Sheffield Archaeology student Matt Lester short-listed for Prehistoric Society prize

It seems like only yesterday that I started in first year, but things like this make me realise how much you can achieve in just three years

Matt Lester

Sheffield Archaeology student Matt Lester has been short-listed for the prestigious Prehistoric Society prize for best undergraduate dissertation. His dissertation was supervised by Roger Doonan. Having completed his undergraduate studies, Matt has now moved onto study MSc Archaeological Materials with us. We wish Matt all the best of luck for the awards ceremony at the Antiquaries Society on 28th October and with his continuing studies. 

Matt's response to his short-listing

It was fantastic to learn that I had been nominated for a national prize for my dissertation. To be pitched alongside every other UK archaeology graduate and make it through to the award presentations in London was a real surprise and a tribute to the staff and my peers in the department.

Matt Lester largeIt seems like only yesterday that I started in first year, but things like this make me realise how much you can achieve in just three years. I came to University after working in retail for a number of years and it is hard to take in the transformation that I have gone through. Sheffield has given me a genuine confidence to be a practicing archaeologist. I feel grounded in the subject with a real sense of what the big questions and issues are, as well as a good understanding of how to go about addressing them. My success is really the success of the department and I am really grateful to the staff and the friends I have made in Sheffield.

It is amazing what you can do when you are studying a subject which is as enjoyable as archaeology. I am now studying for a masters within the department and look forward to further engagement with such a stimulating subject in a world class setting. I hope it never stops!

Matt's dissertation

My dissertation assessed how technological choices in the casting process of metal artefacts may inform our understanding of Late Bronze Age hoard deposits of Southern Britain.  By employing an experimental approach, I was able to draw interesting conclusions as to the spatiality and temporality of practice, as well as the organisation of labour and the importance of production within the overall ritual of hoarding. This link between technical practice and ritual deposition is often missing in purely artefact focussed studies. Therefore, I concluded my dissertation with a series of models for the assessment of hoard deposits from a production and accumulation perspective in order to facilitate future study.