University of Buckingham professor wins the UK's top archaeology award
University of Buckingham archaeologist Professor David Jacques has won the most prestigious archaeology award in the country for his pioneering work at Stonehenge.
The excavations at Blick Mead, about a mile from the historic site in Wiltshire, have provided a plethora of information about life in Mesolithic Britain, including evidence of meeting and feasting practices, but archaeologists have also discovered evidence for the transition into a more Neolithic way of life.
Recently, the University of Buckingham project team expressed concerns that current plans for the Stonehenge tunnel could adversely affect the historic environment and reduce the water table at Blick Mead, destroying its rare organic remains.
Professor Jacques said: “We really want to thank Current Archaeology, who were the first to notice Blick Mead and its significance in terms of revealing the story behind Stonehenge.
“I’d also like to thank the university and the people of Buckingham – everyone who voted for us.
“This is a real David and Goliath battle – for the award we were up against large universities and it’s incredible that one of the country’s smallest has won the award.
“It is absolutely vital that the tunnel doesn’t go ahead otherwise we may never be able to piece together the fragments which are gradually revealing possible reasons which led to the construction of Stonehenge.”
Professor Jacques runs an archaeology MA at the university which features a two-week dig at Stonehenge unearthing vital evidence that has helped piece together the history of the prehistoric monument.
So far the digs, which the Professor has been running for a decade, have uncovered the oldest “eco” house in the Stonehenge landscape – an upturned tree used as a home, evidence of the worlds’ oldest cooked frogs’ legs, bones and the long continuous period of occupation following the Ice Age anywhere in Britain.