CWA Photo of the Year Competition 2023 – THE RESULTS!


We were delighted to receive a fantastic range of entries for this year’s photo competition, with images that took us all over the world, from heritage sites and famous monuments to active archaeological projects. Offering a dazzling range of perspectives, this impressive array of photos highlights the many different ways we experience and explore the past. Archaeological photographer Adam Stanford, of SUMO Aerial-Cam, served as our judge and cast his expert eye over the entries. The results were announced at the Current Archaeology Awards ceremony in February.

This year’s overall winner is Nickolas Warner’s photo of the West Cemetery of Meroë, Sudan (find out about the photo at our Picture Desk). Adam commented on his choice for CWA Photo of the Year 2023, ‘This photograph is inspirational as well as beautiful. It involved adventure, persistence, and bravery in its making. The composition, the subject, the warm evening glow, and the human element help us discover and connect with this fantastic site.’

The winning photo was on display at the CA Live! 2023 conference at the UCL Institute of Education in London, alongside our three runners-up (presented here in alphabetical order).

First, we have Andrew Smith’s photo of Tantallon Castle, a ruined mid-14th-century fortress in East Lothian, Scotland. About this image, Adam said, ‘Tantallon Castle set in its rugged and augmented coastline landscape is beautifully captured within bands of cloud and sunshine.’

Another of the runners-up is Hakan Gümüs¸, with a photo of an archaeologist working to unearth mosaics in the ancient city of Metropolis in İzmir, Turkey. Adam commented, ‘Archaeology in action and the revealing of faces in the mosaic, with the eyes of one looking up and into the unseen face under the hard hat. Fascinating!’

Our third runner-up is João Pacheco, whose photograph shows the fortified settlement site of Castro of Monte Mozinho in Portugal from the air. Adam described this image as ‘a beautifully framed and timed photograph with the fortified settlement resembling an abstract artwork in a landscape of mist and sun flares.’

Well done to all the winners, and thank you to everyone who entered our competition: we’ve loved seeing your work. Keep an eye out for details about the CWA Photo Competition 2024 in a forthcoming issue of the magazine. We look forward to seeing your entries!

To find out more about the overall winner, turn to The Picture Desk.