Helen Clarke awarded Royal Swedish Academy silver medal
9 May 2012
Congratulations are given to Helen Clarke, Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Institute, who has been honoured for services to Swedish archaeology.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities awarded Helen their silver medal (antikvariska medaljen i silver) for services to Swedish archaeology. It was presented by King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden at the Academy’s annual festivities, which are held every March in memory of Queen Ulricka Lovisa who founded the Academy in 1753.
Helen has a long association with UCL. Before retirement she was a member of the Department of Medieval Archaeology, joining the staff in 1976 and teaching aspects of medieval British and north European archaeology and publishing The Archaeology of Medieval England in 1984.
Helen's connection with Sweden began when she was a postgraduate student at University of Lund, digging in Lund’s medieval town centre. Back in UK she continued to work with medieval towns, and particularly their trading contacts across the North Sea and the Baltic. In the early 1990s she was associated with the excavation and publication project on Viking Age Birka and co-authored, with Björn Ambrosiani, the volume on Towns in the Viking Age (1991). Helen then became visiting professor at Lund University, from which she received an Honorary Doctorate in Medieval Archaeology in 1992.
More recently Helen returned to her original interest in medieval towns and in 2004-2007 worked on an English Heritage supported project on the Cinque Port of Sandwich in Kent. Results were published in 2010 as Sandwich: the ‘completest medieval town in England’ (Helen Clarke, Sarah Pearson et al. Oxbow Books).
From 1975 to 2008 Helen acted as translator and editor for the Academy’s publication series Excavations at Helgö (an early medieval site in central Sweden) and she is currently collaborating with Swedish colleagues on reinterpreting the evidence for buildings at Helgö. It is hoped that this research will result in a further volume in the Excavations at Helgö series.
As part of its current charter the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities undertakes to bestow support and awards on deserving researchers and others who have furthered the objectives of the Academy.