This year’s photo competition has seen an outstanding range of archaeological images from around the world flood into the CWA office. We’ve found ourselves transported to remote excavations, magnificent monuments, and spectacular sites near and far through the talented work of our well-travelled readers. Our judge, renowned archaeological photographer Adam Stanford of Aerial-Cam, has cast his expert eye over the entries and picked the CWA Photo of the Year 2019, which he announced at the Current Archaeology Awards ceremony in March.
Mahfuzul Hasan Bhuiyan’s image was chosen as this year’s overall winner, and is featured in ‘Horizon’ in CWA 94. Commenting on his choice, which shows Buddhist monks at Angkor Wat (Cambodia), Adam said: ‘It is an extraordinary place captured with a vivid and intriguing composition, with the stone face on the monument looking at you and the monks at each other. Archaeology is about people, and this image captures that sentiment with its eye on both the past and present, all with the backdrop of nature and its organic forms.’
Lana Chologauri’s ‘A Georgian archaeologist in the Caucasus Mountains, Dariali Project excavations at Gveleti Fort’ (Georgia) is one of the photos selected by Adam. He remarked: ‘Although the archaeology is not visible in this image, taken by an archaeologist working at the medieval site, its presence is alluded to by the chap in the hat with a mattock. This photograph captures an atmospheric moment while working in mountainous landscape.’
Enrico Pescantini’s image ‘Petra by candlelight’ (Jordan) also caught our judge’s eye. Adam described it as ‘a monumental composition taken at night, demonstrating the skill of a photographer able to capture a spectacle of light, at a location that showcases human skill more than 2,000 years ago, while also showing us the stars.’
The final runner-up was Rui Pires with his shot of rock art near Taouz (Morocco). Adam said: ‘An image within an image, this photograph shows prehistoric Saharan rock art of cattle, which possibly dates to 2,500 BC, when the climate of the area allowed it to be inhabited. What images from now will future archaeologists be recording long after our present period of climate change?’