Young Archaeologist of the Year Shortlist: Introducing Anna.....
The Young Archaeologist of the Year Award is one of the Marsh Archaeology Awards organised by the Council for British Archaeology (which YAC is part of), supported by the Marsh Christian Trust.
What is the Young Archaeologist of the Year Award?
The Young Archaeologist of the Year Award is presented to a young person (or group of young people) aged 17 or under, who loves archaeology. To be our Award winner, we want someone who has developed their own archaeological knowledge and skills, and who has shared their love of archaeology and the past with other people too.
This Year's Shortlist
There are three shortlisted entries for the 2019 Young Archaeologist of the Year Award, We have already introduced you to Roisin and James and now we would like to tell you about Anna Priest, who was nominated by her YAC Leader, Francine Hills. Fran said of Anna:
‘Anna joined Bexley YAC in March 2015. Anna quickly developed her love of archaeology into a passion. As she has got older she has attended many training and voluntary excavations on her school holidays, in the early days with mum and, as she turned 16, on her own. Her confidence over the years has grown, from a very quiet girl to one who is prepared to help our younger and new members join in with activities. As a group we started using the BAJR Passports for the education of our older YAC members. Anna has so many skills, excavations and experiences that she now has 2!
As she turned 16 Anna became a Young leader. She is a wonderful role model to all our aspiring archaeologists. She helps out with our younger and new members, adds her contributions to the sessions and takes groups of her own. She is very engaging and all the group love her to help them as she is very patient and explains things to them beautifully. At the beginning of the year Anna also joined the YAC Steering Group to help bring a youth perspective to the group.
Anna is a fantastic asset to YAC’.
We asked Anna some questions about how she got involved with archaeology, what she enjoys and what it means to be nominated:
Hi, I’m Anna and I'm currently studying for my A Levels at school in South East London. I am working towards studying archaeology at university next year and am really looking forward to it! In my spare time, I’m working on a podcast about archaeology, with the initial episode considering the impact that Indiana Jones has had on the public perception of archaeology and archaeologists. I am proud to be a member of the YAC National Steering Group where my role is to give a Youth perspective on how the YAC operates and work with the CBA and Historic England to ensure its long-term success.
I have a few interests outside of archaeology including musical theatre, and I’m currently rehearsing for my school play, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest where I’m playing McMurphy, which is a fun but challenging role.
I’ve always been interested in archaeology with my holiday’s as a child consisting of wandering round battlefields, visiting museums and trying to imagine what ancient sites would have looked like in the past. My love for archaeology has only grown since joining the Bexley branch of the Young Archaeologists Club and sometimes I feel as though my local archives, where we have our meetings during the winter months, has become a second home.
It’s much easier to pinpoint my favourite time period as on my first proper dig in York when I was 14, I found a Humber ware jug handle, and since then I’ve loved everything Medieval. I’ve also developed a passion for osteology, thanks in part to some work I undertook at the Museum of London where I worked in their osteology department; learning how to lay out a skeleton and recognise the impact of pathologies on bones which I found really fascinating.
It’s really hard to decide what my favourite archaeological experience is to date. I’d probably have to say that my favourite is the time that I have spent at Vindolanda over the last 2 years. I’ve learnt a lot and it’s such an incredible site. I’ve got to watch my fellow volunteers uncover all sorts of exciting objects including leather shoes and worked wooden objects that wouldn’t have survived if it weren’t for the incredible preservation through the anaerobic conditions at the site. It’s such an amazing site to learn about life in Roman Britain and life in the post-Roman period, I can’t wait to go back next summer. Another highlight was getting to be part of the Kids in Museums Youth Takeover where I ran the YAC twitter account for the day during this summer’s Festival of archaeology. I’m really interested in engaging people in archaeology an using social media to do so, so this was an incredible opportunity for me. I feel a huge amount of gratitude to the YAC and the CBA.
I was short listed for the first time in 2017 and it’s amazing to be nominated again, particularly when I’ve just been pursuing things that I really enjoy. Being firstly a member of the YAC and then becoming a Young Leader 2 years ago has allowed me to give to a group that has given me so much.
The winner of the Young Archaeologist of the Year Award will be announced at the Council for British Archaeology’s Annual Archaeology Day in London on November 22nd. More information is available here: CBA Archaeology Day