Sophie Jackson of Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) on winning the 2014 British Archaeological Awards
In July 2014 the MOLA team leading the excavations and research at Bloomberg London came along to the British Museum and the British Archaeological Awards Awards, looking forward to hearing about some of the best archaeological projects in the UK and having a good chat and maybe a drink with colleagues. We were thrilled to have been shortlisted.
The excavations on the site of Bloomberg’s new European HQ were a big deal for MOLA. We knew that the archaeological remains on the site could be spectacular as a result of waterlogged deposits associated with the Walbrook river - and because this is the site where the Temple of Mithras was found in 1954.
We had put in a huge amount of planning for this excavation, working with the developers, architects, engineers and geotechnical specialists. It was genuinely multi-disciplinary.
Public engagementArchaeologists were invited to all the key meetings and Bloomberg as a company believed that getting the archaeology right was as much their responsibility as having a great building for a high profile central London site. Together with MOLA we delivered one of the largest public engagement programmes ever undertaken for a single site.
We created a website, blogged, gave over 50 presentations, helped create two films, put on five temporary displays and undertook an oral history project.
So, back to the lecture theatre in the British Museum in 2014. When the winner of the Best Archaeological Award was announced – and it was Bloomberg London – we were overjoyed for the whole team.
Massive boostWinning the award was a massive boost and validated all of the effort that everyone had put in. The next day, the construction company, developers and archaeologists were all talking about it.
The BAA award created a great buzz around the site and one of the engineers later told me it just confirmed that they were in ‘the A Team’.
And the BAA Award certainly made a difference to us at MOLA, it was motivational, raised our profile across the project team, acknowledged the value of all of the public engagement – and extended way beyond the world of archaeology. We wish all the best to 2016’s lucky winners.
Sophie Jackson is MOLA's Director of Client Relations.
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The winners of the British Archaeological Awards 2016 will be announced on July 11 at a ceremony at The British Museum. Find out more at www.archaeologicalawards.com