AN archaeological project looking into the history of a key site in Amesbury has won a prestigious award.

The University of Buckingham’s project, Blick Mead: Exploring the ‘first place’ in the Stonehenge landscape, was presented with the award for the Research Project of the Year 2018 in the Current Archaeology Awards.

The winners were announced at the Current Archaeology Live! annual conference at the University of London’s Senate House on February 23 by TV personality and archaeologist Julian Richards.

The excavations at Blick Mead, which is about a mile from Stonehenge, have helped understand the establishment of the Stonehenge landscape.

And ongoing excavations at Blick Mead, an ancient spring on Salisbury Plain, have uncovered an array of information about life in Mesolithic Britain, including evidence of meeting and feasting practices.

Archaeologists have also discovered evidence for the transition into a more Neolithic way of life.

The University of Buckingham team has been critical of the plans for a tunnel at Stonehenge which they fear could be damaging to the Blick Mead project. The team has expressed concerns that current plans for the Stonehenge tunnel could adversely affect the historic environment and reduce the water table at Blick Mead, destroying its rare organic remains.

David Jacques, senior research fellow in Archaeology at the University of Buckingham, who is leading the Blick Mead project, said: “We are thrilled to win because the UK stands to be in breach of the World Heritage Site convention if the tunnel gets built and its really important people are made aware of that through Blick Mead.

“It is also a win for Amesbury and the local Salisbury area as so many local residents have supported us.”

The Current Archaeology awards, which are in their 10th year recognise projects and publications that have made outstanding contributions to archaeology.

The winners are voted for entirely by the public.

Wessex Archaeology and WYG’s project ‘The Larkhill causewayed enclosure and A forgotten First World War practice battlefield at Larkhill’ was also nominated in the Rescue Project of the Year award.