A University of Buckingham archaeologist has won the ‘Oscars of the archaeology world’, according to The Bucks Herald.
Prof David Jacques has been voted Archaeologist of the Year 2023 for his achievements at the Blick Mead excavation site near Stonehenge. The award, from Current Archaeology magazine, was announced at the Current Archaeology Live! conference on Saturday, February 25.
Prof Jacques said he was “blown away” and “thrilled for the team, the University of Buckingham, for all our volunteers and everyone who has contributed to the project’s success one way or the other”.
He added: “It has been a privilege leading a project which has involved so many great people in finding the first place in the Stonehenge landscape, and this result is the cherry on a cherry-filled cake.”
Since Prof Jacques started leading digs at Blick Mead in 2005, volunteers have unearthed more than 30,000 Mesolithic tools and his work has transformed understanding of the Stonehenge landscape, revealing that there were settlers there much earlier than previously thought. Over 50 per cent of the animal remains found at the site were from aurochs, a species of enormous wild cattle, now extinct, that once dominated grasslands of upland southern Britain.
University of Buckingham vice-chancellor James Tooley said: “University of Buckingham archaeology students have loved visiting Blick Mead and had the joy of unearthing Mesolithic flints and other items themselves.
“David has done amazing work which has helped provide the back story to Stonehenge. He is a very deserving winner for all his painstaking work and great discoveries. Congratulations, David.”
Prof Jacques headed up the University of Buckingham’s Archaeology MA course, which has now been discontinued, but the university provided some funding for the Blick Mead digs.
Image source: The Bucks Herald