Young Archaeologists' Club
Central Southern England Branch


Reference source of past TV programmes

Frontier House (USA)

Did you see Castaway 2000 and 1900 House (UK)?
If you are interested in Social History, this would have been for you!

Frontier House (USA)
A six-part series
Last part shown on Channel 4, Sunday 11 August 2002 at 8.00pm

See the full story on the PBS web site

Great Excavations
Last part shown on Channel 4, Thursday 11 May, 2000 at 8.00pm

In Part 6 - "New Pasts" - "John Romer" investigated modern archaeology, including a painter who showed off the assets he gathered from a number of shipwrecks which provide the basis for his work, and ancient artwork which suggested pre-Christian communication was not as primitive as first thought.

More information? Visit the
Great Excavations web site.

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Hidden Treasures
(A first on this subject !)
(Metal Detecting)

Last in Series

Shown on BBC 2, Thursday 21 October 2003 at 9.00pm
A repeat of the Series
Completed on BBC 2, Tuesday 27 July 2004 at 7.30pm

Presenter of Hidden Treasure, Miranda KrestovnikoffThis Eight-part Series followed ordinary people who, armed only with metal detectors, have found extraordinary relics.

Miranda Krestovnikoff presents this series on metal detecting and archaeology

Lost Goddess (2.09.03): (8.06.04) the hunt for Roman ruins and a mystery Goddess. Alan Meeks, after 25 years detecting without finding anything valuable, found a hoard of Roman treasure in Baldock, Hertfordshire.
Caesar's Gold (9.09.03): (15.06.04) the story behind one of the most unique hoards of jewellery found buried in Hampshire; For years, coins and rubbish were the only finds for Kevan Halls and his metal detector - then his luck changed, and a hoard of jewellery netted him £350,000. But why was it buried in rural Hampshire? Miranda follows a trail leading to the Roman ruler Julius Caesar.
Pagan Silver (16.09.03): (22.06.04 at 8.30pm) Leicestershire field walker Ken Wallace discovered the largest hoard of Iron Age coins in Britain, buried at the time of the Roman invasion. Miranda looks at the hoard of over three thousand silver Iron Age coins discovered in a field in Leicestershire three years ago. Were they offerings to the Gods?
Cup Of Gold (23.09.03): (29.06.04 at 8.30pm) Miranda investigates the 'Ringlemere Cup', a Bronze Age treasure found two years ago in a potato field in Kent by Cliff Bradshaw. It had been buried for over three thousand years.
Suffolk Mystery (30.09.03): (6.07.04) For over 15 years, metal detectorist Dave Cummings and his friends have unearthed a remarkable collection of Anglo-Saxon gold, coins, and bronze from a potato field in Suffolk. Miranda investigates.
Riches of Rome (7.10.03): (13.07.04) Miranda talks to Dave Phillips who has built up a wonderful collection of small finds over 30 years, but that's nothing to his discovery of two of the richest Roman graves ever found in Britain. The burials contained over 150 items including a set of beautiful bronzes, vases, glassware, silver jewellery and a very rare hunting kit.
Saxons, Vikings and Monsters (14.10.03): (20.07.04) The discovery of an astonishing Anglo-Saxon gold sword hilt in Lincolnshire. Miranda and British Museum experts follow leads that take them into the realms of the Dark Ages, Saxon Kingdoms, Viking Raiders and serpent monsters.
Find of the Series (21.10.03): (27.07.04) A panel of experts are asked to name the find of the series from a choice including Roman jewellery and Iron Age coins. Plus a visit to Charlecote Park, Warwickshire, where the National Council for Metal Detecting are holding a competition.

Visit BBC History and the Hidden Treasure website for more information

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BBC 2, Thursdays at 9.00pm
New Series starts 16 September 2004

     BBC "Horizon" - Home page:
For current programme information

Selected archaeological programmes shown in 2004

The Secret Treasures of Zeugma (Repeated in 2001)
Shown in the Education Zone - 27 August & 10 September 2004 at 05.00
The story of a group of archaeologists' race against time to save the treasures of a vast and magnificent ancient city in eastern Turkey. When a hydroelectric dam on the Euphrates was completed, the site was threatened by flood.
The Truth of Troy (Thursday 25 March 2004 at 9.00pm) The legend of Helen of Troy has enchanted audiences for three thousand years, but historians have never been able to prove that the Trojan War actually happened.
Secrets of the Star Disc (Thursday 29 January 2004 at 9.00pm) The extraordinary story of how a small metal disc is rewriting the epic saga of how civilisation first came to Europe, 3600 years ago.

Selected archaeology programmes shown in 2003

The Day We Learned To Think (Thursday 20 February 2003 at 9.00pm)
Is drawing and talking what makes us human? Horizon followed an ancient art trail from Europe to South Africa in search of the answer, with a surprising result.
The Mystery of Easter Island (Thursday 9 January 2003 at 9.00pm)
It is one of the most mysterious and remote places on the planet. To the people who live there it is Rapa Nui. To the rest of us, it is Easter Island. For years explorers, archaeologists and adventurers have been bewitched by this strange place and its bizarre stone statues. Now science is beginning to piece together the true story of what happened on Easter Island. Who the original settlers were, why they built great statues and what was their catastrophic end.
Extreme Dinosaurs (Saturday 4 January 2003 at 8.20pm)
First shown: BBC Two 9.00pm Thursday 23 November 2000
Amazing new discoveries in South America are revolutionising what we thought we knew about the dinosaur world. It now seems that South America was home to both the largest meat-eater - so new it's still without a name - and the largest herbivore - the enormous long-necked Argentinasaurus. ...
See also the Walking with Dinosaurs Special - Land of Giants (Shown on BBC 1: Wednesday 1 January 2003 at 6.50pm)

Selected archaeology programmes shown in 2002

The Secret of El Dorado (19.12.2002)
Amazon explorers' tales of cities of gold soon became myths. Back in the 1960s archaeologist Bill Denevan noted that the landscape was crossed with unnaturally straight lines. The programme unearths evidence those civilisations did exist. Did prehistoric farmers also leave a legacy more valuable than gold: the knowledge to save rainforests and feed a planet?
The Mystery of the Miami Circle (25.01.2001) & (18.04.2002)
In 1998 an apartment block in Miami was knocked down for redevelopment. Underneath the rubble there was a huge, mysterious, ancient circle of holes cut into the bedrock. Florida archaeologists halt construction of two skyscrapers. Have they found unique Native American artefacts or a 1950s sewage system?
The Lost Pyramids of Caral (31.01.2002)
New evidence from Peru suggests that pyramid-building civilisations arose in the Americas a thousand years earlier than previously thought - and at exactly the same time as in Egypt
Helike - The Real Atlantis (10.01.2002)
On a winter night in 373 BC, the classical Greek city of Helike was destroyed by a massive earthquake and tidal wave. The entire city and all its inhabitants were lost beneath the sea.


Visit the BBC "Horizon" Archives for past programme information

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How the Victorians Wired the World
Shown on Channel 4, Saturday 8 July, 2000 at 7.00pm

The 19th-century development of the telegraph, which led to a revolution in communications around the world and heralded the first information age, transforming the industrialised world into a global 24-hour society.

Short summary on the invention of the telegraph
History of the telegraph

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Ice Mummies
(Repeat of a BBC "Horizon" programme series)
Last part shown on BBC 2, Monday 31 July, 2000 at 9.30pm

More Information?
Visit the BBC "Horizon"
Archive 1996 for details of the three part series.
The Ice Maiden : A Life in Ice : Frozen in Heaven

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King Harold
Shown on Channel 4, Friday 27 December 2002 at 8.00pm

Fact or Fiction: King Harold
Tony Robinson travelled around England and northern France in his investigation. Harold II of England – who is best known for having lost the Battle of Hastings, and the crown, to William of Normandy in 1066 – is one of Britain's unsung heroes. Only 19 days before his untimely death at Hastings, Harold had defeated a massive Viking army – a victory that ended for all time incursions into England by Norsemen. And he fought extremely bravely and almost won against William.
Information from the Channel 4 Historyheads, Footnotes series
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Landscape Mysteries
Repeat of an eight-part Series
The Terraces of Avalon (8)
Shown on BBC 2, Thursday 8 July 2004 at 7.30pm

Professor Aubrey ManningProfessor Aubrey Manning embarks on a new set of journeys in which he tries to solve mysteries arising from the landscape of the British Isles. He will search for clues in the geology, natural history, and archaeology to explain why the land has come to look the way it does. Read Aubrey Manning's introduction and interview.

Programme 1: (15.04.04) This eight-part series begins with In Search of Irish Gold with Aubrey travelling to Ireland in search of a Celtic Eldorado, a secret source of Bronze Age gold, buried more than 3,000 years ago. How can clues in the landscape help Aubrey work out if and where deposits still exist?
Programme 2: (6.05.04) Next, in Figures in the Chalk Aubrey travels to the Chalk Hills of England to unravel the origins of the enigmatic chalk figures such as the Long Man of Wilmington and the Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset. The age of these chalk figures has never been fully established and Aubrey, alongside a team of archaeologists from Reading University, come up with a remarkable new discovery.
Programme 3: (13.05.04) Then it’s on to the Gower Peninsula in South Wales. Here, in 1823, the skeleton of a young man - who had died 29,000 years ago - was found. In Britain before the Ice Aubrey attempts to unravel the mystery of the lost world in which this man lived and finds out what Britain must have been like before the last ice age, looking to a 29,000-year-old skeleton and other nearby finds for clues.
Programme 4: (27.05.04) Sees Aubrey in the Solent, off the south coast of England. It’s known that people once lived in a landscape that is now covered by the sea but how did this area become flooded? In Secrets of the Flood Aubrey investigates a mystery that has puzzled experts for centuries.
Programme 5: (3.06.04) In The Tower People of Shetland, Aubrey travels to the most northerly territory in the British Isles – to Shetland – in a search for clues to the identity of the ancient people who lived in the Broch Towers there.
Programme 6: (10.06.04) Aubrey, in The Abandoned Marsh, visits the bleak Romney Marsh in Kent. Here he searches for clues to this haunting and empty landscape that humans colonised then abandoned and sets out to discover why it is now one of the most deserted areas in the country after being home to an expanding population in the 13th century!
Programme 7: (17.06.04) Aubrey ventures to an even more bleak and dangerous place – the North Yorkshire coastline where many a ship has been wrecked. But when the tide goes out, a different and mysterious landscape is revealed. Can Aubrey solve The Riddle of the Yorkshire Tracks? Strange markings in the rocks on the North Yorkshire coast are the starting point for this investigation into a forgotten story from Britain's industrial past. Aubrey discovers that at the beginning of the 17th century, long before the industrial revolution, the now deserted coastline south of Whitby was dominated by Britain's first chemical industry!
Programme 8: (8.07.04) In this last programme, the riddle of The Terraces of Avalon, Aubrey travels to Glastonbury to investigate and asks whether there's a connection between the terraces of Glastonbury Tor and the myths and legends of King Arthur's Isle of Avalon.

Visit the Landscape Mysteries website for programme information
An Series with the BBC and OU

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Leonardo's Dream Machines
First shown in February 2003
Repeat of a two part programme

Shown on Channel 4, Saturday 3 April 2004 at 7.05pm and 8.05pm

Did Leonardo da Vinci create the blueprints that could have given the world the supergun of its day and the gift of flight, or were his designs merely fanciful? In this two-part programme, today's experts attempt to bring to life two of his most ambitious designs, an 80ft crossbow and a glider based on a recurring wing shape in his drawings.

Visit Channel 4 History and Leonardo's Dream Machines website for further information

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A three-part Series
Water and Darkness (3)
Shown on BBC 2, Friday 21 May 2004 at 9.00pm

Peter Ackroyd (seated) is flanked by Derek Jacobi (Tacitus), Alex Jennings (Stephen Spender), Harriet Walter (Virginia Woolf),  Philip Madoc (Geoffrey of Monmouth) and Amanda Root (Charlotte Brontë)Innovative three-part series about the history of London as told by author Peter Ackroyd

Fire and Destiny (7.05.04): From Boadicea's torching of the city to recent bombings, Peter Ackroyd traces London's extraordinary ability to survive and grow stronger every time it burns.
The Crowd (14.05.04): By the 18th century London was the greatest capital in the world, but as its population grew, so did the threats of drunken lawlessness and civil disorder. Ackroyd encounters authors who witnessed the city's drama of crime and punishment and its voracious appetite for spectacle.
Water and Darkness (21.05.04): He interviews visionaries Friedrich Engels, Joseph Conrad and TS Eliot among others on his journey into the desperate underworld of London in the 19th and early 20th centuries. He also encounters the terrible demon Spring-heeled Jack and the Victorian chronicler of the urban poor Henry Mayhew.

Visit the BBC History and the London website for more information

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Lost Buildings of Britain
A six-part Series
Millbank Penitentiary (6)
Shown on Channel 4, Monday 30 August 2004 at 8.00pm

A six-part series in which architectural historian Simon Thurley, from English Heritage, goes in search of some of the most amazing buildings ever built in Britain. The only problem is that none of these structures are still standing...

With the use of dramatic reconstructions, archive research and computer simulations, Simon and a team of experts and historians take on the challenge of recreating six amazing buildings that have gone forever, seeking not only to bring them vividly back to life, but to establish without doubt their historical significance.

Theatre Royal, Drury Lane (26.07.04): Simon travels to London's West End and searches for the original Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. Demolished some 200 years ago, it is regarded as the birthplace of British theatre.
Nottingham Castle (2.08.04): Simon rediscovers Nottingham Castle, a fortress designed to withstand the most violent of onslaughts. Experts in medieval weaponry test whether the stronghold was up to the task.
Whitehall Palace (9.08.04): Recalling the era of the Tudors and the Stuarts, Simon investigates the story of Whitehall Palace, the main residence of the British monarchy for a period of 170 years.
Fonthill Abbey (16.08.04): Simon investigated the fate of Fonthill Abbey, an extraordinary country house built nearly 200 years ago by William Beckford. Its gothic design was a major feature, but its notorious reputation owes more to the eccentric and even shocking behaviour supposedly exhibited by its owner.
Glastonbury Abbey (23.08.04): Simon turns his attention to Glastonbury Abbey, which was destroyed by Henry VIII in one of the most extreme acts of architectural vandalism. The remaining ruins reveal little of what was once Britain's largest and richest abbey.
Millbank Penitentiary (30.08.04): In the last of the series Simon researches the history of Millbank Penitentiary which stood on the site now occupied by Tate Britain. He discovers how this experiment in remodelling the British prison system failed, though the lessons learned helped shape the prisons of today.

Visit the Lost Buildings of Britain website for other information

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Machines Time Forgot
A four-part Series

Last Part shown Monday 11 August 2003 on Channel 4 at 9.00pm

An interesting four-part series on forgotten feats of technological invention.

Crane (21.07.03): a team including a film-set designer, an engineer, carpenters and blacksmiths travel to a ruined abbey in Normandy, where they make an ambitious attempt to reconstruct the medieval cathedral crane using traditional methods.
Fireship (29.07.03): two teams of specialists try to re-create a seventh-century weapon of mass destruction; a ship capable of projecting fire over long distances. Armed with a complicated catapult and a dangerous flame-thrower, it proves a major challenge.
Turtle (4.08.03): A group of amateur submarine enthusiasts attempt to rebuild the world's first submarine. Known as the turtle because of its design - it was made of wood and shaped like two turtle shells stuck together - this primitive vessel was difficult to operate and fraught with danger.
Chariot (11.08.03): In the second millennium BC, the chariot emerged in the Middle East as a tool of the Assyrian army. Did it provide a real military advantage, or was its role more symbolic? A team of experts build a chariot using traditional materials and test its effectiveness.

More Information?
Visit the Ancient technology guide at Channel 4 historyheads, Footnotes
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