September 15, 2021

Dissertation Prize

The Gwobr Archaeoleg Cambrian Archaeological Award

Each year the Cambrian Archaeological Association gives a dissertation prize to an undergraduate or Master’s level dissertation which makes the most original contribution to the archaeology and/or history of Wales and the Marches. The Gwobr Archaeoleg Cambrian Archaeological Award (formerly the Blodwen Jerman Prize) is an opportunity for students and researchers, including those in continuing education, to share their research with the wider academic community and begin network building through the Association and its Members.

This prestigious prize was established in 1980 and over the years we have received a wide range of dissertations covering a breadth of topics and methodologies. In recent years we have particularly welcomed research that is innovative in its approach, and has the potential to be impactful not only to the scholarship but also within the wider community.

Submissions can be made by the student, or [their] supervisor or department (N.B. there is no annual limit to the number of entries that can be made by a department). Dissertations should be dated from within the last two years. The deadline for submissions is the 30th November each year. Following this, submissions will be reviewed by a panel and the award will be announced in the summer. The award winner will receive £300 in prize money, three years free membership to the CAA and will be invited to receive the award at our summer AGM and warmly welcomed to provide a poster detailing the research, or provide a brief 10 minute presentation (this is optional).

To make a submission please download and complete an entry form, available below as a PDF or a Word document, and email this, together with a digital copy of the dissertation to Heather James, Secretary at: cambrians1846@gmail.com

Dissertation Entry Form in PDF format

Dissertation Entry Form in Word format

Any queries prior to submission should be addressed to Tudur Davies at cambrians1846@gmail.com

 


Prize Winner 2023: Sheridan Clements

The 2023 Gwobr Archaeoleg Cambrian Archaeological Award is awarded to Sheridan Clements for their accomplished and engaging MA dissertation entitled: Prehistoric Pasts and the Iron Age Hillforts of Northwestern Wales: The Choice of Location and the Incorporation of Ancient Monuments.

Sheridan’s dissertation aimed to create a better understanding of interactions with the past during the Iron Age of northwestern Wales and to investigate the relationships between hillforts and pre-existing monumental features within the landscape. To do this, a database of 118 hillforts within the region was created. The hillforts were placed into three non-mutually exclusive groups: those with previous internal monumental activity, those with a pre-existing monument within 300m of the outer ramparts, and those with a pre-existing monument within 1km of the outer ramparts. These groups were analyzed both statistically in SPSS and spatially in GIS software and compared to the results of the entire database. Additionally, the direct interactions between hillforts and earlier monumental activity included within their ramparts is more closely described. Although there does not appear to be a direct preference for hillfort location among concentrations of earlier monuments within the study area, it is proposed that these monuments may have been treated as a resource to be exploited by Iron Age communities. Furthermore, when compared to monumental reuse in other areas, the evidence from northwestern Wales suggests the direct inclusion of earlier monuments may have been connected to concepts of ancestry and were possibly used to display and either legitimize or enforce status. Further consideration and viewshed analyses are suggested for future analysis.

Sheridan’s MA dissertation was written as part of their MA in Celtic Archaeology at Bangor; a copy of Sheridan’s dissertation can be viewed here.

“Receiving the Gwobr Archaeoleg Cambrian Archaeological Award means the world to me after gaining the confidence to not only move to the UK, but to also switch my topic to a less-considered, but equally fascinating aspect of prehistoric archaeology, not to mention the difficulties of altering and finishing the project with the advent of the pandemic. I am deeply encouraged by the recognition of my efforts to provide unique contributions to the field by such an institution as the Cambrian Archaeological Association!” – Sheridan Clements, 2023

Read more about Sheridan’s journey into archaeology here.

 


 

Previous prize winners

 

Prize Winner 2022: Dan Hunt

 

“Winning this award means the absolute world to me. I am shocked that my work has been recognised by such an esteemed Welsh institution. It is made even more special by the fact that the dissertation was completed at the height of the lockdown where libraries were closed and movement heavily limited. It has given me a huge, and much-needed, boost in my confidence both to work competently within the discipline as well as in myself as a whole.”

– Dan Hunt, 2022

 

 

 

 

Prize Winner 2007 – Dr Tudur Davies

 

“On gaining this prize I gained increased faith in my abilities, providing a degree of credibility in my own eyes to interact confidently with senior peers at conferences and other academic events.  I have since discussed this with other prize winners who have shared similar experiences, demonstrating the value of this prize in encouraging early career scholars in their ventures into academia and the promotion of the study of Welsh archaeology.”

– Dr Tudur Davies (prize winner 2007)