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Marsh Archaeology Award Winners 2017

We are proud to announce this year’s winners of the Marsh Community Archaeology Awards.

The Marsh Community Archaeology Awards, supported by the Marsh Christian Trust, celebrate excellence in community archaeology and recognise the passion and dedication of the many people working so hard to protect and understand British archaeology. There are three categories:

  • Marsh Archaeology Award for Young Archaeologist of the Year
    For a young person or group of young people under the age of 18 who have made an outstanding contribution to community archaeology.
  • Marsh Archaeology Award for Community Archaeologist of the Year
    For an individual who has inspired others to share their love of archaeology
  • Marsh Archaeology Award for Community Archaeology
    This Award recognises and promotes the results of research and/or fieldwork led by community groups which have made a substantial contribution to knowledge and wellbeing.
Cassie with Dan Snow after the awards ceremony. Photo: Adam Stanford

Marsh Archaeology Award for Young Archaeologist of the Year 2017: Cassie Bradshaw

For the last three years, Cassie has taken part in the Ribchester Revisited project, a long-term excavation of Ribchester Roman fort in Lancashire led by the University of Central Lancashire. Originally, she went to the project as one of the winners of the Young Archaeologists’ Club’s Dig It! competition and immediately threw herself into the excavations, helping younger winners and embracing every aspect of the project.

Since then, Cassie has been a constant part of the project, volunteering at weekends and developing her archaeological skills. She has actively developed her archaeological techniques and understanding, and has gone from a young novice with no digging experience, to a mature 17-year-old confidently defining archaeological features and teaching others.

Fellow project members have commented, “Her enthusiasm is infectious and all the teams working with her quickly come to appreciate and respect her dedication, diligence, accuracy and perfectionism” and “She has a natural gift for the technical aspects of archaeological recording and her infectious attitude brings out the best in herself and those around her.”

Cassie was described by Dr James Morris from the University of Central Lancashire as “the best and most enthusiastic young archaeologist I have met in 20 years of archaeological study and work.” She now plans to apply to university to undertake an integrated Masters degree in archaeology, and hopes to work as a commercial archaeological supervisor in the future.  

Vicki receives her certificate from Brian Marsh of the Marsh Christian Trust and Dan Snow. Photo: Adam Stanford

Marsh Archaeology Award for Community Archaeologist of the Year: Vicki Score

Currently the Project Manager of University of Leicester Archaeology Service (ULAS), Vicki has worked for over 25 years in the East Midlands.

As well as her commercial experience, she has been heavily involved with the Hallaton Fieldwork Group. This involvement started when fieldwalking members discovered the “Hallaton Hoard”. Vicki spent time working with volunteers and writing the acclaimed publication “Hounds, Hoards and Helmets”. She was then integral in establishing a multimedia presence in museums. The Group asked Vicki to continue to volunteer with them. As a result, she project manages their excavations and uses her knowledge to educate group members. Vicki also helps to incorporate members as trained volunteers on other sites around Leicestershire.

Vicki is very respected and uses authority combined with humour to make sure the more enthusiastic members are working to industry standards. She regularly provides advice, including heading up the successful grant application from CBA East Midlands for isotope analysis on skeletons found at the St Morrell site, another important Hallaton community dig, which added to the knowledge of the heritage of Leicestershire.

She currently volunteers her time to work with Professor Simon James of the University of Leicester on the Ancient Akrotiri Project to train students in Cyprus alongside injured service personnel as part of Operation Nightingale. She is also an integral part of the Defence Archaeology Group, which works alongside professional institutions, and the Ministry of Defence and Help for Heroes. She provides other local archaeological groups with expert advice and help, and has given over 100 talks nationally.

The CRAG team with their award with Brian Marsh of the Marsh Christian Trust and Dan Snow. Photo: Adam Stanford

Marsh Archaeology Award for Community Archaeology: Clwydian Range Archaeology Group

The Clwydian Range Archaeology Group (CRAGs) came together though the HLF-funded “Heather and Hillforts” project. As part of the project, archaeological classes were established. Part of this learning was about geophysical survey with some practical work in the areas around the hillfort of Moel Arthur in the Clwydian Range. They continued to explore anomalies highlighted in their survey, identifying a track and a burnt mound, which eventually led to the discovery of a suspected Mesolithic-era oven.

In late 2015, a key member of the Group relocated, leaving them without support in undertaking some archaeological processes. Undaunted, the Group successfully made a lottery bid and were able to bring their members’ skills to the level required to effectively direct the excavation process themselves.

Throughout the Group’s history, they have been keen to maintain and update their members’ skill levels and have been extremely successful in applying for and obtaining grants to help them in their endeavours. They have been conscientious in ensuring that their work is written up and submitted to the local HER. They also hold open days prior to and during excavations to engage the local community.

Congratulations to all our winners!

All photos courtesy of Adam Stanford

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