Award Recognises Six ‘Remarkable Individuals’ Who Are Giving Archaeology a Future
The CBA is delighted to announce the short list for the Marsh Archaeology Award 2009. 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 young are the future of British archaeology, and many voluntarily give up their time to work with them. Even those who work with young people as part of their employment will often do so well beyond the regular hours of work. The CBA is very happy to have this opportunity to recognise such committed volunteers and staff, and in particular the short-listed finalists.
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 Lottery Fund supported projects, Young Archaeologists’ Club Branches)
- the commitment shown to education work in archaeology over and above any formal, regular paid role.
Dr Mike Heyworth MBE, Director of the CBA, explained the significance of the work carried out by the short-listed candidates:
For archaeology to be cared for and understood by future generations, it is essential that we pass on our knowledge and enthusiasm to young people. These six remarkable individuals do just that, conveying a passion for our cultural heritage which will stay with young people throughout their lives. Without their work, and the many others who take the time to educate, enthuse and guide young people to an understanding of the historic environment all around us, archaeology would face an uncertain future.
Brian Marsh OBE, chairman of the Marsh Christian Trust which sponsors the award, has the difficult job of deciding on the winner later this year.
Mr Marsh said,
The Marsh Christian Trust is very please to be supporting the Council for British Archaeology in managing the Marsh Award for Community Archaeology, which is designed to recognise and promote high quality archaeological work.
The following six people have been shortlisted:
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. Sarah is dedicated to improving the inclusion of all groups in archaeology.
Jean has worked at Fishbourne Roman Palace, West Sussex, for nearly 15 years, starting in the gift shop, and through her own enthusiasm joining the palace’s education team. As part of the team she has presented hour-long workshops to many thousands of school children who visit the palace each year. Over the last two years Jean has developed new workshops that support the national curriculum in a variety of areas. These workshops have been very well received by teachers and students alike. Jean is responsible for preparing an enriching programme for the many work experience students who are considering studying archaeology, history or classics at college or university. She also makes a key contribution towards facilitating learning specifically for visiting special needs students. Jean works many unpaid hours beyond her normal working time, preparing, planning new learning opportunities, assisting staff and supporting the volunteers in their duties.
Carenza runs the Higher Education Field Academy at Cambridge University, which she devised in 2005. The academy now involves around 500 year 10 teenagers (14–15 years old) each year, in hands-on excavation of archaeological test pits, and is run as part of the university’s widening participation programme. Most of the young people who participate are from non-HE families and lower income and social groups, and have no previous experience or interest in archaeology or heritage. Participants have said that they report significantly raised academic aspirations. Carenza has also devised, coordinated and run a range of ‘discovery days’ aimed at young people. She has enabled children in school years reception up to year 6 to excavate test pits, and works with members of local communities and historical/archaeological societies, museums and other educational groups as part of the academy. Her ‘dig on your doorstep’ involved hundreds of people of all ages from toddlers to nonagenarians. In 2008 she devised a model for involving adults with learning difficulties in archaeological excavation.
Kirsty has been an inspirational volunteer leader of the Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC) in Birmingham. She has run community archaeology digs at various sites in the West Midlands, and developed participation for local people in their archaeology through lectures, research and interpretation, and educational activities. The Birmingham YAC Branch organises a wide variety of visits and events for young people aged 8 to 16. These have included helping to clear parts of the ruins of a local castle, taking part in excavation and learning various archaeological skills. Children have been introduced to a wide variety of heritage sites through the visits.
Sally works on a one-year HLF-funded project with schools at Heeley City Farm in Sheffield, and has been involved in a reconstruction of an Iron Age roundhouse and the Victorian terraced house dig. She is also involved in visitor interpretation with Green Estate social enterprise company at Sheffield Manor, which will bring archaeology to a young audience in a part of Sheffield with little access to heritage. Sally has done interpretation and outreach work on a water-powered site excavated in the Rivelin valley, South Yorkshire, and played a central role in delivering the Workers’ Educational Association outreach programme on archaeology to widen participation in South Yorkshire and Humberside.
Mike was nominated for his work at the Flag Fen Bronze Age site near Peterborough, where he radically revised their education work and created a series of curriculum-centred sessions which vividly bring to life the work of archaeologists and the role of heritage in the cultural landscape. He was also instrumental in creating a reconstructed dig: a series of four separate pits, using genuine artefacts, accurately recreating the archaeology of a Victorian rubbish dump, Roman villa and roundhouse in carefully stratified layers, which allow young people of all ages to experience ‘real’ archaeology. He spent many hours on this in addition to his normal work. Mike also interpreted the Flag Fen site for general visitors of all ages making it especially more accessible to the young.
Further coverage of this news item:
- CBA History
- Support Us