Sponsor of the 2019 Research Project of the Year award.

The Research Project of the Year award was won by ‘Prehistoric pop culture: deciphering the DNA of the Bell Beaker Complex’ – the largest ever ancient DNA study to date.
Part of the Bell Beaker DNA team collect their award for Research Project of the Year 2019.

Members of the team behind the Bell Beaker DNA project collect their award for Research Project of the Year 2019. L-R: Professor Ian Armit, University of Leicester, Dr Selina Brace, Natural History Museum, Dr Tom Booth, Natural History Museum. (Photo: Adam Stanford/Aerial-Cam)

Accepting the award for Research Project of the Year 2019 were Dr Selina Brace and Dr Tom Booth from the Natural History Museum and Professor Ian Armit from the University of Leicester. The Bell Beaker Complex was a hugely popular cultural phenomenon that swept through Europe and Britain during the 3rd millennium BC. This massive ancient DNA project illuminated how it developed and spread, showing that in had a particularly profound impact on the population of Bronze Age Britain.

Accepting the award, Dr Tom Booth of the Natural History Museum in London said:

“The fact that an ancient DNA project won this award is quite reassuring, because it reflects the overlap between geneticists and archaeologists – it shows that people appreciate that this work is shedding light on the past that wouldn’t previously have been possible.”

Below are all the nominees in this category:


Solving a silver jigsaw: a new hoard of Roman hacksilver from Fife and Denarii diplomacy: exploring Scotland’s silver age

(Fraser Hunter and Alice Blackwell, National Museums Scotland – CA 335)

In CA 335, we explored two aspects of the National Museums Scotland research into silver production, looking at the discovery of the Dairsie Hoard – the earliest-known example of Roman hacksilver outside the empire’s borders – and the impact the introduction of silver had on Scotland in the 1st millennium AD.

Read the full articles here and here.


Iron Age interior design: mapping the inside of Dorset’s hillfort enclosures

(Miles Russell and Dave Stewart, Bournemouth University – CA 336)

The precise chronology and use of Iron Age hillforts has been the subject of much debate over the decades, but an extensive geophysical survey of these enclosures in Dorset has shed new light on what went on within their ramparts.

Read the full article here.


Ebbsfleet, 54 BC: searching for the launch site of Caesar’s British invasions

(Andrew Fitzpatrick, University of Leicester – CA 337)

The discovery of a large and unusual defensive ditch at Ebbsfleet in Kent, dating from the 1st century BC, together with part of a Roman spear, may be the first tangible evidence of Julius Caesar’s invasion of Britain in 54 BC.

Read the full article here.


Prehistoric pop culture: deciphering the DNA of the Bell Beaker Complex

(Iñigo Olalde et al. – CA 338)

The Bell Beaker Complex was a hugely popular cultural phenomenon that swept through Europe and Britain during the 3rd millennium BC. A massive ancient DNA project illuminated how it developed and spread, showing that in had a particularly profound impact on the population of Bronze Age Britain.

Read the full article here.


Resurrecting the Reno: unearthing the soul of a boundary-pushing Manchester club

(University of Salford/Digging the Reno Project – CA 342)

The excavation of a soul and funk club on the outskirts of Manchester – a haven for the area’s mixed-heritage community until it was demolished in 1986 – shows how even archaeology of the very recent past can prove illuminating.

Read the full article here.


Out of the ashes: seeking the origins of the first people of Stonehenge

(Christophe Snoeck et al, University of Oxford, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Université Libre de Bruxelles, University College London, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle – CA 344)

Isotopic analysis of cremated human remains interred at Stonehenge during its first phase of construction, c.3000 BC, has shed light on the movement and burial practices of long-vanished – and surprisingly far-flung – Neolithic communities in Britain.

Read the full article here.19 Research Project of the Year award.[/caption]

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