Rhys Jones Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Australian Archaeology

The 2015 winner of the Rhys Jones medal is David Frankel.frankel-2014-df

David Frankel is an outstanding teacher, mentor and communicator, an excellent field archaeologist, and a fine researcher. He has set new standards for teaching, research and publication in Australia and beyond. His fieldwork has provided opportunities for technical training for generations of students, while also serving as the basis for a teaching programme strongly informed by the research process.

David was appointed to the Department of Prehistory at La Trobe University in 1978. Here he initiated high quality and stimulating coursework firmly grounded in archaeological practice, with field projects in New Guinea and Victoria. Since 1990 David’s main research focus has been on Cypriot prehistory.  His findings have had a profound influence on the understanding of prehistoric society in Cyprus and have led to new insights into issues of broader significance in the discipline, including households, identity, ethnicity and migration, technology transfer, population growth and social relationships.

David is especially noted for his reflexive approach to field work and analysis, and this is evident in all his published work from explicit theorisation about the construction of analytical units; the nature of change and the creation of the archaeological record; through his critiques of interpretation and intensification; and even in his presentation and explanation of archaeology for school students in the book Remains to be Seen.

David has played an important role in shaping research policy in Australia as a member of the Australian Research Council’s Research Evaluation Committee, Excellence of Research in Australia (2010, 2012) and Humanities Disciplinary Panel (1996–1998). David has been a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities since 1993 and was elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London, in 2009. In 2003, he received the Prime Minister’s Centenary Award for services to Australian society and the humanities. He has also been honoured by both the Greek and Cypriot communities of Melbourne.

David Frankel is a most worthy recipient of the Rhys Jones Medal.