Two British Academy Fellows have been recognised at a world-leading archaeology forum.
Professor Eszter Bánffy FSA FBA and Professor Graeme Barker CBE FBA FSA FRGS both received one of ten prestigious Field Discovery awards at the Shanghai Archaeology Forum (SAF), which was held on December 8, 2017 at Shanghai University.
The Field Discovery awards are made for archaeological excavations or surveys that have yielded major discoveries significantly furthering or even altering our knowledge of the human past, locally and globally.
Professor Bánffy was recognised for her project, ‘The Neolithic at Alsónyék in Southern Hungary – a persistent place for 1300 years in the 6-5th millennium BC’, while Professor Barker received his award for his work at the Niah Caves, Sarawak (Malaysia), brought together in two McDonald Institute monographs: ‘Rainforest Foraging and Farming in Island Southeast Asia’ (2013) and ‘Archaeological Investigations in the Niah Caves, Sarawak’ (2016).
Commenting on the award, Professor Bánffy said: “I am delighted to receive this prize, which was a great surprise. The site Alsónyék is powerful indeed but more important is the concept of a multidisciplinary, synergetic proceeding, and even more important is the creative and joyful cooperation of many experts and students from Hungary, Germany and Britain. I am very grateful to my team.”
Of his award, Professor Barker commented: "This is a lovely accolade for all of us and I am really delighted for all the support the Sarawak Museum gave to the project in general and to me in particular as its director. I do hope it all helps to celebrate the globally-important archaeology of Sarawak."
Founded in 2013, the Shanghai Archaeology Forum (SAF) is a global initiative dedicated to promoting the investigation, protection and utilization of the world’s archaeological resources and heritage.
The SAF Awards recognize individuals and organizations that have achieved distinction through innovative, creative, and rigorous works relating to our human past, and have generated new knowledge that has particular relevance to the contemporary world and our common future.
Eszter Bánffy FSA FBA is a Hungarian prehistorian, archaeologist, and academic. Since 2013, she has been Director of the Romano-Germanic Commission at the German Archaeological Institute. She is also a professor at the Archaeological Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Professor Graeme Barker CBE FBA FSA FRGS is Disney Professor of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on prehistoric archaeology, the relationship between landscape and people, transitions from foraging to farming, and the origins of human behaviour and migrations.