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. Self-nominations (institutional category) clarification: if the potential nominee is directly employed by the nominator in the particular project (i.e. the project is the intellectual copyright of both the nominator and nominee), then the nomination is considered as self-nomination and cannot be 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 2023 European Archaeological Heritage Prize will be awarded during the Opening Ceremony of the 29th EAA Annual Meeting in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on 30 August 2023. The awarded candidate(s) are expected to attend the Ceremony in person and to give a very brief presentation of their work (up to 5 minutes). Up to two honorary mentions could also be announced for each category at the Opening Ceremony of the 29th EAA Annual Meeting and will receive the same publicity as the winner(s).