Research Project of the Year 2015

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Sponsored by Oxbow Books

This year, the Research Project of the Year award went to Maryport’s Mystery Monuments.

Accepting the award were Ian Haynes and Tony Wilmott, of Newcastle University. They were recognised for their work at Maryport, where ongoing excavations at the 2nd century Roman fort have revealed the enigmatic traces of a huge timber building, whose post holes were packed with reused Roman altars.

On accepting the award, Ian Haynes said: “Thank you to everyone who voted for us, we feel extremely privileged – it must have been a difficult choice between the extraordinary research projects that are currently taking place in this country, it would be an honour to work on any of them. We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this project over the last four years; those who took part in the current season; and the Senhouse Trust who funded the excavation and have been a reservoir of advice and expertise on which we have drawn.”

Tony Wilmott added: “Thanks too to the students at Newcastle University, and to our stalwart volunteers from the local community, who have done so much, learned so much, and contributed so much.”

Representatives involved in the Maryport excavations collect their award for Research Project of the Year 2015 from Julie Gardiner of Oxbow Books (centre), the award sponsor. (L-R: Ian Haynes, David Breeze, Julie Gardiner, Rachel Newman, Tony Wilmott) Photo: Adam Stanford, Aerial-Cam.


Below are all the nominees in this category:

How to build a dolmen: exploring Neolithic construction at Garn Turne

DSC_0273-winter---LEAD(CA 286 – University of Central Lancashire / University of Manchester)

Excavation of a Neolithic portal tomb has revealed new information about how these ostentatious monuments were put together.

Read the full article here.


Maryport’s mystery monuments: investigating gigantic timber structures from the imperial twilight

IMG_9138(CA 289 – Ian Haynes and Tony Wilmott, Newcastle University)

A series of pits containing Roman altars were revealed to be not ritual deposits, but post-holes for a massive timber building.

Read the full article here.


Rethinking the Staffordshire Hoard

Gold Hoard Images created by BM&AG(CA 290 & 297 – Fern Archaeology / Birmingham Museums Trust / Potteries Museum & Art Gallery / English Heritage / British Museum / Eleanor Blakelock)

Conservation of England’s largest-known Anglo-Saxon metalwork hoard has revealed new clues to its make-up and meaning.

Read the full articles here and here.


Exploring Anglo-Saxon settlement: the origins of the English village

Bishopstone_colour_final(CA 291 – John Blair, University of Oxford)

This major survey of Anglo-Saxon settlements explores the rich seam of information revealed by development-led archaeology.

Read the full article here.


The logboats in the lake: Bronze Age wrecks and Viking-style battleaxes from Lough Corrib, Ireland

DSC00106(CA 292 – Underwater Archaeology Unit)

The unexpected find of a Bronze Age logboat in an Irish lake led to the discovery of a ships’ graveyard spanning 4,000 years.

Read the full article here.


Piddington uncovered: beyond the Roman villa

DSC_4722(CA 297 – Roy and Diana Friendship-Taylor)

Opening a window on the rise and fall of a Roman villa, and the Iron Age activity that preceded it.

Read the full article here.



Voting has now closed, and the winners will be announced on 27th February at Current Archaeology Live! 2015