The Royal Commission and Welsh Slate author David Gwyn (second right) receiving their Award for the book from Julian Richards (far left) and Bettany Hughes (far right) during the British Archaeological Awards ceremoney on 11 July.
The Royal Commission publication Welsh Slate – Archaeology and History of an Industry has won the British Archaeological Award for Best Archaeological Book.
It was shortlisted for the award in June alongside St Kilda: The Last and Outmost Isle and Stonehenge: Making sense of a prehistoric mystery. The winning book was announced at a ceremony held in the British Museum on 11 July, compèred by television and radio presenter, writer and archaeologist Julian Richards.
The Welsh Slate book was recognised by the panel of judges for increasing our understanding of the past and introducing it to new audiences. The publication of the book marks the perfect end to a project which began in 2007.
Author David Gwyn said: "I’m delighted to have received this wonderful award, not just for my own sake but for the recognition it confers on the Slate Industry of North Wales' World Heritage bid, and on those who worked, or who still work, in the industry."
Since its publication in March last year (2015), the book has been highly praised and this is the second award it has received. Earlier this year David Gwyn also received the Peter Neaverson Award for Outstanding Scholarship.
The British Archaeological Awards were founded in 1977 and have become Britain’s most prestigious independent archaeological awards, celebrating and showcasing the best in British archaeology. They are managed by an independent charity and are presneted every two years to celebrate the most innovative, accessible and impactful archaeological projects, publications and initiatives.
Alongside Welsh Slate, the 2016 winners included Battles, Bricks and Bridges, the Cleenish Community Association and Killesher Community Development Association of Northern Island for Best Community Engagement Archaeology Project; University of York for the Best Archaeological Innovation with the Star Carr shale pendant; National Geographic Magazine for Under London in the Best Public Presentation of Archaeology; Oxford Archaeology South with Westgate Oxford for Best Archaeological project.
An Outstanding Achievement Award was also presented to Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe and the Best Archaeological Discovery Award was given to the Must Farm Project in Cambridgeshire.
Deborah Williams, Chair of the British Archaeological Awards says: "The entries this year reflect the incredible wealth and range of archaeology that is going on across the UK, the quality and expertise of our world-leading archaeologists, and the ever increasing fascination of the British public with the history and archaeology of their local area."
You can see all the winning and shortlisted projects here.
- The book is available in both English and Welsh versions: Welsh Slate: Archaeology and History of an Industry (ISBN: 978-1871184-51-8) Llechi Cymru: Archaeoleg a Hanes (ISBN: 978-1871184-52-5). These are large format books of 291 pages with 243 high-quality illustrations. They each cost £45.