Laurence Shaw of the New Forest National Park Authority accepts the award (Photo: Current Archaeology).

Cutting-edge laser technology has been declared Archaeological Innovation of the Last 50 Years at a prestigious awards ceremony in London. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), as exemplified by the New Forest National Park Authority, was given the accolade in recognition of the successful use of laser mapping surveys to reveal thousands of previously unknown archaeological sites within the national park, from prehistoric field systems and Bronze Age burial mounds to an otherwise undocumented Iron Age hillfort.

The prize forms part of the celebrated Current Archaeology Awards, which are given each year by Current Archaeology, the UK’s leading archaeology magazine, and voted for by the general public. TV personality and archaeologist Julian Richards (of Meet the Ancestors fame) announced the winners of the 2017 awards on 24 February, during the Current Archaeology Live! annual conference, held at the University of London’s Senate House. This year saw a record-breaking attendance for the event, with over 400 people hearing the latest research and discoveries from archaeology’s leading experts.

Accepting the award, Laurence Shaw of the New Forest National Park Authority said: ‘It’s an honour to represent a fantastic advance in technology. LiDAR is a technique that is revolutionising how we see landscapes.’

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.
  • The 2017 Current Archaeology Award for Archaeological Innovation of the Last 50 Years is sponsored by the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
  • An article on the LiDAR work of the New Forest National Park Authority appeared in Current Archaeology 285.
  •  Current Archaeology was launched in 1967 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
  • This year’s conference saw a record attendance, with over 400 people hearing the latest research and discoveries from archaeology’s leading experts.
  • Award categories include: Archaeologist of the Year, Book of the Year, Research Project of the Year, Rescue Project of the Year, and Archaeological Innovation of the Last 50 Years.
  • For more information about CA Live!, visit www.archaeologylive.co.uk