The Picts – shortlisted for top UK archaeology award

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A Forestry Commission Scotland learning resource which helps pupils discover the mysterious Picts has been shortlisted for a prestigious UK archaeological award.

The British Archaeology Awards showcase the very latest discoveries and innovations in archaeology, with The Picts being shortlisted for the Best Public Presentation of Archaeology Award.

The Picts is a colourful classroom and outdoor learning resource for teachers which aims to stimulate pupils’ imaginations through classroom discovery and outdoor visits to museums and hillforts.

Matt Ritchie, Forestry Commission Scotland’s archaeologist said:

“We are thrilled that our project has been shortlisted for a UK Award.

“We hoped to make it easier for teachers to study the Picts within the classroom – and to integrate this learning with a visit to local museums, hillforts and symbol stones.

“Some of the most important Pictish hillforts in the Highlands lie on Scotland’s National Forest Estate. Enabling outdoor learning about both the natural and cultural environment is a key part of our role.”

Deborah Williams, Chair of the British Archaeological Awards commented, “The entries this year reflect the incredible wealth and range of archaeology that is going on across the United Kingdom, the quality and expertise of our world-leading archaeologists, and the ever increasing fascination of the public with the history and archaeology of their local area.

“Increasingly archaeologists are responding to this interest by developing new ways to help people to take part in research and excavations, start up their own projects, and share and understand new discoveries - and this shines through in our shortlisted entries.

“All the finalists have a common theme – involving and enthusing young people and the public in their archaeological heritage.”

The Picts is a learning resource which aims to bring the early historic Picts alive through a series of classroom and place-based activities, particularly hillforts on the National Forest Estate. It also encourages teachers and pupils to explore local museums, archaeological sites and historic monuments.

The results of the British Archaeological Awards will be announced on 11 July at the British Museum in London.

See the shortlisted projects at www.archaeologicalawards.com and follow the Awards on twitter @BAAWARDSUK  

Notes for editors:

1. The British Archaeological Awards take place every two years and are managed by an independent charity, chaired by Deborah Williams of Historic England, and trustees from across the archaeology profession. The 2016 Awards are sponsored by the Robert Kiln Trust, The Society of Antiquaries of London, The British Museum, Portable Antiquities Scheme, Historic England, the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, Archaeology Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, and Cadw. For trustees and sponsors see: www.archaeologicalawards.org.uk Established in 1976 and now in their 38th year, the Awards encompass five categories and a discretionary awards for Outstanding Achievement and Best Discovery. Their aim is to advance public education in the study and practice of archaeology in all its aspects in the United Kingdom and in particular the granting of awards for excellence or other appropriate reasons. The Awards’ mission to be recognised and valued by archaeologists, those they work with and the wider public to facilitate and celebrate good practice in archaeology, raise the profile of the discipline and contribute to a greater recognition of the academic, social, environmental and public relations value of archaeology.

2.  The Awards are given to recognise aspects of archaeology from the last two years which have been nominated by the archaeological community, and have been independently judged by panels of experts from across the archaeology sector: Chairs of Judging Panels for the 2016 entries were: • Best Archaeological Project: John Lewis • Best Community Archaeology Project: Eila Macqueen • Best Archaeological Book: Paul Stamper • Best Public Presentation of Archaeology: Louise Ennis • Best Archaeological Innovation: Andrew Davidson

3  Winners will be announced on the website of the British Archaeological Awards following the ceremony on 11 July: www.archaeologicalawards.org.uk

4. Media enquiries about The Picts project to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office 0300 067 6508.