The winner of the Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences has been announced by the jury in Ovieda, Spain. The prize is awarded annually to an individual, organisation or team who have made a global contribution in their field. The prizes – every winner receives a specially-commissioned sculpture and a cheque for 50,000 – will be handed out by Prince Felipe of Asturias, the heir to the Spanish throne, at a formal ceremony in Ovieda in September.
The winner this year is the entire team who have been excavating the Xi’an Warriors, the famous Terracotta Army.
The most recent dig started last June and is on-going. The figures, which include warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians, date from 210 BC. It is estimated that there are still many figures to be unearthed from the site – there could be up to 8,000 warriors and 600-700 horses in total.
When a selection of the figures was exhibited at the British Museum in London (from Sept 2007 to April 2008) it drew such huge crowds that despite staying open until midnight, the museum was forced to turn people away.
Last year’s winner was naturalist David Attenborough for his outstanding contribution to documentary film-making about natural sciences.