School of History, Classics & Archaeology

Elena wins Times prize with Iceman Otzi story

Archaeology undergraduate Elena Chabo has won first prize in a student writing competition run by UCAS and The Times.

Elena Chabo

Elena’s article, about her fascination for her subject, beat around 2,500 other entries and was judged overall winner, as well as coming top in the competition’s business and vocational category.

Igniting a passion for discovery

Describing the moment when her enthusiasm for archaeology took hold, Elena wrote about one of the world’s most famous mummies, now on display at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy.

‘Iceman Otzi’ died over 5,000 years ago but his frozen body was so well preserved that much is known about him. The Neolithic man had over 50 tattoos.

"Did HE consider how they’d look at seventy?” Elena wrote. “Or for that matter, at five thousand three hundred and thirteen?

“Relating brought it alive!”

Dedication, inspiration

Mary Curnock Cook, chief executive of UCAS, told The Times:

“The winning entry by Elena Chabo was the work of a young woman whose dedication to archaeology was evident in every paragraph. It is impossible not to feel inspired by reading about Elena ‘hunting for remains and piecing together clues’ or by her description of the moment her subject ‘found’ her”.