Two Leicester archaeologists win prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prize

Dr Marianne Hem Eriksen and Dr Sarah Inskip (Credit: Hollis Photography UK)

Two academics from the University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History have each been awarded a prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prize.

Dr Marianne Hem Eriksen and Dr Sarah Inskip are among five winners nationally to win the prize for Archaeology, a major achievement for the University.

The Philip Leverhulme Prizes are awarded by the Leverhulme Trust to researchers at the early stage in their careers whose work has had an international impact and 'whose future research career shows exceptional promise'.

Dr Eriksen, heading the European Research Council project 'Body-Politics', researches what or who could be regarded as a person in Iron and Viking Age Scandinavia, including topics such as structural violence, sexuality, and body-imagery.

Dr Inskip, A UKRI Future Leaders Fellow, is currently researching the impact of tobacco consumption on the health of Western Europeans from 1600-1900, using an interdisciplinary approach centred on the analyses of archaeological human skeletal remains.

Both will receive a £100,000 grant to assist in further research in their respective fields.

Nationally, universities can nominate three academics within each subject every third year. To receive two in one discipline in a single round is a major achievement for the School and University.

Dr Eriksen said: "I'm so excited and grateful to be awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize in archaeology. I want to warmly thank mentors, colleagues and friends who have supported me over the years.

“The award will give me time and space to take my research in new directions; aiming to understand diverse forms of kinship in the past through the project 'Making Oddkin in Later European Prehistory'.”

Dr Inskip said: "I am honored to have received this award and am grateful for the support of my colleagues.

“The prize will allow me to expand my research on the impact on tobacco on British oral health over the past four hundred years and demonstrate the value of bioarchaeology for understanding long-term health trends."

Dr Huw Barton, Head of the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester said: “It is very humbling to work in a School filled with such exceptional research talent and it is wonderful to see the recognition of that with, not one, but two, awards of the Philip Leverhulme Prize.

“Both recipients show in different ways how archaeology today can be productively explored to challenge long-held biases in how we see ourselves and peoples of the past, and to address issues that impact current society.

“This next generation of scholars is determined to push the discipline forwards, redefining what we can achieve for the future, with the knowledge of our past.”