Archaeologist of the Year 2021 – Nominees

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Below are the three individuals put forward for 2021’s ‘Archaeologist of the Year’, whose achievements reflect the diverse work taking place within our field. Once you’ve made your choice, click here to cast your vote!

Voting closes on 8 February 2021, and all the winners of the Current Archaeology Awards will then be announced on 26 February as part of our virtual Current Archaeology Live! 2021. More details of the event to come.

Professor John Blair

Photograph of Professor John Blair, cropped at waist-height, smiling towards the camera.

John retired as Professor of Medieval History and Archaeology at the University of Oxford in October. After graduating from Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1976, he spent five years as a research student and Junior Research Fellow there, before being appointed to a Tutorial Fellowship at the Queen’s College in 1981. Following election to an Emeritus Fellowship, he has maintained a long-standing involvement in practical archaeology, and in building and landscape conservation. John has worked and published extensively on medieval social, economic, and cultural history; on material culture and technology; on buildings and domestic environments; and on popular belief and religion. He has wide-ranging practical experience in field archaeology, excavation, and the recording of buildings, and appeared several times on Time Team, as well as making a Channel 4 documentary on medieval beliefs in vampires.

Professor Paula J Reimer

Photograph of Professor Paula J Reimer

Paula is Director of the 14Chrono Centre for Climate, the Environment, and Chronology in the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s University Belfast, which houses an Accelerator Mass Spectrometer for radiocarbon dating. Her research focuses on radiocarbon calibration and offsets between marine or freshwater systems and the atmosphere. She led the international IntCal Working Group from 2002 to 2020, providing the radiocarbon calibration curves used worldwide to put a calendar time-scale on radiocarbon chronologies. She also developed the radiocarbon calibration program CALIB and the related Marine Radiocarbon Reservoir Correction database, and oversaw the development of software for calibration of post-nuclear testing radiocarbon analyses (CALIBomb), all of which are freely available at Her research is diverse and interdisciplinary, ranging from archaeological science to earth and ocean sciences.

Dr Rob Wiseman

Photograph of Dr Rob Wiseman

Rob is part of the Cambridge Archaeological Unit at the University of Cambridge. He came to archaeology ten years ago after careers in communication research, consulting, and pharmaceuticals. As 2020 was a challenging year for archaeologists, with coronavirus restrictions closing sites and workplaces, and cutting colleagues off from one another, Rob found a productive way to bring professionals together. He recruited more than 100 volunteers to ‘Archaeology on Furlough’: ten online projects to which archaeologists could contribute from home, offering new insights into topics as varied as Anglo-Saxon houses, Roman cultivation, Scottish sheepfolds, and prehistoric art. He is making the teams’ reports and datasets available online for free, for future research.

Voting closes on 8 February

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