The European Association of Archaeologists instituted the European Archaeological Heritage Prize in 1999. An independent Committee awards the Prize annually for an outstanding contribution to the generation of archaeological heritage knowledge and its dissemination, and to the protection, presentation and enhancement of the European archaeological heritage.
As of 2018, nominations for the Prize are received in either of two categories:
- Individual category for an outstanding scholarly contribution or personal involvement,
- Institutional category for local, regional, national or international initiatives, long- or short-term, which contribute to the preservation and presentation of European archaeological heritage beyond the normal duties of the institution.
The same nomination form is used for both categories, with a different emphasis in the evaluated criteria.
The major evaluation criteria – recommended to be addressed in the application form – are as follows:
1. Scholarly (academic contribution)
2. Societal (contribution to generation of community values based on heritage)
3. Heritage (achievements within heritage protection / management / conceptual development)
4. Political (political level impact to further the standing of archaeological heritage)
The Committee will discuss all serious proposals for the Prize. No self-nominations are accepted. Nominations may be made by any of the following:
- Members of the Association (all membership categories)
- Professors and heads of departments of archaeology at European universities and institutes
- Directors of governmental heritage management organisations and agencies in European countries (members of the Council of Europe)
- Non-governmental archaeological, heritage, and professional organisations in European countries.
The 2020 European Archaeological Heritage Prize will be awarded during the Opening Ceremony of the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting on 26 August 2020. The awarded candidate(s) will have the chance to give a very brief presentation of their work. Up to two runner-ups, based on the second and third highest scores received, will also be announced for each category at the Opening Ceremony and will receive the same publicity as the winner(s).