Professor David Phillipson, Director of the University of Cambridge’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, has been awarded the prestigious Frend Medal by the Society of Antiquaries of London.

The Frend Medal, named after its donor, William Frend is awarded for contributions to knowledge of the archaeological and material remains of the early Christian Church.

The award was given to Professor Phillipson in recognition of his “ongoing research in Ethiopia, emphasising archaeological evidence for early Christianity both at the ancient capital, Aksum, and at the churches and monasteries elsewhere in the northern highlands."

The Society of Antiquaries of London is one of the UK's oldest learned societies, having held the inaugural meeting in 1707 and receiving their Royal Charter in 1751.

Their aims, then as now, are 'the encouragement, advancement and furtherance of the study and knowledge of the antiquities and history of this and other countries'. The Society's interests embrace all aspects of archaeology, architectural and art history, conservation, heraldry, anthropological, ecclesiastical, documentary, musical and linguistic study – the common link is that all these subjects are based on the study of the material remains of the past.

Apart from holding the position of Director of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Professor Phillipson is Professor of African Archaeology, a member of the University's Council of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Chair of the Faculty Board for Archaeology and Anthropology and on the Council of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society.

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