Professor Roberta Gilchrist voted Archaeologist of the Year

Professor Roberta Gilchrist (Research Dean for Heritage and Creativity), has become the first woman to win the Current Archaeology award for Archaeologist of the Year.

The award recognises Roberta’s recent research on the archaeology of Glastonbury Abbey, in which the reassessment of archaeological records revealed that several of the Abbey’s best known archaeological ‘facts’ were in fact myths themselves, perpetuated by excavators influenced by the abbey’s legends. Roberta’s research attracted widespread attention from both academic circles and international press alike.

The winners were announced at Current Archaeology Live! 2016, with each category winner determined by public vote. On receiving her award, Roberta said: “I am truly honoured to have been voted Current Archaeology’s Archaeologist of the Year 2016 and I would like to thank the Current Archaeology readers and wider public who voted for me. I’m delighted that my work on Glastonbury Abbey has captured the public imagination. I am particularly proud to be the first woman voted Archaeologist of the Year and to see that women dominated all categories of the Current Archaeology Awards 2016.”


Archaeologist of the Year 2016

Voting has just opened for the 8th annual Current Archaeology Awards.  These Awards celebrate the projects and publications that made the pages of Current Archaeology this year, and the people judged to have made outstanding contributions to archaeology. These awards are voted for entirely by the public – there are no panels of judges. Voting closes on 8 February 2016, and the winners will be announced at the special awards ceremony on 26 February at Current Archaeology Live! 2016. You will recognise Roberta’s name on the list for Archaeologist of the Year 2016:

Archaeologist of the Year 2016

You will also see that Hella Eckardt has been nominated for Book of the Year:

Book of the Year 2016

Follow this link to vote


Wellbeing and Work Life Balance



Roberta Gilchrist (Head of School) highlighted both of these recent articles:


‘Tips on looking after your mental health as a PhD student’ by Holly Else (Times Higher 13th November 2014)

Learn to recognise and respond to signs of depression and stress – ‘A PhD can sound like a great career move: it challenges the intellect, expands horizons, boosts a CV and offers flexible working hours. But for some the nature of the work involved can take a toll on their mental health.’









‘Clocking off’ by Patience Schell (Times Higher)

‘Work need not – should not – be all consuming. Long hours hurt productivity, while leisure improves health and sharpens minds’

Five alive: scholarly ways to well-being

Patience Schell adapts the New Economics Foundation’s evidence-based “Five Ways to Well-being” for academic lives

Cultivate your human relationships at work. Invite a colleague for coffee. Walk down the hall and knock on a door instead of sending an email.

Be active
When a problem’s got you stuck, walk to the library to return those books, explore an unknown street, find your own “Sandwalk”. Give your mind the time to be carried by your body and roam free.

Take notice
Be mindful, look around, be in the moment and be aware. Be with your students as they learn. Be in the moment with your research, even when it’s frustrating. We’re so lucky that our field allows us to follow our curiosity.

Keep learning
Here again, we are lucky. Each time we redesign our courses, each time we approach a new aspect of our research, each time we’re given a new administrative task, we have an opportunity to learn, which is vital to our brain’s health and our well-being.

Be generous with your time. We are generous every time we help junior colleagues and students, create a postgraduate support group or work for our profession.

Do you have any tips?  Is there any additional support that could be offered to staff and students? Do you feel you have a good work life balance?  Could it be improved?…………..


Is Gender Still Relevant?

In September 2014 a conference discussing ‘Is gender still relevant?’ took place at the University of Bradford.

Dr Karina Croucher was conference lead, having secured funding from the British Academy. Karina is a Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Bradford. Her research interests include Funerary Archaeology, Archaeological Theory, Prehistory, Identity, gender and personhood, as well as interdisciplinary research into death and dying and end of life care. She is author of Death and Dying in the Neolithic Near East (2012, Oxford University Press).






The ‘Is Gender Still Relevant?’ seminar, sponsored by the British Academy, examined the state of play in gender research in the historic disciplines, and asked if (and why) we still need to debate gender issues, including feminism, masculism and gender fluidity. Despite over 30 years of campaigning and policy, why does gender remain a key issue today?

The event discussed both research and academic practice and welcomed participation from all career stages, particularly early career scholars. They were also keen on perspectives from all genders – this isn’t just about women!

You can find out more about the event following this link –

RGilchrist_wThe Introduction to the event by Roberta Gilchrist (Head of School) can be seen here –

The British Castle: A Woman’s Place

RGilchrist_wOn Thursday 29th February BBC Radio 3 broadcast ‘The British Castle: A Woman’s Place’ by Roberta Gilchrist (Head of School).  Roberta asks – can we re-gender or re-people the Medieval castle?   How do we begin to find women?

You can still listen to this 15 minute episode here  –




‘Very often the visitor to a medieval castle in Britain is confronted with a mass of information and interpretation about the military activities of the men who inhabited these spaces, but very little about the women. Archaeologist Prof. Roberta Gilchrist is keen to correct this imbalance, and argues that traditional interpretations of castles ignore the gendered spaces – the gardens, the apartments, the kitchens where female servants cooked, or indeed the adjoining parklands where aristocratic women occasionally hunted. There is abundant evidence that women gave birth in castles, and also had a hand in interior design, improving both plumbing and décor. Moreover, some women played a key role in the defence of medieval castles, in the absence of the lord. Archaeological research suggests women definitely did have a place in British castle history’


SAGES – You have received a gift from Roberta Gilchrist: Girl Power

Merry Christmas SAGES! I have chosen to support Oxfam’s ‘Girl Power’ to match our commitment this year to Athena Swan and Gender & Fieldwork.


This gift will help enhance the skills of women worldwide so they can stand up for their land inheritance rights, tackle the taboos surrounding domestic violence or gain influence by becoming business or community leaders. Leadership and management training along with broadcasts, protests, petitions and street theatre are collectively changing the lives of women for the better. This gift supports our Investing in the Future (IN) projects.


Your gift is Girl power

Your gift is Girl power

How your gift helps

Having support like this makes it easier for Aasi and other women to stand up for their rights. Aasi Mallah and her family were awarded four acres of land by the provincial government in Sindh province. But villagers who disputed her claim evicted her. We are helping her and other women in Sindh province, Pakistan to pursue their cases by providing legal support and representation. We’re also helping to spread awareness of land rights among poorer farming communities, to turn more women into landowners. Because of your gift today we’ll be able to help someone else like Aasi. Thank you.

This gift is from Roberta Gilchrist -Head of School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science (SAGES)RGilchrist_w