EUROPEAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE PRIZE 2002
The 4th European Archaeological Heritage Prize has been awarded to Henry Cleere for the central role he has played in the internationalization and modernization of archaeological heritage management in Europe during the last 25 years.
Henry Cleere came to professional archaeology late, after an international career in the iron and steel industry. He had, however, been a part-time student at the London Institute of Archaeology, where he obtained his PhD for a thesis on the iron industry of Roman Britain. In 1974, at the age of 47, he bounced into archaeology with never ending energy as Director of the Council for British Archaeology. This was in the height of the rescue movement, and he quickly realized the professional potential and organisational needs of these new developments. By employing the international and organisational experience acquired during his former career, he launched and played an active role in a series of initiatives during the next 25 years that were to have a lasting effect on the development of archaeological heritage management, from its fundamental principles and legal foundations to its broader organisational and practical applications. Based upon a study of heritage management in different parts of the world, in 1984 he edited ”Approaches to the Archaeological Heritage”, an influential book that for the first time presented the archaeological heritage in a comparative international context. The book was instrumental in focussing the heritage sector on the importance of the archaeological environment. It was followed by the book ”Archaeological Heritage Management in the Modern World” in 1989. Henry Cleere used his position as a member of the Executive Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) from 1981 to 1990 as a platform for developing the first international organisational framework for the archaeological heritage sector. He was a prime mover in the establishment of that organisation´s ”International Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management” (ICAHM) in 1984, and in the drafting of the 1990 ICOMOS Charter on Archaeological Heritage Management. This was a significant step forward as it for the first time defined the aims and the responsibilities of archaeological heritage management internationally. These principles were later echoed in the European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (the Malta Convention) in 1992 which set new standards for European conservation archaeology. Henry, as this particular audience knows well, was also an active participant in and founding member of the European Association of Archaeologists, where his experience was of great value in the drafting of the EAA statutes. He was the obvious choice as the first Secretary of our organisation, and led the working party that brought into being the ”EAA Code of Practice” in 1997, a major achievement for the EAA and for European archaeology. Until last year he was also our tireless editor of the newsletter ”The European Archaeologist” (TEA) After his retirement in 1991 Henry started a new career as consultant to ICOMOS in Paris, coordinating its work as adviser on cultural heritage to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee from 1992 until earlier this year. During this 10 year period he carried out evaluation and monitoring missions to many of the most important archaeological sites that are on the World Heritage list today. His international experience, personal dedication and friendship with archaeologists around the world made this great achievement possible.
In recognition of Henry Cleere´s contributions to the development of archaeological heritage management over 25 years, reflected in his publications, in his participation in starting new international organisations, in the working out of guiding principles and in his work for the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, the EAA awards him the fourth European Heritage Prize.