Sanctuary Awards recognition for project involving University of Leicester

An archaeological project involving our University has been recognised at a national awards ceremony.

The Ancient Akrotiri Project, Dreamer’s Bay, Cyprus, which involves a team from the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, was runner up in the Sanctuary Awards event held in Whitehall.

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), part of the MOD, manages the defence estate and supports armed forces throughout the UK and abroad to live, work and train. The 27th annual Sanctuary Awards showcased the achievements of teams and individuals working to preserve and protect the defence estate, both at home and abroad.

This year’s awards had an international feel with winners and runners up representing areas of the military training estate from all over Great Britain and the world. The project involving Leicester was a runner up in the Heritage Project Award.

Dreamer’s Bay, inside the UK’s Cyprus airbase, RAF Akrotiri, is the site of a late Roman/early Byzantine harbour complex.  It is a significant part of the heritage of the Akrotiri Peninsula, and has been known about for some decades.

The archaeological project has been led by the University of Leicester School of Archaeology & Ancient History in close collaboration with a range of other partners, stakeholders and authorities.

Professor Simon James, the academic lead on the project who attended the awards ceremony, said:

“With our MOD partners based both in the UK and Cyprus we were delighted to receive the runner-up place in this year’s Heritage Project Award. The Sanctuary Awards reflect how seriously the various branches of MOD take their environmental responsibilities, including stewardship of the cultural heritage, not only on the UK Defence Estate but also in the overseas territories. It is a privilege to be able to collaborate with DIO and the UK Sovereign Base authorities on these efforts inside the RAF’s busiest operational airfield. Our work at Akrotiri also crucially involves partnership with the Cyprus Department of Antiquities, the Akrotiri Environmental Centre, and the Universities of Southampton and Cyprus, in a project which is extending our knowledge of the history of the peninsula, and Cyprus as a whole.”

You can access the MOD release here:

The project also features on pp.5 and 32-33 (and 44 for Caerwent)  in Sanctuary Magazine