Marsh Archaeology Award 2009 Winner Announced
The winner of the 2009 Marsh Archaeology Award was announced earlier today by the Council for British Archaeology at the end of a session on public participation in archaeology at the Theoretical Archaeology Group conference in Durham University.
The Marsh Archaeology Award this year recognises and promotes high quality and engaging education work carried out in the UK with people under the age of 18.
The winner was Sarah Dhanjal from London. Sarah is currently undertaking PhD research at UCL Institute of Archaeology, exploring attitudes to heritage, and particularly archaeology, in Southall, west London. Sarah worked for three years at UCL from 2005-2008 as a widening participation and diversity officer, running programmes to encourage the participation of underrepresented groups in archaeology and other subjects. This work included the organisation of ‘taster days’ in archaeology, of school archaeology excavation projects (with the help of the Hendon and District Archaeological Society), participation in the Discover Archaeology Live event at the National History Show (Olympia), providing sessions on archaeology for Hackney primary schools, and participation in Camden Council’s Camden Young Archaeologists’ Project. She also helped to plan events for National Archaeology Week. During 2008-09 Sarah has continued her outreach work in her own time alongside her academic studies, running excavations, teaching sessions and walking tours for local schools. She has also been a volunteer branch leader for the Young Archaeologists’ Club since 2005, and continues to be an outreach worker for UCL Museums and Collections.
Brian Marsh OBE, Chairman of the Marsh Christian Trust which sponsors the award, who had the difficult job of deciding on the winner, said,
The Marsh Christian Trust is very pleased to be in a position to celebrate Sarah Dhanjal’s excellent work.
Dr Mike Heyworth MBE, Director of the Council for British Archaeology, which runs the award on behalf of the Marsh Christian Trust, said
Sarah is a remarkable individual who is involved in many archaeological projects across London. She has carried out innovative and consistently successful work, largely unpaid, to promote the understanding and appreciation of archaeology amongst young people both in and out of school. She is a worthy winner of the 2009 Marsh Archaeology Award.
Prof Stephen Shennan, Director of the Institute of Archaeology at University College London, was one of the people who nominated Sarah for the Award. He said that
Her dedication to improving the inclusion of all groups in the field of archaeology is apparent from the enthusiasm she has brought, and continues to bring, to her work at UCL. Sarah has made an enormous contribution to making archaeology more inclusive, all the more remarkable for one so young.
At the presentation of the Award in Durham, Sarah received a certificate and a cheque for £1,000 from Dan Topping of the Marsh Christian Trust.
The award is made according to three main criteria:
- the contribution made to passing on archaeological knowledge and understanding about our cultural heritage to young people in the last two years
- the level of engagement in a variety of different educational contexts, including work in a voluntary capacity (eg schools, societies, informal education groups, Heritage LotteryFund supported projects, Young Archaeologists’ Club Branches)
- the commitment shown to education work in archaeology over and above any formal, regular paid role.
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