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Professor Marie Louise Stig Sørensen wins prestigious 2023 Europa Prize

Marie Louise Stig Sørensen, Emeritus Fellow and Director of Studies in Archaeology at Jesus College, has won the prestigious 2023 Europa Prize from the Prehistoric Society in recognition of her contributions to the study of European prehistory.

The text of the prize stressed Marie Louise’s research on the Bronze Age in Scandinavia, Central Europe, and England, and how she has been investigating several aspects of life and death in Bronze Age communities. It also recognises her research on gender in prehistory and on cultural heritage.  

As part of the prize, there will be a conference in Marie Louise’s honour. The 2023 Europa Conference will be on the theme Peopling the Past: Reflecting on Prehistoric Europe and it will be held in Cambridge on 2-4 June 2023. Along with two full days of lectures, the conference will also include a half-day field trip to the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and Wandlebury hill fort on Sunday 4 June.

Marie Louise said: "I had not even thought about this as a possibility, so I was happily surprised. It means a lot when one’s work is appreciated because being part of a discipline is about advancing insights – in my case how we comprehend how people lived in Europe some three to four thousand years ago. The prize is also very gratifying because my research interests have not always been very orthodox, so it shows that my contribution has mattered."

Marie Louise Stig Sørensen has been employed at the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology since 1987. Her specialisms are European prehistory, gender, and theory. She also works with contemporary heritage politics.

She is currently involved in archaeological fieldwork on two projects: exploring early colonial expansion into the then uninhabited Cape Verde islands and the subsequent creation of a new creole Afro-European place, and investigating domestic life on a Bronze Age tell in Hungary.

Her heritage work has especially focused on the links between heritage, politics, and identity, in particular around conflict, including destruction and reconstruction.

Marie Louise was elected a member of the Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskab (The Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters) in January 2019, and to the British Academy in 2022.