PRESS RELEASE: Professor Roberta Gilchrist wins prestigious Archaeologist of the Year award for 2016

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Roberta Gilchrist, winner of the 2016 Archaeologist of the Year award, with Julian Richards (Meet the Ancestors) who presented the awards at the Current Archaeology Live! 2016 conference on 26 February.
(Photo: Current Archaeology/Aerial-Cam)


Top honours for Archaeologist of the Year at the prestigious Current Archaeology Awards went to Professor Roberta Gilchrist. A pioneer in social approaches to medieval archaeology, she has addressed new questions on gender, age, and belief, and has published numerous major studies on medieval nunneries, hospitals, castles and burials. Her recently published monograph Glastonbury Abbey: archaeological excavations 1904-1979 brings together the results of 36 seasons of excavations for the first time.

Roberta Gilchrist is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Reading. She was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2008, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 2002, and served as President of the Society for Medieval Archaeology from 2004 to 2007. Between 1993 and 2005, she was archaeologist to Norwich Cathedral and produced a major study on Norwich Cathedral Close, published in 2005. A champion for equal opportunities, Roberta Gilchrist promotes women in archaeology and is actively involved in initiatives to integrate disability into the teaching of fieldwork. She is the second University of Reading academic in a row to win Archaeologist of the Year, following Professor Michael Fulford in 2015.

The prize forms part of the celebrated Current Archaeology Awards given each year by Current Archaeology, the UK’s leading archaeology magazine. TV personality and archaeologist Julian Richards (of Meet the Ancestors fame) announced the winners of the 2016 awards on 26 February, during the Current Archaeology Live! event, held at the University of London’s Senate House, which saw a record number of ticket sales for the conference, and was attended by over 400 people.

Accepting the award, Roberta Gilchrist said: ‘I am truly honoured to have been voted Current Archaeology’s Archaeologist of the Year 2016 and I would like to thank the CA readers and wider public who voted for me. I’m delighted that my work on Glastonbury Abbey has captured the public imagination, and I would like to pay tribute to my co-nominees Vince Gaffney and Philip Crummy, whose work I have long admired. I am particularly proud to be the first woman voted Archaeologist of the Year and to see that women dominated all categories of the Current Archaeology Awards 2016.’ 

Notes for Editors: Current Archaeology Awards

  • The awards are voted for by subscribers and members of the public, and recognise the outstanding contributions to our understanding of the past made by the people, projects, and publications featured in the pages of Current Archaeology over the previous 12 months.
  • A record number of votes were cast in the awards: almost 14,000, compared to 8,000 last year.
  • The 2016 Current Archaeology Award for Archaeologist of the Year was sponsored by Oxford University Press.
  • Current Archaeology was launched in 1967, and will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year.

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