Mark Knight, the Archaeologist for the Year 2017 (Photo: Current Archaeology).

Top honours for Archaeologist of the Year at the prestigious Current Archaeology Awards for 2017 went to Mark Knight of Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU). Knight is director of the excavation of a well-preserved Bronze Age settlement at Must Farm (near Peterborough), which won this year’s Rescue Project of the Year award. Knight specialises in prehistoric landscapes, Neolithic and Bronze Age pottery, and his research interests include exploring later prehistoric contexts of inhabitation and mobility, and comprehending the lives of people in southern Britain between 3800-800 BC.

Knight’s first experience of archaeology came as a result of the Manpower Services Commission, an initiative through which he spent six years working with Exeter Museum’s Archaeological Field Unit. Encouraged by the unit’s then director, he then left to study archaeology, and after completing his degree in 1995, joined CAU and began researching the prehistoric Fens – a landscape that still absorbs him some 20 years on.

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, Mark Knight said: ‘The Must Farm project was a team effort – the product of great teamwork, a great group of people. And if I am any good at what I do, it is because of working for Cambridge Archaeological Unit, and being able to immerse myself in the world of rescue archaeology and research, and to immerse myself in the Fenland landscape.’

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 Archaeologist of the Year is sponsored by Oxford University Press.
  • 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

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