skip to content

Department of Archaeology


In a virtual ceremony held on Tuesday 25 August, Dr Gilly Carr was announced as the 2020 recipient of the European Archaeological Heritage Prize awarded by the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA).

Dr Carr received the prestigious award for her work in transforming the awareness of Channel Island victims of Nazi persecution both locally in the Channel Islands and internationally. Her work over the last decade has combined sustained heritage activism and scholarship.

On receiving the award Dr Carr said, “It’s a real honour to receive this award, and a bright spot in what has otherwise been a pretty dark year – for all of us. I’d like to thank the EAA Heritage Prize committee for selecting me as the winner of this year’s prize; it has come as such a lovely surprise.”

“Although I have worked on behalf of all categories of victims and survivors – deportees, forced labourers and Jews – it is the political prisoners who have a special place in my heart. They were those who were imprisoned or deported to Nazi prisons, labour camps and concentration camps for acts of protest, defiance and resistance.”

Dr Carr has been involved in the creation of heritage monuments and memorials in the Channel Islands and has curated a number of museum exhibitions on Channel Islands victims of Nazism.

She has authored a number of academic and popular books on this theme including Legacies of Occupation: Heritage, Memory and Archaeology in the Channel Islands (Springer 2014); Protest, Defiance and Resistance in the Channel Islands: German Occupation 1940-1945 (Bloomsbury Academic 2014 co-written with Paul Sanders and Louise Willmot); On British Soil: Victims of Nazism in the Channel Islands, (McDonald Institute 2017); Victims of Nazism in the Channel Islands: A Legitimate Heritage? (Bloomsbury Academic 2019); Nazi Prisons in the British Isles (Pen and Sword 2020).

“During and after the occupation, the political isoners were seen by most of those in positions of authority as trouble-makers who deserved everything they got. Their experiences in prisons and camps were seen as a punishment of their own making. They did not receive any honours after the war and their memory had never been rehabilitated in Guernsey at the time my work began.”

“I hope that my work has helped to change that a little and would like to dedicate this award to the political prisoners of the Channel Islands. It seems appropriate to do so especially in the year of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the camps, and at a time when nationalism and far-right politics are once again increasing in Europe. I dedicate the award to those who fought against such ideologies.”

Dr James H. Barrett, Deputy Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, said, "The impact of Gilly Carr's research has changed the attitude and transformed awareness of Channel Islanders towards victims of Nazism within their own community. By raising the profile of these people through 'traditional' and online heritage, and their suffering in Nazi prisons and concentration camps, not only has she returned a lost history to the Channel Islands, but has worked to change understandings internationally."

The EAA instituted the Heritage Prize in 1999 and award it annually “for an outstanding contribution to archaeological heritage knowledge and its dissemination, and to the protection, presentation and enhancement of the European archaeological heritage.”

The Department of Archaeology also congratulate PhD candidate Samantha Leggett on being awarded the 2020 EAA Student Award for her paper "Tackling Early Medieval Transitions Using a Hierarchical and Multi-isotope Approach".



Image information

Dr Gilly Carr, senior lecturer in archaeology at the University of Cambridge at her 2019 exhibition "On British Soil: Victims of Nazi Persecution in the Channel Islands" held at the Guernsey Museum...