsorship Award is the Northern Rock Foundation, which will be received by their representative Peter Wainwright.

Further Information Contact:

Andrew Selkirk
Chairman: Judging Panel
Current Archaeology
9 Nassington Road
London NW3 2TX
Tel: 02 7435 7517

Patricia Birley
Director, Vindolanda Trust
Chesterholm Museum
Bardon Mill
Hexham
Northumberland NE47 7JN
Tel: 01434 344 277


THE HERITAGE IN BRITAIN AWARD

The Heritage in Britain Award sponsored by English Heritage, Historic Scotland and Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments is for the best project securing the long term preservation of a site or monument.

Finalists:
  • British Waterways, Anderton Boat Lift Restoration
  • Corporation of London Art Gallery Roman Amphitheatre
  • Severn Trent Water, Creswell Groundwork and Creswell Heritage Trust, Creswell Crags Conservation and Management
  • Perth and Kinross Council, Restoration and Display of Greyfriars Cemetery, Perth

For high profile sites or monuments of recognised international importance it can be comparatively easy to galvanise organisations and raise funds to achieve improvements in their preservation and presentation. For monuments of more local or regional importance this can be a much more difficult task. Accordingly, the final decision in the Heritage in Britain award for 2002 was extremely difficult, indicating both the quality of the applications and the range of sites and monuments involved.

Creswell Crags is a Palaeolithic site of international renown and importance, as recognised by several designations. Unfortunately, the site and the archaeological and palaeontological collections emanating from it have suffered from neglect, including construction of a sewage plant. In 1990 Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire County Councils established the Creswell Heritage Trust as a vehicle to improve the site. The Creswell Initiative was launched in conjunction with Groundwork Creswell, as a result of which Severn Trent Water made the crucial decision not to upgrade the sewage works but to construct a new one elsewhere at a substantial increased cost to them. That financial commitment helped secure grants from the European Development Fund, East Midlands Development Agency, English Nature, English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and co-operation from Bolsover and Bassetlaw District Councils, Resource, Lafarge and local communities. As a result, a major programme of improvements in conservation, interpretation, access and collections management was begun.

We are pleased to award Severn-Trent Water, Groundwork Creswell and Creswell Heritage Trust a Highly Commended certificate. They are represented by Geoff Nickolds, and Gary Mills.

The Anderton Boat Lift, located to the north west of Northwich, near Manchester, links the Trent and Mersey Canal to the Weaver Navigation. Built in 1875, it was the world’s first boatlift, operating hydraulically to raise or lower vessels through the 17 metre elevation which separated these two waterways. British Waterways has recently undertaken a major restoration project. Because the steel structure was so badly corroded it proved impossible to restore the electronic mechanical operation as originally planned. But rather than abort the project British Waterways determined to restore the original hydraulic operation instead. The whole structure was structurally assessed, elements repaired and reassembled, a huge engineering task. Finally, the surrounding area was landscaped, involving the removal of extensive contamination materials from dredging of the waterways, and a visitor centre was constructed.

We are delighted to declare British Waterways, represented here by Martin Clarke, runner up for the Heritage in Britain Award for the initiative shown in their imaginative reconstruction of the world’s first boat lift.

The Greyfriars burial ground in Perth, located close to the city centre, has survived relatively unchanged through five centuries of urban development. It was established as the main public burial ground for the city of Perth in the late 16th century on the grounds of the destroyed Franciscan monastery, and continued in that role for over three centuries. It hosts a unique collection of carved burial monuments, primarily of the 17th and 18th centuries, which is unrivalled elsewhere in Scotland, offering a wealth of information of the social history of the city. However, the graveyard had fallen into a state of serious disrepair over the last few decades and has been closed since 1984. Commencing in 1999 Perth and Kinross Council’s Environmental Services set in train an enhancement scheme with the aid of partnership funding provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, Scottish Enterprise Tayside, and Perth and Kinross Council itself. This scheme involved the conservation of the carved stones, including the provision of a purpose built shelter to house the unique examples, restoration of the boundary wall, the provision of a new enhanced public access, and landscape improvements with associated maintenance arrangements.

Accordingly, the Heritage in Britain Award Winner for 2002 goes to Perth and Kinross Council for their restoration of the Greyfriars Cemetery. They have thus ensured both the protection and preservation of this important group of grave monuments and provided a public amenity, a haven of tranquillity and a window into the past in the city centre. They have set an excellent example of what can be achieved with determination and initiative.

The trophy and cheque for £1,000 will be received by Councillor William Robertson and Mike Messenger representing Perth and Kinross Council.

For Further Information Contact:

Prof W. H. Hanson
Chairman: Judging Panel
Department of Archaeology
Gregory Building
Lilybank Gardens
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ
Tel: 0141 330 5690

Derek Hall
SUAT Ltd
55 South Methven Street
Perth
PH1 5NX
Tel: 01738 622393


THE AIA AWARD

The AIA Award, formerly the Ironbridge Award, is now sponsored by the Association for Industrial Archaeology. It is awarded for the best adaptive re-use of an historic building of any period.

Finalists:
  • Andrew Doolan Architects for the Point Conference Centre, Edinburgh
  • BAA Lynton for the Gatwick Beehive Conversion
  • Groundwork Bridgend & Neath Port Talbot for the Blowing Engine House, Parc Tondu

In Edinburgh, Andrew Doolan Architects have completed the final phase of conversion of the former St Cuthbert’s Co-operative Store, adapting a 1937 extension to form The Point Conference Centre. The building was notable for its A-listed glazed curtain wall, the earliest in Scotland, and this has been restored and completed to the original architect’s specification. In commending this project, the judges recognised the undoubted economic success of the earlier stages of the adaptive re-use of this large former departmental store.

Andrew Doolan Architects, represented by Charlie Bowman, are Highly Commened

In South Wales the site of the former Tondu Ironworks retains a fine assemblage of 19th century structures, and was identified by the former Ogwr Borough Council as a key location for interpreting the development of the area. Groundwork Bridgend & Neath Port Talbot commissioned an archaeological report and have followed its findings in converting the derelict former blowing engine house to serviced office accommodation, to provide sustainable uses in accord with their local regeneration aims. In commending this project the judges recognised a careful approach to maintaining the integrity of the site, and hope that the wider interpretative aims of the location will be realised.

Groundwork Bridgend & Neath Port Talbot, represented by Bill Harries Baker and Rob Kinchin Smith, are Highly Commended.

The AIA Award itself goes to the successful reinvigoration of a most important historic building in south-east England. Gatwick Airport began life as a private grass aerodrome in 1930 and ambitions to develop a civil airport found expression in the Beehive, an innovative circular building completed in 1936, the world’s first purpose-designed public air passenger terminal. British Airways Ltd began scheduled services from Gatwick to Paris, Germany and Scandinavia in May 1936. But the new airport failed to develop until after its rebuilding in 1956-58, when the old terminal was divorced from the runways by a new dual carriageway and relegated to office use. Now BAA Lynton, part of the British Airports Authority, has completed a major renovation of the building, retaining and restoring almost all original features including the radiating tracks on which telescopic canopies led to waiting aircraft. The judges found a project completed to high standards, brimming with the vitality of occupants, GB Airways, who really felt and expressed a pride in their surroundings. They congratulate all those involved in securing a sustainable future for this outstanding 20th century building.

The Award is presented to BAA Lynton, represented by Mr Andrew White, for the Gatwick Beehive.

For further information contact:

John Crompton
Chairman: Judging Panel
National Museums of Scotland
Chambers Street
Edinburgh EH1 1JF
Tel: 0131 2474235

John King
British Aviation Preservation Council
44 Le May Avenue
Grove Park
London SE12 9SU
Tel: 020 7922 2631


THE VIRGIN HOLIDAYS AWARD

Sponsored by Virgin Holidays Limited, the Award is for the best presentation of an archaeological project or theme to the public, thus stimulating awareness of, and curiosity about, our National Heritage.

Finalists:
  • Museum of London, High Street Londinium
  • Roman Middlewich Project
  • Roving Eye Enterprises, German high Seas Fleet Tours
  • Shetland Amenity Trust, Old Scatness Broch and Iron Age Village

The range of the entries for the Virgin Holidays Award was wide, dealing with a cross section of evidence of the historic environment, and some very innovative methods of presenting it, and the quality of the individual projects was high. Firstly, we offer certificates to three of the entries.

The exhibition, High Street Londinium, in the Museum of London was a bold attempt to explain the archaeological process through the display of material from the site at One Poultry in the City of London on which the reconstructions were based. It was very well visited being a new experience for the public who could walk through reconstructed rooms and touch replica objects. It gave a balanced view to the public who clearly appreciated being able to learn about the ordinary citizens of London rather than the great public buildings.

The Museum of London, represented by Hedley Swain is Highly Commended

A most unusual and ingenious form of tourism where by passengers are taken out by boat to see the remains of the German Fleet scuttled in Scapa Flow. The use of a remote underwater camera to reveal the wrecks is innovative. There has been an important interaction between Roving Eye, the diving community and Historic Scotland as these wrecks have been scheduled as ancient monuments.

Kathy and Keith Bichan of Roving Eye Enterprises are also Highly Commended.

There are little or no visible Roman remains at Middlewich so everything relies on the presentation of evidence from the excavations. From this unprepossessing base, a consortium has put together a very impressive range of interpretative materials and events. A lot of the success relies upon the excellent reconstruction drawings, which bring the evidence to life. Much of the project is aimed at local schools that have embraced it enthusiastically. This project also demonstrates how to engage the local community and use this to increase their awareness of their archaeological past.

The Roman Middlewich Project, a partnership between Cheshire County Council, Congleton Borough Council, Gifford and Partners Consulting Engineers, Middlewich Town Council and Middlewich Heritage Society, and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is runner-up in the Virgin Holidays Award. Adrian Tindall, on behalf of the project recieves the runner-up certificate.

The entry for Old Scatness Broch and Iron Age Village gave a very lively impression of what has proved to be a very deep, complex and-well preserved archaeological site. From buying the site and entering into partnership with the University of Bradford, the Shetland Amenity Trust has built up a level of enthusiasm that comes across in the video and other materials submitted. What is very special about this project is the participation of the local community in the many aspects of it, and the trouble taken to give visitors a real insight into life in this settlement. The site guides are local people with a knowledge of Shetland history who are kept up-to-date with developments on the site and finds from the excavation. The Living History Team, made up of professional teachers, demonstrate many historic crafts at the visitor centre and many summer play groups and out of school clubs come to spend time with them. Experimental archaeology is carried out close to the site and the replica Pictish building and wheelhouse give the opportunity for the public to experience the conditions, which prevailed when the buildings were in use.

The project has generated a lot of excitement and an authenticity that is impressive. The plan to involve the public at every stage in this project, treating their needs as being of equal importance to that of the archaeological excavation, has obviously been carried out with great success. This success is reflected in the growing visitor numbers, which are very good for the period when they are open when compared to similar historical sites in a rural location. Jimmy Moncrieff and Val Turner are to accept the Award on behalf of the Shetland Amenity Trust.

For Further Information Contact:

Tim Copeland
Chair: Judging Panel
The International Centre for Heritage Education
University of Gloucestershire
Francis Close Hall
Swindon Road
Cheltenham
GL50 4AZ
Tel: 01242 532760

Val Turner
Regional Archaeologist
Shetland Amenity Trust
22-24 North Road
Lerwick
Shetland
Tel: 01595 694688


THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL BOOK AWARD

Sponsored by The Ancient & Medieval History Book Club, the Award recognizes the most outstanding book which brings British archaeology to the widest audience.

Finalists:
  • Matthew Johnson, Behind the Castle Gate: from Medieval to Renaissance (Routledge)
  • Francis Pryor, Seahenge: New Discoveries in Prehistoric Britain (HarperCollins)
  • Mark Redknap, Vikings in Wales: An Archaeological Quest (National Museums & Galleries of Wales)Y Llychlynwyr yng Nghymru: Ymchwil Archaeolegol (Amgueddfeydd ac Orielau Cenedlaethol Cymru)

The most popular Award, with over 60 plus books nominated for the Prize, and the 170 plus individual nominations received by the Ancient and Medieval History Book Club through their own competition. The judging panel initially selected ten books for the final shortlist. The difficulties faced by the judging panel in this selection process reflect the strength of archaeological publication in Britain today.

In addition to the winner, the judges wished to commend Francis Pryor’s Seahenge. A Quest for Life in the Bronze Age, published by HarperCollins, for its highly individual and engaging exposé of British prehistoric archaeology, its latest discoveries and the personalities which have made it happen.
Francis Prior receives a Highly Commended certificate.

Secondly, Matthew Johnson’s book Behind the Castle Gate. From Medieval to renaissance, published by Routledge, is also Highly commended for its novel and thought-provoking treatment of the social archaeology of the late medieval English castle. Indeed, both these books bring a new audience to their respective fields.
Matthew Johnson recieves a Highly Commended certificate.

The Vikings in Wales. An Archaeological Quest by Mark Redknap, published by the National Museums & Galleries of Wales, was the unanimous choice of the judges for the 2002 Archaeological Book Award. The author deserves the fullest congratulations for his lively and visually exciting treatment of new discoveries which are transforming our knowledge of the Early Medieval period in Wales (formerly the Wesh Dark Ages). The combination of new research and compelling narrative integrated with colour photographs of sites and artefacts, graphs, maps and reconstruction drawings sets a new standard in museum archaeological publication. The illustrations and design were the work of Tony Daly and Arwel Hughes of the National Museums & Galleries of Wales. In keeping with the traditions and intention of this award, the quality of information and accessibility of Mark Redknap’s book will appeal to an audience far beyond those involved and interested in the archaeological past.
Mark Redknap receives the Archaeological Book Award for 2002 and Robin Gwyn, Director of Strategic Communications, represents the National Musuems & Galleries of Wales.

For Further Information Contact:

Dr David Gaimster
Chairman: Judging Panel
Cultural Property Unit
DCMS
2-4 Cockspur Street
London SW1Y 5DH
Tel: 020 7211 6144

Robin Gwyn
Director of Strategic Communications
National Museums & Galleries of Wales
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF10 3NP
Tel: 029 2057 3487


THE TRANSCO PRESS AWARD

The Press Award, sponsored by Transco, is given for the best archaeological reporting in a newspaper, magazine or on the radio.

The judges were faced with a range of entries of very different type. They included The Times and The Shetland Times and, on the freelance side, Mike Pitts publishing in The Guardian, and The Digger, the self-appointed voice of the grassroots of British Archaeology. However, our unanimous decision was to offer the Press Award to Simon Denison for British Archaeology. Simon has taken British Archaeology forward through a great leap of both quality and quantity. He is responsible for transforming the Council of British Archaeology’s mouth piece from a newsletter to a fully-fledged magazine. Each issue offers a wide range of articles, information and reviews which makes reading it a must for every archaeologist in Britain. Simon is reponsible for commisioning articles, contributing his own writing, editing and art directing each issue.

The winner of the Transco Press Award is Simon Denison.

For Further Information Contact:

Dr David Breeze, Chairman BAA
Chairman: Judging Panel
Historic Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Edinburgh EH9 1SH
Tel: 0131 668 8724

George Lambrick
Director
Council for British Archaeology
St Mary’s House
66 Bootham
York, YO10 7BZ
Tel: 01904 671417
(Director now Mike Heyworth)


THE CHANNEL FOUR AWARDS

Sponsored by Channel Four Television for the best made film, video and ICT presentation on an archaeological subject.

BROADCAST CATEGORY

The broadcast films submitted were varied both in periods covered – everything from the Palaeolithic to forensic archaeology in 21st century Bosnia – and in terms of the archaeological techniques on display. Four stood out from the rest, two from regional television and the other two from national broadacasters.

Coast of Secrets published by BBC Yorkshire & Lincolnshire is an excellent look at the coastal archaeology of Yorkshire, an area notable for both early and later boat finds and coastal structures of all periods.

The Lost Palace of Hampton Court, a BBC Meet the Ancestors Special, shows the construction of a theory about the form of Wolsey’s original Palace and then its testing by excavation.

Shapes on the Landscape Topical Television for BBC South looks at just one farm and the work of one farmer. One might think that there would not be a lot of archaeology in that, but the farmer is Martin Green (a past winner of a number of different British Archaeological Award) who has spent a lifetime excavating his Cranborne Chase farm and understanding the development of its landscape. He is also now the owner of a museum to rival many local collections. The interaction of personality, landscape and archaeology appealed to the judges, and they made this the runner up in the broadcast category.

I invite Mike Fuller of Topical Television to come forward to receive a certificate as runner-up.

The Iron Age chariot burial at Wetwang, Yorkshire, is the starting point for The Chariot Queen in the BBC Meet the Ancestors series. There were many of the familiar ingredients of the Meet the Ancestors series – excavation followed by facial reconstruction of the buried person, in this case a remarkable, if distorted, face. ‘Added Value’, however, came from the involvement of a British Museum team who were able to provide the data which made a reconstruction of the chariot possible and from the team of experts assembled for that task. The result was a full size replica chariot produced using ancient techniques. In the process a new look was taken at the evidence for the suspension system of ancient chariots, a vital aspect, if one wishes to move around successfully on rough ground. The silhouette of Julian Richards standing crouched in a charging chariot was so exactly like that of Roman charioteers seen in pictures on Roman pottery and glass that one just knew that it was right. This piece of experimental archaeology alone made the film stand out and contributed to its being give the Channel Four Award for the best Broadcast Archaeological Film in the period 2001-2.

The winner of the Channel Four Television broadcast category is The Chariot Queen and we invite Ian Potts, series producer, and Julian Richards, presenter, to accept the Award.

NON BROADCAST CATEGORY

In the non-broadcast category, entries were disappointing and no award is made. It may be that the non-broadcast video is being supplanted by web-based items. More probably, enthusiasm for the web-site and the interactive display will be followed by a more reasonable approach to the advantages and disadvantages of the available media options and the video will be seen to have an important place within a more varied landscape.

ICT CATEGORY

We are again very happy to offer a third Channel 4 Award, for the category of Information and Communication Technology, and we thank Channel 4 for their continued commitment to this increasingly important media. We considered submissions from a diverse range of sources, including local archaeological trusts and authorities, broadcasters, higher education establishments, and professional bodies. We received both web based and “stand alone” entries, ranging from those designed to be used within the context of a specific course, through to those aimed at disseminating archaeology to the general public at the broadest level. Four entries were short listed.

Finalists:
  • ‘The Caerleon Challenge’ – National Museums & Galleries of Wales, Newport LEA and Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments
  • ‘The Lapedo Child’ – Anglia Television and The Open University ‘Virtually The Ice Age’ – Creswell Heritage Trust
  • ‘Silchester: the Victorian Excavations of 1893′ – The University of Reading

The panel wish to Highly Commend the Caerleon and Silchester entries. Will Nigel Cross, Roman Legionary Museum, Caerleon and Mike Fulford, Reading University please accept their certificates.

The Panel were particularly impressed by “The Lapedo Child”, from The Open University. Designed to be used as part of their “Explaining the Emergence of Humans” course, this entry was accompanied by a study guide, Video, and DVD. As well as providing an excellent example of an imaginative use of the media (for example, the marvellous “Evolution Timeline”), the panel thought the overall package provided an exemplary example of how the use of the new media should be integrated into the broader curriculum. Because of this the panel voted this entry as this years Runner-up.
Representing Anglia Television is Trevor Showler and Open University, David Robinson

This year’s winning entry is ‘Virtually the Ice Age’, from the Creswell Heritage Trust, and was produced in partnership with The British Museum, Derby City Council and Mindwave Media. This web-based entry offers an exploration of Creswell Crags, an amazingly archaeologically rich area, known for its remarkable Palaeolithic discoveries. The “visitor” is guided through the archaeology of the area by exploring a series of guided themes. These include amongst others, abundant information about the history of research in the area, a searchable database of artefacts discovered in the region, and a QuickTime VR “virtual reality” tour of the crags as they appear today. In addition, visitors can communicate directly with the archaeologists at the trust via a bulletin board, which is diligently kept up to date. All this is presented through a very accessible interface, and the panel were very pleased to see this area of archaeology, so often be overshadowed by attention focused on later prehistory and historic periods, being presented so well to the general public.

Will Ian Wall, representing the Cresswell Heritage Trust and partners, please accept the Channel Four Telvision ICT Award.

For Further Information Contact:

Cathy Grant
British Universities Film & Video Council
77 Wells Street
London W1T 3QJ
Tel: 020 7393 1507


THE IFA AWARD

This new award, sponsored by the Institute of Field Archaeologists, is given for the best archaeological project undertaken by a professional team or professional/voluntary partnership in the United Kingdom.

Finalists:
  • Council for British Archaeology, The Defence of Britain Project
  • Museum of London, London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre
  • University of Bradford and Shetland Amenity Trust, Old Scatness Broch and Iron Age Village

The five entries short-listed for the IFA Award reflect the current high standards of professional archaeology in Britain.

Special mention should be made of the entry made by Thames Water on the North West Oxfordshire Project. The panel of judges recognises and wishes to acknowledge the very positive role undertaken by Darren Towers, Principal Conservation and Heritage Scientist with Thames Water.

Three entries particularly impressed the judges for special commendation:

The Old Scatness Broch and Iron Age Village Project is currently in its eighth season and is being undertaken in partnership by a team from the University of Bradford and Shetland Amenity Trust. The project aims to excavate a pristine Iron Age time capsule using cutting edge techniques in a way that is publicly accessible. The site is being investigated to a rigorous professional standard using a wide range of modern scientific techniques. A great deal of imagination has been used in the funding of the project and the sum of about £1 million has been raise from a wide variety of funding bodies. This is a model study and is commended by the panel of judges.

The London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre (LAARC) has been created by the Museum of London as a store, repository and research centre for archaeological archives from Greater London. There have been a great number of archaeological investigations in the Greater London area and an incredible unrealised resource has slowly accumulated. By its careful curation LAARC provides a usable repository for all this wonderful information led by research. It is hoped that it will develop as a strong foundation for archaeological activity in London and as a model for similar endeavour elsewhere.

The runner-up of the IFA Award is the LAARC and John Shepherd and Hedley Swain, Museum of London, are to accept the Award.

The Defence of Britain Project, a seven-year project undertaken by the Council for British Archaeology, is now complete. This collaboration between professional archaeologists and about 600 volunteers has revolutionised our understanding of Britain’s wartime defences. The archive holds records on almost 20,000 individual sites with information on such site types as army and prisoner-of-war camps, air-raid shelters, anti-aircraft batteries, D-Day embarkation hards, radar stations, searchlight batteries and military hospitals. The Defence of Britain database offers scholars huge potential for research and provides an overview of just how these sites fitted into an overall defence across the British landscape. The panel of judges was very impressed by the excellent outcome of this collaborative project and has decided that the Defence of Britain project is the winner of the IFA Award.

I invite William Foot (Defence of Britain Project) and Mike Heyworth, Council for British Archaeology to come forward and receive the Award.

For Further Information Contact:

Professor Brian Williams
Chariman: Judging Panel
DOENI Environmental & Heritage
15-33 Hill Street
Belfast B71 2LA
Tel: 02890 543042

George Lambrick
Director
St Mary’s House
66 Bootham
York, YO30 7BZ
Tel: 01904 671417
(Director now Mike Heyworth)


THE PITT RIVERS AWARD

Sponsored by the Robert Kiln Trust for the best project by a voluntary body or individual.

Finalists:
  • Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society for Upper Row Farm Landscape and Excavation
  • Botel Bailey Excavation
  • Edinburgh Archaeological Society for the Report Fast Castle. Excavations 1971-1986
  • Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Project

The number of entries for the Pitt Rivers Award was lower than in previous years, probably owing to the interruption of fieldwork by the Foot and Mouth outbreak.

There were eight entries and the subjects covered reflect the health of independent archaeology in Britain, at a time when the discipline as a whole is under some pressure. Fortunately, through the generosity of the Robert Kiln Trust, some entrants have been recommended for a cash award to assist with their future work. A total of £4000 has been approved and will be distributed to the four finalists.

It was considered that all entries deserved a fuller description than can be given this afternoon, so a small booklet has been prepared – I hope you picked one up as you came in.

A runner up Award will not be presented this year but two entrants have been invited to receive a trophy and Highly Commended certificates as Finalists, together with a cash award.

Firstly, the Botel Bailey Project, who have been a finalists before, now in their eleventh season on a multi-period site near Castle Douglas in Scotland.
James Hawkins will receive the award on behalf of the Botel Bailey

Secondly, the Bath & Camerton Archaeological Society, who incorporated a training excavation in 2001 at Upper Row Farm in Somerset. They are actively promoting documentary research, field-walking, and geophysical surveys.
Jane Lawes will receive the award on behalf of the Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society

Did the members of what was originally called the East of Scotland Archaeological Association realise in 1971, that it would take 31 years to complete their first excavation? Their site is at Fast Castle, a ruined fortress situated on an exposed and precipitous crag jutting out into the North Sea in Berwickshire. Perhaps these conditions contributed to the time it has taken for the excavation and report to be successfully concluded.

The late Robert Kiln always placed a major emphasis on publication. It is with this in mind that the Pitt Rivers Award goes to the Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society for the publication of this academically valuable report.

Mr K L Mitchell and Dr H P Dinwoodie will receive the award on behalf of the Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society.

Graham Webster Laurels

This year there is a project, which is in a class of its own for organisation and concept. SHARP are investigating an early Saxon Village in Norfolk, involving not only students but also members of the local community in the study of archaeology, history and the development of the area. Their wider aim is to integrate techniques from as many disciplines as possible, in order to compile a full history of the development of the parish from its earliest occupation through to the present day. SHARP is firmly rooted in the community, committed to education at all levels and “democratic archaeology”.

A worthy winner of The Graham Webster Laurels for the best contribution to education in archaeology. The Sedgeford Historical & Archaeological Project. For SHARP – Andrea Cox.

For further information contact:

Kevan Fadden
Chairman: Judging Panel
7 Lea Road
Ampthill
Bedford MK45 2PR
Tel: 01525 402273


THE SILVER TROWEL AWARD

The final Award, and the most prestigious offered today, is the Silver Trowel sponsored by Spear & Jackson and awarded for the greatest initiative in Archaeology.

The judging panel had a wide range of projects from which to choose, which included all the entries for the other Awards. Our decision was in favour of a project which was a unique combination of professional and amateur activities, in the record office and the field, comparing proposed plans with actual plans, recording buildings and interviewing their users, in a truly national landscape project which focused on the measures undertaken by the British people faced by the most severe threat to their independent existence. I refer, of course, to the Defence of Britain project. I invite William Foot, George Lambrick and Mike Heyworth to receive the Award on behalf of the Council for British Archaeology and the Defence of Briatin Project.

For Further Information Contact:

Professor David Breeze
Chariman: Judging Panel
Historic Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Edinburgh EH9 1SH
Tel: 0131 668 8724

George Lambrick
Director
Council for British Archaeology
St Mary’s House
66 Bootham
York, YO30 7BZ
Tel: 01904 671417
(Director now Mike Heyworth)


Watch #archaeology presentations from @BAAWARDSUK 2014 - thanks to @Archaemedia for voiceovers https://t.co/u19vjUS144
Space age technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles to investigate previously inaccessible archaeology: http://t.co/1KjQZWsEI2
@NedsTop would be good to link up people and places with #ww1athome and @homefrontlegacy - you can submit both to your HER using our app
RT @ahrcpress: The role of women in the First World War - a new feature from the AHRC on international experiences of #ww1 http://t.co/nz6R…
Did you catch Phil Harding on @SundayBrunchC4 speaking about @FestivalofArch ? See it again later http://t.co/9IxFcwnENH
The @BAAWARDSUK gives us the opportunity to celebrate our incredible archaeology and archaeologists - volunteers and professionals
Beatrice de Cardi receives the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Archaeology at @BAAWARDSUK 2014 ceremony http://t.co/aNQslw7Kxa
Follow the ceremony: https://t.co/Aq0SjHyEA2 via @storify
@OxbowBooks @CoastArch @BAAWARDSUK You've been quoted in my #Storify story "British Archaeological Awards 2014" http://t.co/89pvM5O4UY
@tj_sutcliffe @OxbowUSA @ThePostHole You've been quoted in my #Storify story "British Archaeological Awards 2014" http://t.co/8iVRJ2pAjD