Hella Eckardt, the Archaeologist for the Year 2018 [Photo Credit: Current Archaeology]

Hella Eckardt, the Archaeologist for the Year 2018 [Photo Credit: Current Archaeology]

Top honours for Archaeologist of the Year at the prestigious Current Archaeology Awards for 2018 went to Dr Hella Eckardt of the University of Reading. A specialist in social approaches to Roman archaeology, she explores social and cultural identity in antiquity, and her latest monograph Writing and power in the Roman world: literacies and material culture considers relationships between the material culture of writing and sociocultural identities.

Hella Eckardt is an Associate Professor of Roman archaeology, and her research focuses on the material culture of the north-western provinces. She is particularly interested in the relationship between consumption of Roman objects and expression of social and cultural identities. With colleagues at Reading Hella has also pioneered the large-scale application of isotope and ancestry analysis to late Roman skeletons, showing that towns such as York and Winchester were home to many immigrants, and that women and children were amongst the people who moved across the Empire.

The prize forms part of the celebrated Current Archaeology Awards, which are given each year by Current Archaeology, the UK’s leading archaeology magazine. TV personality and archaeologist Julian Richards announced the winners of the 2018 awards on 23 February, during the Current Archaeology Live! annual conference, which was held at the University of London’s Senate House.

Accepting the award, Hella Eckardt said:

I am very honoured to have been voted ‘Archaeologist of the Year 2018’ and would like to thank all the Current Archaeology readers and members of the wider archaeological community who voted for me. It is wonderful to see that my work on migration in the Roman period has some strong resonances today, and I am also proud to represent the many archaeologists who work with artefacts. 

I would also very much like to pay tribute to my co-nominees Timothy Darvill and Jim Leary for their fantastic work on the Neolithic. Special thanks go to the staff and students at the Department of Archaeology at the University of Reading – it is a huge honour to be the third winner of this prestigious award from the same institution.”

Notes for Editors: Current Archaeology Awards

  • Voted for by subscribers and members of the public, the awards recognise the outstanding contributions to our understanding of the past made by people, projects, and publications featured in the pages of Current Archaeology.
  • Hella is the third University of Reading academic in the last four years to win Archaeologist of the Year, following Professor Michael Fulford in 2015 and Professor Roberta Gilchrist in 2016.
  • The 2018 Current Archaeology Award for Archaeologist of the Year is sponsored by Andante Travels.
  • Current Archaeology was launched in 1967 and celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.
  • This year’s conference saw a record number of ticket sales and was attended by over 400 people
  • Award categories include: Archaeologist of the Year, Book of the Year, Research Project of the Year and Rescue Project of the Year.
  • For more information about CA Live!, visit www.archaeologylive.co.uk

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