Friday, October 15, 2004


Ulster University researchers win archaeological accolade



Three researchers from the University of Ulster have won a prestigious British Archaeological Award for their pioneering survey of Strangford Lough.

Thomas McErlean, Rosemary McConkey and Wes Forsythe, from the Centre for Maritime Archaeology, received the Keith Muckelroy Memorial Award for published work on maritime archaeology in recognition of their scholarly contribution to the subject.

The winning book, ‘Strangford Lough: An Archaeological Survey of the Maritime Cultural Landscape’, presents the results of a five-year study of Strangford. It was also short-listed for the British Academy Book Prize last year.

Tom McErlean said: “The intensive survey of the Lough was commissioned by the Environment and Heritage Service and exceeded all our expectations by demonstrating the great archaeological richness of our coast.

“Keith Muckelroy was a pioneer in maritime archaeology and this project was a first for Northern Ireland,” Rosemary McConkey added. “It’s an exciting time for the subject here and we are delighted that our work has been recognised by this award.”

The Centre for Maritime Archaeology is based at the University’s new £1.5 million Centre for Coastal and Marine Research. Other publications in 2004-5 include ‘Boats and Shipwrecks of Ireland’ by Colin Breen and Wes Forsythe and the forthcoming ‘Harnessing the tides – the monastic tide mills of Nendrum’ by Thomas McErlean. The awards, which are presented biennially by the Council for British Archaeology, are regarded as the Oscars of British archaeology.

The ceremony took place in Belfast’s Elmwood Hall - the first time the awards have been hosted in Northern Ireland.(MB/GMCG)

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