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Prehistoric Society Collections Study Award

15 April 2016

Dawn Cansfield (University of Winchester)

Collaborative research involving Paola Ponce (Archaeology South-East) has been awarded the inaugural Collections Study Award from the Prehistoric Society

The partnership between Andy Maxted, Curator of Archaeology at Brighton Museum, Dawn Cansfield, University of Winchester PhD student and osteoarchaeologist, Paola Ponce of Archaeology South-East is the first winner of the Prehistoric Society's new Collections Study Award.

The Collections Study Award provides funding of up to £3000 for the study of a specified area of a museum’s archaeological collections and/or archives relating specifically to human prehistory.

The grant will enable the team to catalogue and assess the prehistoric human remains in RPM’s collections, to gauge the individuals' age and sex any obvious signs of disability or disease. Alongside this the team will also assess the condition of the human remains, which were all discovered in the Brighton & Hove area (many in the 1930s when building roads and houses), and their potential for further museum and research use/analysis.

Paola's role is to ensure the recording method is appropriate and efficient to gather all the biographical information needed from each prehistoric skeleton stored in the Museum. She will also be involved in the preparation, with other team members, of the final report summarising the results as well as the potential of the skeletal assemblage for future research.

According to team member Andy Maxted:

  • "We will provide regular updates on the progress of the project, and publish our findings when the assessment has been completed. We hope that by the end of the process we will have gained much needed information on these earliest inhabitants of Brighton & Hove.