Young Archaeologists' Club
Central Southern England Branch


Reference source of past TV programmes

Surviving the Iron Age
A seven-part Series

BBC 1, Thursday 10 May 2001 at 8.45pm
Documentary following 17 volunteers as they brave the elements of West Wales to live for seven weeks as their Iron Age ancestors did over two thousand years ago. Living in roundhouses, the participants are expected to make their own soap from sheep fat, wear authentic clothing, and slaughter their own livestock. They must also elect a chieftain and celebrate an end-of-year Celtic festival.

BBC 1, Thursday 17 May 2001 at 8.30pm
The volunteer time travellers are finding it hard to survive the demands of Iron Age living. Anne's authority is challenged and the first unhappy volunteer heads home to the 21st century

BBC 1, Thursday 24 May 2001 at 8.30pm
One week into the project and feuding between the volunteer time travellers reaches crisis point. Anne struggles to maintain her authority as the elected Chief while warring with Yasmin.

BBC 1, Sunday 27 May 2001 at 6.30pm
The 21st century Iron Agers are getting into their stride. But the group's efforts to survive are shaken by uninvited, unwelcome visitors and a 21st century arrival threatens the project.

BBC 1, Sunday 3 June 2001 at 6.30pm
As the hardship deepens, another three volunteers throw in the towel and head back to the 21st century. The remaining Iron Agers are determined to keep the project on track.

BBC 1, Sunday 10 June 2001 at 6.00pm
A visiting tribe to the hill fort find that honey beer is stronger than they thought. They overcome their hangovers to plough fields, go fishing and prepare for a druidic celebration.

BBC 1, Sunday 17 June 2001 at 6.30pm
It's the volunteers last week at the hill fort and time is running out. They still haven't managed to smelt iron and tonight is the last chance for blacksmith Ron to prove his metal

Visit the ... Surviving the Iron Age ... web site

Also visit the BBC History site for additional information

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Sutton Hoo
Shown on BBC 2, Thursday 6 June 2002 at 7.30pm

Sutton Hoo: The Forgotten Treasure: Examined the discovery of an ancient warship, containing unique Saxon artefacts from Dark Age Britain, which was preserved beneath the Suffolk countryside.

A programme from the BBC 2 Homeground series
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Tales from the Grave
A six-part series
Explore the mysteries of forensic archaeology
Visit the
Bodies of Evidence web site

Two programmes from the series on the UK

Shown Channel 4, Friday 26 April 2002 at 8.00pm
Unknown Soldier: Excavations carried out in a 13th Century medieval cemetery in Lewes have unearthed an ancient mystery. The programme looks at the cuts and damage inflicted on one skeleton in particular, and examines the probable causes.

Shown Channel 4, Friday 19 April 2002 at 8.00pm
Mystery of the Barber Surgeon: The 700 year-old skeleton of a man was found in Avebury in 1938, buried beneath a large megalith. Archaeologist Mike Pitts set out to uncover the vital clues that could reveal the final moments of this medieval man's life.

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The Celts
A two-part series

Channel 4, Saturday 21 April 2001 at 8.15pm
For more than 1,000 years the rich and inventive civilisation of the Celts flourished throughout Britain, Europe and Asia Minor. Its people made great advances in technology and art, yet today they are largely forgotten. The mysteries of the Celts are compounded by the absence of written records and, as a consequence, we only view them through the unreliable eyes of their victors - the Greeks, Romans and English.
More ...

Channel 4, Saturday 28 April 2001 at 8.05pm
Having defeated the Celts in mainland Europe, the Romans came to Britain, where not even the largest Celtic hillfort, Maiden Castle, could withstand their attacks. Revolts persisted though, and in a climactic battle under the leadership of Celt leader Boudicca, 80,000 Celts were slaughtered. This final programme continues to look at the Celtic civilisation, covering religion and its influence on today's Western civilisation, and following its history right up to the Celts of today.

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"The Day the World Took Off"
Last programme in series shown on Channel 4, Sunday 2 July , 2000 at 8.00pm

This was a series of six programmes using five experts looking at events that contributed to the start of the Industrial Revolution, and answering the question "Why in Britain".

They looked at the various significant contributing events
that eventually lead to the development of the steam engine,
the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester railway,
and the first public run of Stephenson's "Rocket".

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The Greeks
A three-part series

Previously shown on BBC Knowledge and the American PBS Network

BBC2 Saturday 6 January, 2001 at 8.10pm
The Revolution:
Actor Liam Neeson narrates the story of how the Ancient Greeks transformed their world. The heroes, thinkers and visionaries are brought to life using latest technology.

BBC2 Saturday 13 January, 2001 at 8.10pm
The Golden Age:
The story continues through the eyes of the great general Themistocles, as the Greeks emerge glorious and victorious against the mighty Persian Empire.

BBC2 Saturday 20 January, 2001 at 8.15pm
Empire of the Mind:
This final episode describes how Athens, at the height of her glory, engages in a suicidal conflict with her greatest rival, Sparta.

Visit The Greeks and the PBS web sites

Also visit the BBC Ancient History site. Learn more about the Greeks and Ancient Greece

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The Minoans
Presented by Bettany Hughes
Shown on Channel 4, Saturday 23 October at 7.10pm

Historian Bettany Hughes visits Crete to describe how Sir Arthur Evans discovered the Minoan civilisation, where in 1903 he began his excavation of the palace at Knossos. Finds included architecture, art, pottery and clay tablets inscribed in Linear A and Linear B. The remarkable Bronze Age culture Evans revealed is named after the legendary Cretan king Minos, associated with the legend of Theseus and the half-man, half-bull Minotaur.

Visit Channel 4 History and the The Minoans for more information

 More Information? Go to the Channel 4 historyheads & Footnotes series
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The Mystery of Sea Henge
Repeat of the programme shown earlier in the year
Shown on Channel 4, Thursday 27 July 2000 at 8.30pm

One of the most exciting archaeological discoveries of recent times gave up its secrets in this Time Team Special. A fascinating programme which followed the controversy surrounding Sea Henge and the excavation and reconstruction of this unique Bronze Age monument. The circle of partly submerged timbers with an upturned tree at its centre - dubbed 'Sea Henge' by the press - was discovered off the Norfolk coast ...

Sea Henge site with reports from North West Norfolk, the home of Sea Henge
"Flag Fen" - temporary home

Time Team and 2000 series.
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The Nasca Lines of the Peruvian deserts
(A BBC "Horizon" programme, repeat)
Shown on BBC 2, Tuesday 4 July, 2000 at 8.30pm

An investigation into a group of strange markings, more than 2000 years old, which depict birds and animals and are only visible by air. This programme examined the work of archaeologist Guiseppe Orefici who has spent the past 17 years unearthing Cahuachi, the lost city of the line builders, which is dominated by a massive pyramid and is a treasure trove of Nasca culture.

More Information? Visit
The Lost City of Nasca (original shown 20.1.2000),
also the BBC "Horizon"
Archaeology and Anthropology archive.

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The Road to Riches
A six-part series
The End or the Beginning (6)
Shown BBC 2, Sunday 20 August, 2000 at 8.00pm
Series repeats during 2004 in the "Education Zone"

This was a six-part series, charting the history of human obsession with wealth and mankind's progress from primitive hunter-gatherer to modern wealth-creator. Economics editor Peter Jay began his journey in Jordan, where more than 10,000 years ago, the concept of money was born. He examined how this led to the first trading across the Middle East, and how from there settlements grew into cities.
I Clever and Greedy (13.08.04)
II The Love of Money (20.08.04)
III Risky Business (27.08.04)
IV Never the Same Again
V Best of Times Worst of Times
VI The End or the Beginning

The Road to Riches website for lots more Information, trailers (VR) and programme details !

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The Shock of the Old
A six-part Series
Last part shown on Channel 4, Sunday 24 September 2000 at 8.00pm

In this landmark series Piers Gough, one of Britain's most influential and daring architects, explores significant eras and technologies of British architecture. The Shock of the Old strips away centuries of familiarity and reminds us just how modern and radical some buildings were in their day.

In the first programme (20.8.00), Piers explained how Roman building styles revolutionised Britain and the extent to which their techniques and aspirations still have a grip on us. Featuring the remains of the Roman's version of skyscrapers and the first bungalows ever created.

In High and Mighty (27.8.00), he rediscovers the wonders of Britain's cathedrals and with the aid of technology, we can see how the cathedral would have looked in all its original glory, from Durham, the supreme in Gothic architecture, to the recently built architectural mix of Coventry Cathedral.

The Smoke Filled Room (3.9.00), follows the progress of the English Hall from medieval splendour, typified by Westminster, to the modern fashion for untilising roof space for loft living. A visit is also made to the Weald and Downland Museum where a real thatch roof is under construction.

Built to Order (10.9.00), looks at the Georgian town houses and how Edinburgh's Georgian buildings transformed the city into an "Athens of the North".

In Manic Street Builders (17.9.00), Piers revels in the ambition and revolutionary techniques of the Victorians. After the Industrial Revolution they built new canals, roads, law courts and schools - Victorians just loved to build. Perhaps their greatest architectural legacy was their revolutionary use of glass - as seen in the Crystal Palace. Among other buildings, the programme also takes a look at St Pancras Station - the tallest single spanning building in the World.

Piers Gough's journey through the best of British architecture comes right up to date with the final episode in this landmark series.

The White Stuff (24.09.00), looks at the 20th century and the battle to establish modernism in Britain, charting the introduction of the suburb as an alternative countryside or inner-city living. Piers takes a look at Hampstead Garden, one of the most influential of the earliest suburbs, and a housing style still emulated in suburbs everywhere. He also takes a look at the ultimate in 20th century modernism, the Media Centre at Lord's.


Also visit the
Building of the Year web site

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The Tower
An eight-part series
Shown on Channel 4, Tuesdays at 8.00pm from 19 March 2002
Repeat showing on Channel 4,
Saturday afternoons in January / February 2004

The Tower - Exploring the Tower of London's rich, absorbing and sometimes surprising past, through the people who live and work there today.

Visit Channel 4 History for initial programme details

 More Information? Go to the Channel 4 historyheads, Footnotes series
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The award-winning investigative series
BBC 2, Fridays at 9.00pm

Visit BBC History and the Timewatch series website for further information

Julius Caesar's Greatest Battle:(5.11.04) Documentary about Julius Caesar's eight-year campaign, through what is now France, in which he killed a million people, took another million hostage and destroyed more than 800 cities. It follows in the footsteps of Caesar and the leader of the Gallic uprising, Vercingetorix, as the conflict in Gaul reaches its climax. In 52BC, at Alesia, they led their armies into one of the greatest sieges in the history of warfare. (Julius Caesar)

The Secrets of the Mary Rose:(29.10.04) Over 20 years after the Tudor ship Mary Rose was lifted from Portsmouth harbour, maritime archaeologists attempting to complete the jigsaw return to the wreck site. It tells of not only the artefacts discovered - cooking utensils, prayer books, weapons - but also reveals the stories of the sailors themselves. Dramatic reconstruction and detailed graphics provide a picture of what life would have been like on a Tudor warship. (History of the Mary Rose and the Mary Rose Virtual Tour)

The Mystery of the Black Death: (15.10.04) A documentary shedding new light on the cause of the Black Death, which killed half the population of Europe in the 14th century. Scientists and historians have unearthed new evidence that the pandemic cannot be explained by blaming it all on bubonic plague transmitted by rats, and think that the culprit was a virus which emerged from animals and then vanished again. (Black Death)

The Mysteries Of The Medieval Ship: (30.1.04) - (10.07.04 at 8.10pm) In 2002, archaeologists working on a riverside site in the city of Newport (South Wales) chanced upon the well-preserved remains of an 80ft medieval merchant ship, the only one ever found in Britain. The ship's secrets, hidden from the world for half a millennium, reveal much about the turbulent years of the Wars of the Roses. Kate Hunter and Nigel Nayling traced its past. (Uncover the secret piracy plans of Warwick the Kingmaker - a leading member of a nobility whose power was later restricted by the ruling Tudors).

Concorde: A Love Story
(19.10.03 at 8.00pm) - A documentary revealing the inside story of how Concorde was designed and built, and how it survived against the odds to become an international icon. Told from the points of view of frequent fliers, engineers, designers, test pilots and flight staff, the programme also looked at the last years of Concorde, and its legacy for British air travel.

Special - live: Concorde's Final Bow
Arrival of the last scheduled flight -  Shown on BBC 2, Friday 24 October 2003  at 3.45pm

2003 Series
British Slaves on the Barbary Coast (10.01.03) - This programme followed the investigation and excavation of artefacts from the sea-bed in Salcombe Bay, Devon by members of the South West Maritime Archaeological Group and the government ADU (Archaeological Diving Unit). The artefacts were acquired by the British Museum.

The Lost Cities of the Maya (17.01.03) - Documentary following archaeologist Kathryn Reese-Taylor on an expedition deep into the Guatemalan jungle to the lost city of Naachtun, hoping to find answers to the mystery of why the Maya abandoned their cities and vanished at the height of their power. See also the history of the vast and magnificent Mayan Civilisation.

Rocket and Its Rivals (24.01.03) - In a full-scale restaging of the 1829 Rainhill Trials, which Stephenson's Rocket won by default, the rivals of the famous locomotive are given a second chance to prove their worth. Read All Change about the impact of Steam power on Victorian Britain. Watch Stephenson's pioneering Rocket in action!

Ramesses III: Behind the Myth of a Pharaoh (31.01.03) - About the man remembered as Egypt's last great pharaoh, using an ancient papyrus to reveal the dark workings of a leader in crisis. Filmed in Cairo, Luxor and the Valley of the Queens, a story of conspiracy, vengeance and murder is uncovered, which belies the positive image of Ramesses III.

1914: The War Revolution (7.02.03) - The first action involving the British was a cavalry skirmish, yet the war continued in the trenches. Advancing technology may have made trench warfare inevitable. Read The Western Front and the birth of total war.

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Wolverine International 2000-2005