This year, the Pontifical Academies awarded Giuseppina Cipriano, a student at Rome's Pontifical Institute of Christian Archeology, for her doctoral thesis on "The Mausoleums of Exodus and of Peace in the El-Bagawat Necropolis : Reflections on the Origins of Christianity in Egypt."
The 20,000-Euro award (a similar figure in dollars) was voted on at the Pontifical Academies’ annual session, held in Rome last Thursday on "The Martyrs and Their Monumental 'Memorials': Living Stones in the Making of Europe."
The award, considered the Holy See's "Nobel" in the field of humanities, is not in recognition of a career but of the work of young researchers. The award has been won by a woman for the past eight years -- and to date at least, has almost always been won by female researchers.
Sara Tamarri, received second prize, a gold medal commemorating John Paul II’s pontificate, for her doctoral thesis on, "The Iconography of the Lion from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages."
The session was coordinated by the Pontifical Council for Culture presided over by Cardinal Paul Poupard, brings together the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Pontifical Academy of Theology, the Pontifical Academy of Mary Immaculate, the International Marian Pontifical Academy, the Pontifical Academy of Fine Arts in the Pantheon, the Pontifical Roman Academy of Archeology, and the Pontifical Academy of Devotion to Martyrs.