in the news Archaeological Achievement
Awards extended to the
Republic Established in 1976, the Archaeological Achievement Awards are a showcase for the best in UK archaeology and a central event in the archaeological calendar across the Irish Sea. Previously known as the British Archaeological Awards, there was initially a focus on celebrating community archaeology. The Awards were previously biennial and were run for many years by an independent charity. In 2019 the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) agreed to take on their running, with the support of a steering group representing the breadth of the archaeological sector. Relaunched in 2021 as the Archaeological Achievement Awards, they have a new set of categories and cover the whole of the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Alongside the name change, the award categories have been revised to better reflect the diverse work being undertaken by professional and volunteer archaeologists. There will now be five categories (Innovation, Public dissemination, Engagement, Early-career archaeologist, and one under the category ‘Learning, training and skills’) and an overall outstanding achievement award, celebrating every aspect of archaeology on these islands.
The relaunched Awards are believed to have received three years’ funding from the National Monuments Service, and Irish nominations are to be vetted by the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland. It is hoped that the 2023 Awards ceremony will take place in Dublin. A spokesperson for the Awards said that the aim is to advance public education in the study and practice of archaeology in all its aspects. It is hoped that the Awards will be recognised and valued by archaeologists, those with whom they work 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 its academic, social, environmental and public relations value.
deliver publications which will bring together information across regions and time periods, forming an up-to-date narrative on this past.
€2.2 million announced for INSTAR+ archaeological research programme Minister Malcolm Noonan has announced the establishment of a €2.2 million archaeological research programme funded by the National Monuments Service, in partnership with the Heritage Council and administered by the Irish Research Council. The INSTAR+ programme, which will run initially to 2024, is a successor to the Irish National Strategic Archaeological Research (INSTAR) Programme, which ran from 2008 to 2014 and which delivered a number of key collaborative projects in areas such as Neolithic agriculture, ancient human remains and early medieval settlement.
Announcing the establishment of INSTAR+, Minister Noonan said that, ‘through the Irish Research Council’s COALESCE programme, the highest-quality peer-review rigour is ensured of the various INSTAR+ research projects that it is hoped to fund over the next two years. The €2.2 million investment in INSTAR+ will support links between Ireland’s highly experienced commercial archaeological sector and our Higher Education Institutions, it will grow research capacity, and it will contribute to a better understanding of Ireland’s archaeological heritage.’
Operated by the Irish Research Council as part of the COALESCE Programme, INSTAR+ will fund 24-month collaborative projects aimed at addressing key knowledge gaps in Irish archaeology, building further research capacity and helping to address the issue of unpublished archaeological excavations. According to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the interactions between commercial, academic and State archaeologists and local communities will lead to greater co-operation and resilience across the sector.
The objective of the INSTAR+ archaeological research programme is to contribute to a better understanding of Ireland’s archaeological heritage by tackling key questions about our past, to fully realise the potential of Ireland’s archaeological record and to transform our understanding of how Ireland’s society has evolved. One objective of INSTAR+ is to ensure that all archaeological work undertaken in the context of development-led excavations is translated into knowledge about Ireland’s past. INSTAR+ will
Commenting further on unpublished excavations, the Minister said that ‘INSTAR+ will bring together information gleaned from the thousands of development-led archaeological excavations licensed by my Department over recent years, weaving that into the complex story of Ireland’s past. Involving communities as key partners, we will look to research some of the key issues that our society faces today, including environmental and climate change and how societies adapted to those and built resilience. Our understanding of the past shapes our future, with much to learn from how past societies grappled with the challenges of change.’
INSTAR+ will open for applications on 23 September 2021, and researchers in IRCeligible Higher Education Institutions and ResearchPerforming Organisations in Ireland are invited to submit collaborative applications for funding.