Brian Cox, master of the universe

Well, at least of the wonders of the universe aphorism. In that regard he’s truly up there with Carl Sagan. And having criticised him for an archaeological presentation, I was delighted to see him at his best on Easter Island. I wrote earlier about a sequence in the first of the BBC’s Human Universe films. … Continue reading Brian Cox, master of the universe

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Reburying Richard

  The Leicester Cathedral Quarter Partnership Board has published a provisional timetable for the reburial of Richard III’s remains in March next year. Here is what it adds up to. We really haven’t seen anything like this before! Sunday March 22 2015 [1] 12.00 Hearse departs from University of Leicester, to [2] Fenn Lane Farm … Continue reading Reburying Richard

Let’s trust the viewer’s intelligence

I’m delighted to see some big, thoughtful personalities arguing as I have done for more intelligent TV. In the past few days Hilary Mantel has complained about poor historical drama, and Sir David Attenborough about TV documentaries in general. “It is perfectly possible to do good history and good drama,” says Mantel, “they are not … Continue reading Let’s trust the viewer’s intelligence

Operation Stonehenge: what the TV films left out

Oh dear, BBC2. If this had happened in a hospital, the patient would have died. There was some lovely film and it was all put together well, but the good looks concealed some very odd archaeology. Some of it was fine but not explained. Some of it was misleading. Much of it was wrong. That … Continue reading Operation Stonehenge: what the TV films left out

Antiquities sales: it’s a funny old world

Three months ago Christie’s London sold an ancient Egyptian statue for £14m (estimate £4–6m). Today Bonhams London were to sell a group of ancient Egyptian antiquities (estimate £80–120,000). The lots had things in common. Both were taken out of Egypt (just) over a century ago, and both were in museums open to the public. Both … Continue reading Antiquities sales: it’s a funny old world