This Competition has now closed – see below for the 2023 example of the guidelines for our annual Competition 

The Big Question       The discovery of which ancient site or artefact interests you the most, and why? 
The Deadline              6pm on 1 March 2023        
Age Range                  11-18 years 
Prize Fund                 £650 and awards as shown below

Tell us all about your chosen discovery in 15 minutes or less – and you could be in with the chance of winning a share of £650 prizemoney! Before you get started, please read the guidelines and our FAQs below:

The Big Question

The discovery of which ancient site or artefact interests you the most, and why?

There is lots of scope for you to interpret this question in your own personal way.

  • You may choose to focus upon the ancient site or artefact and its historical relevance/modern importance/how it interests you; and/or perhaps the moment/process of discovering this site/artefact; and/or the impact of this discovery – or ALL of these elements!
  • The discovery of the ancient site or artefact may itself have taken place in the ancient world, or it might be a much more modern find. It has to have been actually discovered though, no guesswork or imagining of future discoveries! 
  • We acknowledge that ‘the ancient world’ covers a hugely expansive time-frame and global geography. For the purpose of this competition, the ancient world is defined as ‘the region around the Mediterranean and the Near East between 3000 BCE and CE 476’ including Ancient Egypt, the Hellenistic World and the Roman World (including Roman Britain and North Africa).

The Presentation

  • Your presentation must be delivered in 15 minutes or less. Please note that if you reach the Final, in order to be fair to all contestants, you will be asked to stop after 15 minutes whether you have finished or not, so please practise and time your presentation to ensure this doesn’t happen to you!
  • You can deliver your presentation with or without accompanying images (e.g. a PowerPoint, handouts, video extracts). but please note that those who reach the 2023 Final will have to present with an accompanying slideshow with relevant and interesting slides to engage the audience in their presentation. Presentations consisting of only a video to be shown at the Final i.e. with no live speaking or interaction from you on the day are not acceptable as this is a public speaking competition so please bear this in mind in the planning stage.
  • Individual feedback will not be given and the decisions of the selection committee and the Competition Judge, Dr Mai Musié, are final.
  • Heats are held within your school and it is up to each school to decide on how this is organized and the winning presentation chosen.

8745 Catherine Baker

How To Enter

If you are successful in your internal school heat and chosen as your school’s winner (or you do not attend an educational institution and are entering independently), your video entry will be submitted to the competition by completing the following:

  • Upload the video of the presentation to YouTube. Guidance on uploading films is available here. The video must be UNLISTED (not public or private). 
  • Then fill in this form – in the form you will be asked to share the link to the YouTube video.
  • The deadline for entries is 18:00 GMT on Wednesday 1 March 2023

The LSA CA committee will watch all entries and draw up a shortlist of competitors, who will receive certificates of commendation. From this shortlist, four presenters/pairs will then be selected by the committee to compete in the Final when they must deliver their same presentation in front of a live audience.

The Final

The Grand Final will be held on Saturday 18 March 2023 at AKS Lytham, Lancashire, FY8 1DT. The four finalists will be invited, alongside their friends, family and teachers, to deliver their presentations in front of a friendly and enthusiastic audience and our guest judge, Dr Mai Musié. Travel bursaries are available to cover reasonable transport costs. 


Mai is an ancient historian and a public engagement specialist and her research focuses on race and ethnicity in the ancient world. She is also interested in medieval manuscripts, particularly from Ethiopian-Eritrean traditions, and is passionate about exploring the interconnectivity between the ancient Mediterranean world and North-East Africa. Mai arrived in the UK aged 8 as a child refugee of the Ethiopian-Eritrean civil war and went on to study Classical Civilisation at university before forging a career in engaging the public with the ancient and medieval world. In 2019, she won the Classical Association Prize

The Prizes

1st Prize            £200   The LSA CA Champion Award  and  The LSA CA Laurel Trophy for Schools

2nd Prize          £100

3rd Prize            £50  

4th Prize           £50

People’s Choice Award             £50 and the People’s Choice Award (voted for by the audience at the Final and therefore only open to the four Finalists)

Lancashire Classics Award         £100 and the LSA CA Lancashire Award (See eligibility criteria below.)

International Award                £100 and the LSA CA International Winner’s Certificate

The school of the overall winner will also be awarded the prestigious LSA CA Laurel Trophy for Schools to be held for one year.

This Competition is kindly supported by the Classical Association.


Previous Finalists with their prizes

Student FAQs

  1. Do I need to be a member of the LSA CA to participate?

No! This Competition is open to anybody aged 11-18. If you would like to join the branch to access (online or in-person) our lecture programme, social events and extra activities then you can do so here: it’s quick and easy and costs just £5 for the whole year!


  1. Do I need to live locally to participate?

No! The Competition is open to all students aged 11-18 from within the UK or from abroad, but only UK entrants will be eligible for the Final. (Read FAQ 3 if you’re an international student!). Some students are also eligible for the Lancashire Award: kindly sponsored by a member of the LSA CA, the Lancashire Award is for the best submission from a student who lives in Lancashire and/or who attends a Lancashire school. The Award comprises prize money of £100 and the Lancashire Award.


  1. I live outside the UK, am I allowed to enter?

Yes you are, and for 2023, we are offering £100 prize money! In our previous Competitions, we have received entries from across the world. If you are based outside the UK and enter the Competition, you will be entered into the ‘International’ section of the Competition. Please just tick the box on the entry form. Certificates of Achievement will be emailed to shortlisted presenters and the International Award Prizemoney will be sent to the overall winner (via PayPal or BACS). International entries will not be selected as one of the four Finalists but their video may be shown during the Grand Final. 


  1. Do I need to go to school/college to enter?

No! We welcome entries from students from any educational background, including those who don’t attend a formal institution. If you are based in a school or college you will need to liaise with your teacher to see if there are any other pupils entering the competition as each institution can only submit ONE entry.


  1. Do I need to be studying Classics to enter this competition?

No! You don’t need to have any prior experience or formal education in an ancient worlds subject to enter, just an interest in researching and presenting your answer to this question.


  1. How much does the Competition cost?

It is free to enter the LSA CA Ancient Worlds Competition. If you are selected for the Final and need financial assistance to travel to Lytham St Annes, we can offer you a bursary to cover reasonable transport costs.


  1. Can I enter with a friend?

Students aged 11-15 (as of 1 March 2023) may enter the competition as an individual or as a pair.

Students aged 16-18 (as of 1 March 2023) must enter as a solo speaker. You may work with friends on your own separate presentations and do research together but you must deliver your own presentation in your own words to be considered for a place in the Final.


  1. Do I need to use PowerPoint or Slides when I give my presentation?

We highly recommend that you use images to enhance your presentation and keep the audience engaged. Please ensure your presentation does not comprise solely of a separate video with no accompanying input from you as the presenter, as this is a public speaking competition. Short video extracts, within a PowerPoint presentation for example, are perfectly acceptable.


  1. How long should my presentation be?

Your presentation must be no longer than 15 minutes. There is no minimum length but presentations of less than 7 minutes do not usually progress beyond the first round because the speaker doesn’t have time to develop their argument and share lots of detail about their research. 10-15 minutes is ideal!


  1. If I win, do I get to keep the award?

The winner will receive their own individual Competition award which is theirs to keep forever! The winner of the People’s Choice Award and Lancashire Award will also receive their own award to keep.


Teacher FAQs


  1. Can my students enter in pairs?

Students aged 11-15 (as of 1 March 2023) may enter the competition as an individual or as a pair.

Students aged 16-18 (as of 1 March 2023) may not enter as a pair – the video submission must be of a solo speaker in order to be considered for selection for the Final.


  1. Do you have an example of a previous entry into the Competition that I can show my students?

Stay tuned for an exciting new video series coming soon which will support you and your students with taking part. 


  1. Do we keep the Laurel Trophy for Schools if our student wins the Competition?

No. The student keeps their individual trophy but The Laurel Trophy for Schools is awarded to the school/college of the winning student to keep for one year – it must then be returned to the LSA CA. Schools will be responsible for engraving their name and year, and for the safekeeping and return of the Trophy; the LSA CA Secretary will contact the school to arrange the return of the Trophy in good time for the current year’s Competition. A missing or damaged trophy will need to be replaced at the winning school’s expense.


      4. How can we promote our involvement in the Competition? 

We love to see which schools are participating in our Competition across the world – tag us on Twitter or Instagram at @lsaclassics and use the hashtag #AncientWorlds23