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BRITARCH-NEWS  September 2002

BRITARCH-NEWS September 2002

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Subject:

first winners of EH/RAI Awards for Presentation of Heritage Research

From:

Jonathan Bateman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Jonathan Bateman <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 18 Sep 2002 12:56:12 +0100

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from English Heritage news release, 13 September 2002:

OPENING THE DOORS TO SECRETS OF OUR PAST

First Winners of Royal Archaeological Institute and English Heritage Awards for the Presentation of Heritage Research

Awards in the first competition run jointly by the Royal Archaeological Institute and English Heritage to make heritage research more accessible to the public have been won by Dr Harold Mytum of the University of York and Liz Worth of the University of Leicester.

Dr Mytum, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at York, and Liz Worth, who is studying for a PhD in archaeology, were among five researchers from across the UK short listed for the first ever "Award for the Presentation of Heritage Research". The competition is designed to encourage the presentation to the wider public of new research on British archaeology, historic buildings and heritage conservation.

The two competitors claimed the top prizes after all the finalists had delivered 30 minute talks to a packed audience at this year's British Association Festival of Science at the University of Leicester. Dr Mytum won the open prize of 1500 and Liz Worth 500 for the best entrant aged under 30.

The panel of judges was chaired by Julian Richards, presenter of BBC TV's "Meet the Ancestors". The audience took part in the judging process.

Dr Mytum won over the judges by describing his groundbreaking work at Castell Henllys, a 2,500 year old Iron Age settlement on the Pembrokeshire coast.

For 20 years he has been director of an archaeology field school at the site and has supervised ongoing digs and the reconstruction of period houses, allowing over 15,000 visitors each year to gain a vivid insight into life before the Romans arrived. 

Dr Mytum said: "It was one of the most daunting lectures I've ever delivered, but the audience was very responsive. I'm delighted it went so well and I'll be ploughing my 1500 prize money back into research."

Liz Worth explored the many different and not always complementary approaches to the conservation and reconstruction of historic buildings. She demonstrated how buildings can change over periods of time to fit in not only with what the public and owners want but with how contemporary historians want to display them

Liz Worth said: "I am absolutely thrilled to have won an award in this prestigious competition. This event has been fantastic- it has presented the subject of archaeology to brand new audiences and the range of papers presented by the finalists have been so varied and interesting. A great event which I am proud to have been involved with."

Dr Sebastian Payne, Head of English Heritage's Centre for Archaeology and organiser of the competition said: "We are delighted with this first competition where the winners succeeded so well in bringing their research vividly to life for non-specialists. We congratulate all the finalists who have combined meticulous research with clear presentation."

Added Jonathan Coad, Honorary Secretary of the RAI: "The sheer variety of topics offered reflect well on the vibrant state of archaeological and historical research in this country. All the subjects would attract widespread public interest."

Other finalists in the competition were:

Nathalie Cohen of the Museum of London who presented the Southwark Cathedral Archaeological Research Project which has compiled inventories of the building fabric of the Cathedral

Dr Robert Prescott of the University of St Andrews on the part played by a water mill in a Hampshire village in preserving evidence about the construction of the USS Chesapeake, a late 18th century American warship.

Dr Jim Williams of English Heritage's East Midlands Region on how construction can affect buried archaeology and how these effects can be kept to a minimum. 

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