Congratulations Professor Biddle!
If you look at the Queens honours list today, you will see a familiar name. Martin Biddle has been honoured with a CBE - Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire - for services to archaeology.
This is a wonderful and well deserved award, which reflects the amazing contribution Martin has made to the archaeology of Winchester.
Reacting on behalf of the Winchester Excavations Committee, Chairman Barbara Bryant said:
"This honour is justly earned recognition of Professor Biddle's vision and academic rigour in so magnificently discovering and recording for posterity the past of the uniquely historic city of Winchester."
I had a quick chat with Professor Biddle about his work and his reaction to receiving this fantastic news.
Q and A with Professor Martin Biddle
How do you feel about receiving this award?
I'm quite delighted. It is a great honour. I think especially because it recognizes not only the work I have done but also the work of the Winchester Excavations Committee and our collective efforts over the years to produce the series of volumes published by OUP known as Winchester Studies.
I look forward very much to receiving the award from Her Majesty or perhaps Prince Charles, who came over to me in Oxford in 1968 for tutorials in Urban Archaeology when he was a student in Cambridge.
You're receiving the award 'for services to archaeology'. What does that mean exactly?
'Services to archaeology' in this context is principally services to archaeology in Winchester. The excavations we did in Winchester from 1961-71 were staffed entirely by volunteers, more than 2150 people from 35 countries. There has never been anything to match it in this country. Indeed the only comparable excavation done by volunteers is that of Masada in Israel. We've now got a database of all those that worked with us and we are trying to contract them all over the world. We've set up Friends of Winchester Studies as an organization for those that took part and others that value and are keen to support the work done by the Winchester Excavations Committee. The response so far has been wonderful: so many remember their days in Winchester as some of the most interesting and influencing in their life.