Kirsty Nichol hard at work with the Young Archaeologists Club in Birmingham. © Kirsty Nichol, Birmingham YAC
The shortlist for the Marsh Archaeology Award 2009, which recognises and promotes archaeology education work with people under the age of 18, has been announced by the Council for British Archaeology.
Archaeologists nominated include former Time Team regular Carenza Lewis who runs the Higher Education Field Academy at Cambridge University for 10 – 14 year olds and Kirsty Nichol who is the inspirational volunteer leader of the Young Archaeologist's Club in Birmingham.
Also nominated is Mike Webber who has led a pioneering a raft of new educational projects that let kids experience real archaeology at Flag Fen Bronze Age site and Sarah Dhanjal whose work at University College London has encouraged the participation of underrepresented groups in archaeology and other subjects.
Carenza Lewis working with 10 – 14 year olds from the Higher Education Field Academy at Cambridge University. © Carenza Lewis
At Fishbourne Roman Palace the hard work of Jean Jennings who has presented hour- long workshops to thousands of young would-be archaeologists has been rewarded with a place on the shortlist and at Heeley City Farm in Sheffield, Sally Rodgers has been recognised for a variety of educational projects ranging from reconstruction of an Iron Age roundhouse to visitor interpretation with Green Estate social enterprise company at Sheffield Manor.
“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,” said Dr Mike Heyworth MBE, Director of the CBA. “These six remarkable individuals do just that, conveying a passion for our cultural heritage which will stay with young people throughout their lives.”
Many of the short-listed candidates voluntarily give up their time to work with the youngsters. Even those who work with young people as part of their employment will often do so well beyond the regular hours of work.
Jean Jennings (left, with a pot excavated at Fishbourne in the 1960s) explaining to a student how archaeologists interpret partial evidence. © Jean Jennings
The winner will be selected according to three criteria: the passing on of archaeological knowledge, engagement in different educational contexts and commitment over and above any formal paid role.
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.