Broadcaster Raksha Dave will champion innovation and inclusion in her new role as President of CBA
The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) is pleased to announce the appointment of public archeologist and broadcaster, Raksha Dave, as the new President of the organization with effect from 17th July 2021.
Raksha will begin her three-year Presidency by officially opening the Festival of Archeology (17th July – 1st August), the UKs biggest annual celebration of archeology, featuring two-weeks of activity and events encouraging young people to ‘Explore Local Places’ and find out about their local area and the people and communities lived there.
Field Archaeologist, Public Archaeologist and Broadcaster, Raksha, graduated from the UCL Institute of Archaeology in 1999 and has worked on some of the capital’s most iconic multi-period archaeological sites.
Raksha’s experience spans from prehistoric times to the Second World War. Raksha begun her broadcasting career with Channel 4’s Time Team in 2003; during her ten-year stint on the show she excavated well over 100 sites including Westminster Abbey, Holyrood Palace, the D-Day defences and Normandy.
Raksha has since worked on a plethora of documentaries and primetime TV programmes, for example Digging for Britain (BBC4) Countdown to War (Channel 5), Tutankhamun with Dan Snow (Channel 5), The Great Plague (Channel 5), The Bone Detectives (Channel 4), Digging up Britain’s Past (Channel 5) and Pompeii’s Final Hours: New Evidence (Channel 5).
Raksha’s passion for community and the public is reflected in her heritage work when she developed and managed various National Lottery Heritage funded community projects, sat on the board of trustees for the Council for British Archaeology (London) and became an advocate and patron for the CBA’s Young Archaeologists’ Club.
In her new role as President for the Council for British Archaeology, Raksha will be keen to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in archaeology. A long-term ambassador for inclusivity and diversity, Raksha said:
“I’m delighted to be appointed as the new President of the Council for British Archaeology, an organisation close to my heart. I have always had a passion for archaeology, and I am keen to make it accessible for young people. I’m particularly excited by the theme of this year’s festival, ’Exploring Local Places’, with hundreds of events delivered by community groups, heritage organisations and universities. We intend to encourage half a million people to engage in archaeology and explore stories of the places where they live and connect with the environment around them.
“It has always been my passion to breakdown elitist false impressions about archaeology. It is the study and discovery of minutia, debris and detritus of everyday lives of the communities of the past all around us. Discovering our collective past informs our present and for me, it is important that archaeology, the community, and the camaraderie is as accessible as possible. I am determined to develop this further and make it relevant for young people.
Her next television project for Channel 5 explores a more-recent past and will reveal the aftermath of the tragic Boxing Day Indian Ocean tsunami that decimated the coastline and communities of Sumatra-Andaman in 2004. The programme explores the everyday lives, not of Pharaohs and Kings, but of the families and communities and tourists for whom it was home.
The Council for British Archaeology Executive Director, Neil Redfern, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Raksha as the new President of CBA. Her passion for the subject, her profile and her desire to encourage inclusion and participation across all ages and backgrounds to discover the joy of archaeology, is what is needed to help us realise our ambitions to promote archaeology and help care of the historic environment.
“As an educational charity working throughout the UK, Raksha will help us promote archaeology and how people can participate and get active. She is a recognisable to a growing audience of fans, from her work with the BBC Learning Zone to regular appearances on popular prime time television series, she is an amazing advocate and ambassador, actively inspiring organisations to broaden audience participation by encouraging innovation and inclusivity in their environments. We are delighted that she will be working with us and opening this year’s Festival of Archaeology.”