Congratulations to our friend and regular columnist Charles Higham who has been awarded the British Academy’s the prestigious Grahame Clark Medal at a ceremony at Carlton House in London yesterday evening. The medal, given biennially to recognise outstanding achievements in the study of prehistoric archaeology, is testament to the huge contribution Charles has made to our knowledge and understanding of the prehistoric societies, in particular those of Southeast Asia.

As CWA readers will know from his regular column in the magazine, Charles was hooked as a school boy, when he joined his brother at his first dig under the watchful eye of his uncle at Wimbledon House next to the All England Club, (see CWA 54). Today, he is a leading authority on the emerging cultures that eventually led to the civilisation responsible for the fine temples at Angkor Wat. His books and lectures have inspired a new generation of archaeologists to follow him into this fascinating field of research.

Typically, yesterday evening, Charles was actually in that field, doing what he loves best – directing excavations in Bankok. The medal, therefore, was collected by his son, Tom, himself a professor of archaeology who is fast carving a name for himself for his development of scientific dating techniques at Oxford University, along with his partner Dr Katerina Douka. Clearly it’s in the genes.