Young Archaeologists' Club
Central Southern England Branch


Reference source of past TV programmes

Men of Iron
A three-part Series

Last part shown on Channel 4, Monday 23 February at 9.00pm

Told through the rivalries of two great entrepreneurial dynasties, the Stephensons and the Brunels, this three-part series charts a whole generation of great engineers

From the audacious attempt to build the first tunnel under the Thames to the construction of the locomotives that would change the world forever, Men of Iron brings the extraordinary achievements of these great Victorian pioneers to life.


Visit Channel 4 Science and Men of Iron website together with the
Channel 4 History and
historyheads website for further information

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A New 20-part Series
Presented by Dr David Starkey
Death of a Dynasty (6)
Shown on Channel 4, Monday 22 November at 9.00pm
The series will continue in 2005

The crown of England is the oldest surviving political institution in Europe. The dynamic relationship between monarchy and people created the English national identity and shaped Scotland and Wales.

In the 20-part Monarchy television series to shown over the next four years, Dr David Starkey highlights the fertile relationship between crown and people, which has, from earliest times, shaped British politics in a unique way. Sometimes it has been a forced marriage, in which brutality, greed and violence has driven the partners apart. But it has also been a relationship of mutual need that has guaranteed freedoms and underpinned justice in Britain.

'To many people today, monarchy seems to be merely a corrosive mixture of snobbery, ceremony and sentiment,' says Dr Starkey. 'But it's far more than that. It's over 1,500 years old, and right from the beginning, it had a strong popular element. This means its history is more than a tale of kings and queens. It's also the story of a dialogue between king and people in which the English learnt to rule themselves and became the envy and example of the world.'

A Nation State (18.10.04 at 9.00pm): The history of the British monarchy. Over four series he'll be showing us how our kings and queens built this nation. Britannia to England
Aengla Land (25.10.04 at 9.00pm): The second film in the series focuses on the Anglo-Saxons, the Germanic people who arrived in the fifth century, were ruled in the eleventh by King Canute and ultimately succumbed to William the Conqueror on the battlefield at Hastings in 1066. The French Connection
Conquest (1.11.04 at 9.00pm): Here David examines the consequences for Normans and English alike following the Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest. The events obviously had a major impact on the monarchy and Dr Starkey illuminates a turbulent era of English history which involved intrigue, murder and civil war. Conquest
Dynasty (8.11.04 at 9.00pm): This edition focuses on King Henry II of England whose dominion extended from the Scottish moors to the Pyrenees of France, but whose reign was soured by his conflict with Archbishop Thomas Becket.
A United Kingdom (15.11.04 at 9.00pm): Here Dr Starkey looks at a century that saw the reigns of three Edwards: father, son and grandson. Edward I attempted to create a united kingdom but, after his work was almost undone by his ineffectual son, Edward II, it was Edward III who restored English pride.
Death of a Dynasty (22.11.04 at 9.00pm): The first series comes to a close with the real story behind the reigns of Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI, all famously characterised in Shakespeare plays. Murder, civil war and a crisis of belief in the institution of monarchy feature in the tale of these medieval kings.

The series will continue in 2005

Visit Channel 4 History and the Monarchy website for more information

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Mysteries of Lost Empires
A five-part Series
Last part shown on Channel 4, Thursday 29 June, 2000 at 8.00pm
Selected Repeats of series shown during 2001

The series included:
Do you know what a Trebuchet is and how did they work?
How did the Egyptians raise their obelisks?
What went into the construction of a Roman Bath house and how did it work?


More information?...
Visit the American website of the series,
Secrets of the Lost Empires
Produced and broadcast by the PBS station WGBH.

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Mummies of the Takla Makan
A repeat showing on Channel 4, Monday 11 September, 2000 at 8.00pm

This was another chance to follow an international team of experts deep into China's Takla Makan desert to discover the true origins of the mummies uncovered from beneath the sands.

Dr Charlotte Roberts is the 34-year-old British forensic anthropologist undertaking an extensive examination of these extraordinary remains. Accompanying her was Professor Victor Mair, the authoritative American expert from the University of Pennsylvania and Dr Jeannine Davis-Kimball, an investigative archaeologist from Berkeley University.

The almost perfectly preserved graves of an unknown, extinct people, 3,500 years old, has confounded archaeologists and stunned the Chinese Government. With their reddish-blonde hair, long noses and finely-woven tartan clothing, these extraordinary mummies possess undeniably European roots - and have caused a political storm.

Site on the mystery of the Takla Makan Mummies
Site on the Takla Makan mummies.

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A two-part drama documentary
Visit the website for more information

First shown on Channel 4 in December 2000

A revealing two-part drama documentary series, which told the story of Modern man's closest human relatives using actors in state-of-the-art prosthetics and the latest scientific research to dramatically reconstruct their day-to-day lives.

For a quarter of a million years Europe was home to a different species of human. Their world was harsh and unforgiving, ravaged by Ice Ages and stalked by cave lions, bears and leopards. Yet they thrived, perfectly in tune with their environment. They were the Neanderthals.

Then, 40,000 years ago, another human species - Modern man - arrived in Europe. Within 10,000 years, the last Neanderthal was dead. Neanderthal, a revealing two-part drama documentary series, tells the story of Modern man's closest human relatives. It challenges the popular misconception that they were hairy, brutish cavemen and looks at the mystery of their extinction, including the role our ancestors may have played.

A "compilation" edition of the programme was Shown on Channel 4 in August 2001

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New Asteroid Danger
(A BBC Horizon programme)
Shown Tuesday 29 August, 2000 BBC 2 at 9.00pm

New evidence of the dangers of relatively small asteroids striking Earth, with the power of a nuclear bomb. It has been calculated that three such objects have hit this planet over the past 130 years and another is due.

More Information? Visit
New Asteroid Danger (originally shown 18.3.1999)
also visit the BBC "Horizon"
Archives for past programme information

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A four-part Series
Sacred Landscapes (4)
Shown on Channel 4, Monday 9 August at 9.00pm

In this four-part series anthropologist Richard Rudgley re-evaluates 5,000 years of European history to outline the influence of Pagans. We may believe that our lives today are shaped by 2,000 years of Roman and Christian tradition, but in this new series, Richard argues that our pagan past is very much a part of who we are today.

Sexy Beasts (19.07.04): Originally the word 'pagan' simply referred to country dwellers but Richard suggests that Christian propaganda led to the term becoming associated with anything considered lewd and dangerous.
Magic Moments (26.07.04): Focusing here on the implementation of seemingly magical knowledge which healed the sick, predicted the seasons and transformed dull rocks into brilliant metals. He shows how those with such knowledge became important figures in pagan societies, whilst illustrating the traditions that remain with us today.
Band of Brothers (2.08.04): This programme focuses on pagan warriors with an investigation of their kings to determine whether they were simply macho louts with a penchant for drinking and fighting, or more astute champions inclined to use brain rather than brawn to retain power.
Sacred Landscapes (9.08.04): In this programme Richard suggests that our desire to escape to the country is a modern evocation of the intense spiritual relationship our pagan ancestors enjoyed with the natural world.

Visit the Pagans website for further information

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Private Lives of the Pharaohs
A three-part Series

In this three-part Secrets of the Dead special, new scientific and forensic tests reveal the truth behind the greatest civilisation on Earth - Ancient Egypt.

The Fall of the House of Tutankhamun
Channel 4, Monday 13 November, 2000 at 9.00pm

When Howard Carter found the tomb of the boy king Tutankhamun in 1922, he also found the buried remains of two foetuses. But who were these children, and might their premature death be linked to inbreeding and the end of Tutankhamun's family, the famous 18th Dynasty? ...

Lost City of the Pyramids
Channel 4, Monday 20 November, 2000 at 9.00pm

In the second programme, Lost City of the Pyramids, what is arguably the most debated mystery surrounding the Ancient Egyptians is laid bare: who built the Pyramids, and how and why did they do it?

Sex, Death and the Lotus
Channel 4, Monday 27 November , 2000 at 9.00pm

In the final programme of the series, a mummy in the Manchester Museum is analysed, revealing the forgotten links between an Egyptian water lily, the afterlife, ...

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A one-off, ground-breaking programme
A further repeat showing was on BBC1 at 3.55am Christmas morning 2002
and again on Wednesday 17 September 2003 at 9.00pm

A pyramid at sunsetFirst shown on BBC 1, Monday 28 October 2002 at 9.00pm and repeated Sunday 10 November 2002 at 3.30pm

The programme attempted to unravelled the mystery of how the pyramids were built, through the eyes of those who built them

Visit BBC History and the Pyramid website for more information
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Pyramids and Prophets
A two-part Series

A series in which Egyptologist David Rohl unravels the mysteries surrounding the great pharaohs of Egypt.

Channel 4, Monday 27 November, 2000 at 8.00pm

He exposes chronological discrepancies in the timescale measured by historians in the 19th century and proposes a new historical framework upon which the progress of Egyptian history can be charted. He begins with three stories of Egyptology: the excavation of the sacred Apis Bulls at Sakkara, the discovery of the hidden hoard of mummies near the Valley of the Kings and the major archaeological dig at the Royal Tombs of Tanis. ...

Channel 4, Monday 4 December, 2000 at 8.00pm

In this episode, gathering evidence to show that the great pharaoh Rammesses [sic] II was the Eygptian king who the Bible says plundered the Temple of Jerusalem and carried off Solomon's gold. Armed with this new chronology, he journeys to the Holy Land in search of Solomon himself. ...

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Queen Of Sheba: Behind The Myth
Shown on BBC 2, Saturday 18 May 2002 at 8.10pm
Repeat shown on BBC 2, Saturday 17 April 2004 at 7.20pm

This archaeological detective story journeys to the forgotten 3000 year old temple of the Queen of Sheba, to piece together her true story. The documentary utilises extensive archaeological research and state-of-the-art technology to bring to life the reign of the legendary Queen of Sheba. For two years, film-makers had exclusive access to an archaeological dig in Yemen that has yielded extraordinary clues about the ancient world of Sheba. With the help of experts, the film builds a vivid picture of life in the Sheban capital
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"Quest of the Carib Canoe "
Shown Monday 21 August, 2000 BBC 2 at 9.30 pm

Documentary about Jacob Frederick's attempt to realise a lifelong dream to travel from his birthplace, the island of Dominica in the Caribbean, to his ancestral home in the jungles of South America. Penniless, Jacob's only option was to build a traditional Caribbean canoe, and prepare for a dangerous voyage.
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Quest for the Lost City
Visit the programme website
Shown on Channel 4, Monday 13 November, 2000 at 8.00pm

One thousand years ago ancient Maya, one of the world's greatest civilisations collapsed, leaving its cities, pyramids, palaces and fabulous treasures to the jungle. Today, waiting to be discovered somewhere along the Usumacinta River in Guatemala, may lie the Mayan's greatest prize, the centre of an empire that dominated the people of Central America, a state known only today by its insignia - a carved snake's head.

Visit "To the Ends of the Earth 2" for more
information about the programme and series

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"Quest for the Lost Civilisation"
A three-part Series
Last part shown on Channel 4, Thursday 20 July, 2000 at 8.30pm

The global quest by controversial best-selling author and journalist Graham Hancock to trace the remains of a hypothetical culture, believed to have influenced ancient societies all over the world. Clues lie beneath the Pacific Ocean, in the form of a recently discovered structure. In the last programme, he seeked to support his theory that a sophisticated but forgotten culture existed 10,000 years ago ...

Pictures of the Nazca lines
Pictures and information about Angkor, Thailand and Cambodia

The programmes
Heaven's Mirror(6.7.00) : "Forgotten Knowledge" (13.7.00) : "Ancient Mariners" (20.7.00)

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Wolverine International 2000-2005