Drowning in the swamp of bad TV: Unearthed at Stonehenge

The Science Channel posted a link to a film clip a couple of days ago, to promote a new film, apparently called Skeletons of Stonehenge. The piece is headed, “Clues found in ancient skeletons buried at Stonehenge reveal a series of murders.” (Hint as to where this is going: the bone above is not from … Continue reading Drowning in the swamp of bad TV: Unearthed at Stonehenge

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A British Archaeology for the holidays

The front cover of the new British Archaeology is inevitably a bit sombre, but it’s a reminder of how fortunate we were to have had Mick Aston among us. I run an obituary-listing feature at the end of every year (about 60 individuals in the last one); and very occasionally deaths will be noticed of … Continue reading A British Archaeology for the holidays

Is this the greatest Stonehenge film ever made?

Perhaps not (though no obvious other candidates spring to mind) but it’s worth asking. What it certainly is, is quite different from any Stonehenge film you will see made today. In fact it’s so different, the very comparison is an object lesson in thinking and communicating about the past, and in broadcasting history. I’ve just … Continue reading Is this the greatest Stonehenge film ever made?

Time up

When I put that on the cover of British Archaeology above a photo of Mick Aston in February, I left it deliberately ambiguous. Mick was leaving Time Team – but what about Time Team itself? Now it’s official. Attempts to fiddle about with the 18-year-old format are deemed to have failed, and in the wake … Continue reading Time up

Children of the Stones

Stewart Lee presented an entertaining programme on Radio 4 last week about the old TV series that featured strange goings on in a village with a big stone circle. A lot of people are coming here from the link that the BBC kindly provided, so for anyone nostalgic about Avebury, here are a few recent … Continue reading Children of the Stones

Metal detecting in the US

There’s been a debate in the States involving serious issues, prompted by two TV series. One of them, a pilot that appears to have at least temporarily been shelved, was made by National Geographic, the other by Spike TV, creator of  “1000 Ways to Die” (“true stories about those who succumbed to the grim reaper … Continue reading Metal detecting in the US

Visits to Stonehenge, 185 years apart

I was at the real Stonehenge yesterday, in warm sunshine that came from nowhere to talk to Tom Holland for the Radio 4 Making History programme (listen out on May 8). Work will start on the new centre before long, and already I’m getting little niggles of nostalgia for all the tarmac, signs and mess. … Continue reading Visits to Stonehenge, 185 years apart

Filming in Dorset (& reprogramming the TV)

I'm giving you my essential guide to retuning your TV soon, but first a bit of archaeology. This is Maumbury rings, a nice earthworky sort of earthwork near the centre of Dorchester. It looks how it does now because of corporate curation, remodelling during the Civil War and before that as a Roman amphitheatre, but … Continue reading Filming in Dorset (& reprogramming the TV)

The Dig

John Tyrrell has posted a comment mentioning John Preston's novel about Sutton Hoo. Preston talked about "the dig" for British Archaeology in 2007, and as the page is not on the magazine website, here it is. I will write a note soon about the new British Archaeology which is out later this week. In the … Continue reading The Dig