Young Archaeologists' Club
Central Southern England Branch


Reference source of past TV programmes

Meet the Ancestors
Presenter - Julian Richards
On BBC 2

Series 6 - Specials
Shown February & March 2003 at 9.00pm
Special - BM's; Top Ten Treasures - First shown 1 January 2003

Series 5 - Selected repeats shown during April 2003
Series 4 - Selected repeats shown during August 2002

Visit the Ancestors website for details of a "New" programme Series
See below for information on "Meet the Ancestors" Series 1-6

A tribute to Dr Peter Reynolds - founder of Butser Ancient Farm in Hampshire (11.10.01)

Series 1, 2 & 3
2000 Programmes
2001 - Series 4
2002 - Series 5

Specials - (Series 6)
Last part shown on BBC 2, Tuesday 18 March 2003 at 9.00pm
Programme repeat in 2004

Napoleon's Lost Army: (4.02.03) (9.07.03) Last year workers on a site in Vilnius made a discovery that radically changed the views about the fate of Napoleon's Army and revealed the true cause of its destruction.

Desert Rescue: (12.02.03) In 1952 the passengers of a British airliner were forced to crash land in the Sahara Desert. In this Special, a British team travel to the desert to find out what happened.

King of Stonehenge: (19.02.03) The latest research into the 4,000-year-old body of a man discovered near Stonehenge, buried with a dazzling array of precious artefacts. The Amesbury Archer

Britain's Oldest House: (26.02.03) What the discovery in Northumberland of a house built 10,000 years ago tells us about the people of the time.

The Lost City of Roman Britain: (5.03.03) (12.04.04) An excavation in Hampshire revealed the remains of a once-thriving Roman town - Calleva Atrebatum (Silchester). It was a city as important as Winchester, Canterbury or St Albans. Yet for a thousand years its remains have lain forgotten in the heart of the Hampshire countryside. Using advanced computer graphics, the programme reconstructs the city's architecture, and examines the reasons for its abandonment.

Read the transcript of the webchat following the programme.
Interesting questions and comments!

The Mummies of Cladh Hallan: (18.03.03) One of Britain's foremost archaeologists believes that he has discovered the first British mummies, Bronze Age bodies dating back over 3,000 years. If he is right, all conventional thinking about ancient Britons will be cast aside. Does the evidence stand up to scientific scrutiny?


Meet the Ancestors Special
BM's; Top Ten Treasures
First shown on BBC 2, Wednesday 1 January 2003 at 9.00pm
with Adam Hart-Davis

Adam Hart-Davis with the Sutton Hoo helmetAs a prelude to the British Museum's 250th anniversary in April, Adam Hart-Davis discovered which 10 treasures are held in highest regard, including a 3,500-year-old gold cup, the Sutton Hoo Burial ship and a hoard of Viking silver!

Did you Vote? Visit Top Treasure for the result!

An update repeat was shown 16.07.03


2002 - Series 5
[Programme Links]

Chariot Queen BBC 2, Tuesday 19 February 2002 at 9.00pm
Archaeologists in the village of Wetwang have uncovered a rare and astonishing burial - the tallest woman ever found in Iron Age Britain. Julian Richards investigated.

The British Museum's Compass website has a guided tour of the chariot. Find out what experts there have discovered since the dig.

Malaria And The Fall Of Rome BBC 2, Tuesday 26 February 2002 at 9.00pm
Julian Richards travelled to Italy to investigate the end of the Roman Empire - and two sites which provide new evidence for the spread of a deadly disease.

The Forgotten Battlefield BBC 2, Wednesday 6 March 2002 at 9.00pm
With the help of historians, military experts and the evidence relinquished by the battlefield, the programme told the story of life on the World War One front line.

The Lost Palace Of Hampton Court BBC 2, Wednesday 13 March 2002 at 9.00pm (16.04.03)
Hampton Court was home to the Kings and Queens of England for centuries but historian Jonathan Foyle believes the palace originated from the Italian Renaissance.

Slave Island BBC 2, Wednesday 20 March 2002 at 9.00pm (23.04.03)
Julian Richards unravelled the history of struggle behind the 1991 discovery, in New York, of a burial ground for slaves dating from the 1600s.

Read Slave Island - New York's hidden history

Celtic Causeway BBC 2, Wednesday 27 March 2002 at 9.00pm
In the fenlands of Lincolnshire, archaeologists have uncovered the remains of an ancient trackway, but what can archaeologists discover about the Celts from a few posts?


2001 - Series 4
Selected repeats were shown on BBC 2 during August 2002
The Architect, the Clerk and the Money
Last programme shown, Monday 19 August at 7.30pm

BBC2 Tuesday 9 January, 2001 at 9.00pm
The Killing Field: Returning for a new series, Julian Richards investigates human bones found in Gloucestershire with a bronze spear lodged in them - evidence of our Bronze Age ancestors.

Did you miss the live chat with Julian Richards after the programme?
Read the

BBC2 Tuesday 16 January, 2001 at 9.00pm
The Bishops' Men: Using cathedral archives and scientific investigation, Julian Richards unravels the curious story of the priests of Hereford Cathedral.

BBC2 Monday 22 January, 2001 at 8.30pm (Repeat 4.10.2001)
The Chosen One: In the remains of a pre-historic iron age village, the intact body of a buried teenage girl was discovered. Julian Richards reveals why she was buried as a sacred ancestor.

BBC2 Monday 29 January, 2001 at 8.30pm (Repeat 11.10.2001)
A Roman Plot: Walcott Street in Bath was once lined with grand Roman houses. Due to redevelopment, the remains of one of these great homes was excavated last summer unearthing a surprising discovery.

BBC2 Monday 5 February, 2001 at 8.30pm (Repeat 20.09.2001)
Winds of Change: Julian Richards joins a team of archaeologists in Northumberland, as they attempt to unravel the story of the glorious ancient kingdom of Bernicia and one of it's most influential Kings.

BBC2 Monday 12 February, 2001 at 8.30pm (Repeat 27.09.2001)
The Architect, the Clerk and the Money: Julian Richards helps uncover the remains of one of St Paul's most faithful servants, Lawrence Spencer, the Clerk of Works to Sir Christopher Wren.


2000 Programmes

Shown on BBC 2, Monday 3 April, 2000 at 8.30pm
This programme was taken from Series 2 and the programme was called
"The Black Hand"
(The Dig Report is 1500s Manley family)

Shown on BBC 2, Wednesday 10 May, 2000 at 9.00pm
This programme was part of a heritage weekend on BBC2 in April 1999.
(The Dig Report is The Victorian Conroys)

Shown on BBC 2, Thursday 18 May, 2000 at 9.00pm
This programme was the
"Spitalfields Special"
(The Dig Report is
Medieval Cemetery)
See also
Princess of the City - repeat shown Monday 18 December, 2000 at 8.30pm
(The Dig Report is Wealthy Roman woman)

Hunter of the Plain:
BBC 2, Saturday 30 September, 2000 at 7.35pm
Repeat from Series 2, programme 6

Julian Richards investigated a Bronze age grave found a few miles from Stonehenge, which provides a fascinating insight into what life was like for prehistoric man.


The following were shown in Autumn 2000 but do not appear in the Dig Reports
although some, if not all, were "repeats" from the previous Series 1, 2 & 3

Canterbury Special:
BBC 2, Saturday 7 October at 7.35pm
A special edition of the history series. The discovery of a skeleton in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral in 1888 revived centuries of speculation about the final resting place of murdered Archbishop Thomas Becket. The programme looked at Professor John Butler's quest for the truth and Philippa Gregory looked at how the alleged relics of St Thomas transformed the fortunes of Canterbury.

Treasures of the Dark Age:
BBC 2, Saturday 14 October at 7.35pm
In this edition Julian Richards focused on an ancient burial ground found next to a Peterborough business park, where a range of strange and exciting artefacts have been uncovered.

The Lost Souls:
BBC 2, Saturday 21 October at 7.35pm

Julian Richards investigated an ancient burial ground which was discovered among the foundations of a Victorian school in the Buckinghamshire village of Wing.

The French Connection:
BBC 2, Saturday 28 October at 7.35pm

This programme visited the ruins of Lihou Priory, situated on a remote island off the coast of Guernsey, where unusual finds reveal some fascinating facts about the lives of the monks who lived there. Julian Richards unraveled the life story of a man buried hundreds of years ago with signs of a contagious disease locked in his bones.

Doomsday Fire:
BBC 2, Saturday 4 November at 7.35pm

In a field near the Cambridgeshire village of Cherry Hinton, archaeologists have recently uncovered the remains of a Saxon church, along with 600 graves. In particular, the remains of a man who was burned to death prove to be very intriguing, and the programme investigated the possibility that he was the victim of a gruesome medieval execution.

Visit BBC History and Archaeology
together with the Ancestors website for further information

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