Dr Alice Roberts travels back to the Viking Age and visits excavations that are revealing a different side to these seafaring pirates from Scandinavia. She looks for signs of the earliest Viking settlers in the Outer Hebrides, and in Orkney - where Viking dominance outlasted anywhere else in Britain - she visits the excavation of a Viking chief's citadel and finds evidence of their way of life. There's an extraordinary collection of silver and gold that demonstrates the furthest reaches of the Vikings' trading empire, and excavations in York - famously the capital of Viking England. This episode also includes a fresh look at some of Britain's most celebrated Viking finds, such as the fantastic Lewis Chessmen, which are currently the subject of major new research. Alternative title: Digging for Britain's Secrets.
The first episode concentrates on Roman Britannia, where finds include the thickening mystery of 97 baby skeletons found by the Thames, a newly discovered town in rural Devon that turns history on its head, and a Roman cult figure buried for 1700 years beneath a fort. Alternative title: Digging for Britain's Secrets.
Dr Alice Roberts goes in search of the Tudor age, a time that saw momentous changes across all aspects of British life. She visits excavations at Shakespeare's first theatre in London's Shoreditch and also joins a team sifting through Shakespeare's rubbish at his last home in Stratford-Upon-Avon. In a remote corner of Wales, Alice meets a team of archaeologists uncovering the brutal realities of Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, a conflict that would change the very fabric of Britain. On the muddy banks of the Thames, she discovers the rich history of a forgotten royal palace, which was home to the Tudor kings and queens. And she learns about a mysterious Tudor shipwreck which dates from this age of exploration and trade. Alternative title: Digging for Britain's Secrets.
The Romans created one of the greatest empires in history, built with the help of an incredible army of professional legionnaires and a well-oiled political machinery. At its height, a few hundred men ruled over a fifth of mankind and an area stretching from Britain to Syria and from Gibraltar to the Euphrates. They undertook some of the most ambitious building-projects of their time: endless roads, gigantic bridges and imposing aqueducts formed a complex infrastructure and left a lasting legacy on civilisation. Alternative episode title: How the Romans Changed the World.
The Anglo-Saxons - they divided our land and heralded the arrival of the Dark Ages. But were they really just barbarians? Dr Alice Roberts visits the royal seat of power at Bamburgh, Northumbria and sees how the skeletons tell tales of violent death, but also of tenderness. There's a remarkable community project in a shopping centre in Sittingbourne where people are curating the grave goods of their own ancestors. And there are treasures that make her wonder just how dark the Dark Ages really were. Alternative title: Digging for Britain's Secrets.
Professor Alice Roberts explores the year's most exciting archaeological finds in the north of Britain. A team discovers clues to Scotland's first kingdoms, metal detectorists unearth a hoard of Viking treasure, and a new housing development reveals a graveyard of Iron Age warriors. Alternative title: Digging for Britain's Secrets.
Experience the epic ancient Battle of Thermopylae; the titanic clash in which King Leonidas and 300 Spartan warriors fought to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army.
Orkney - seven miles off the coast of Scotland, and cut off by the tumultuous Pentland Firth, the fastest-flowing tidal race in Europe - is often viewed as being remote. However it is one of the treasure troves of archaeology in Britain, and recent discoveries there are turning the Stone Age map of Britain upside down. Rather than an outpost at the edge of the world, recent finds suggest an extraordinary theory - that Orkney was the cultural capital of our ancient world and the origin of the stone circle cult which culminated in Stonehenge. In this episode, Andy and some local seafaring volunteers build a boat made of just willow and cow hide and set out to cross the dangerous Pentland Firth as the ancient Orcadians would have done. Neil investigates the extraordinary discovery of some human bones, Chris goes in search of whales, and Shini uncovers the powers of the tides.
From the western steppes of China to the moors of Northern Europe, well-preserved ancient humans continue to be found, and with each comes a unique and compelling glimpse into life in the past.
In Norfolk, newly unearthed flint tools push the earliest human occupation back by 200,000 years, to around 1 million years ago. In Orkney, an early farm yields glimpses of our ancestors' earliest religious beliefs and customs - cattle skulls buried within building walls, and tiny household goddesses. In Devon, we find one of the oldest known shipwrecks. And a bronze age burial holds a mystery, and touching evidence of grief echoing down over 2000 years. Alternative title: Digging for Britain's Secrets.
This pioneering series unearths the amazing stories and thrilling treasures hidden just below Britain's surface. Everywhere you stand on this small but significant island, there are worlds beneath your feet, and every year hundreds of excavations bring more of them to light. Ambitious, bold and multi-layered, Digging for Britain follows the lead of the experts, cross-referencing one discovery against another, using new information to illuminate existing collections and building a fascinating picture of life in bygone eras. Professor Alice Roberts follows a year of British archaeology, joining up the results of digs and investigations the length of the country. The results of these digs are astonishing, and sometimes disturbing. Roman finds include the mystery of 97 babies murdered by the Thames, a fabulous Roman coin hoard found in Somerset, and a man buried on a layer of dead animals. Alternative title: Digging for Britain's Secrets.
Jamie meets a real Freemason in a Lodge in London and gets a rare glimpse of what actually goes on behind closed doors. He discovers the astonishing truth that the Freemasons have indeed been shaping our society for centuries and examines the claim that they may have been responsible for democracy itself.
Ancient Greece - the cradle of modern Europe. Around 3000 years ago, the cultural foundations of western civilisation were laid, on the shores of the Mediterranean. It's the birthplace of democracy, where great thinkers forged the beginnings of scientific reasoning, where theatre was turned into mass entertainment, and where the Olympic Games began. Imaginative animation, stunning visuals and an entertaining narrative combine in an extraordinary exploration of Greece and the rise of an ancient super power that would leave a permanent mark on western society. Alternative episode title: How the Greeks Changed the World.
The ancient Egyptian elite were more than just rich with history. In this series narrated by Alexander Siddig, experts recount tales of excess wealth and discuss the scandalous vices of the era. The pharaohs would do anything to attain power: murder, incest, seduction, and political backstabbing.
Orkney - seven miles off the coast of Scotland and cut off by the tumultuous Pentland Firth, the fastest flowing tidal race in Europe - is often viewed as being remote. But recent discoveries there are turning the Stone Age map of Britain upside down. Rather than an outpost at the edge of the world, recent finds suggest an extraordinary theory - that Orkney was the cultural capital of our ancient world and the origin of the stone circle cult which culminated in Stonehenge. In this series, Neil Oliver, Chris Packham, Andy Torbet and Dr Shini Somara join hundreds of archaeologists from around the world who have gathered there to investigate at one of Europe's biggest digs. Chris Packham uncovers the secrets revealed by the DNA of Orkney's unique vole, Neil Oliver explores Orkney's tombs and monuments, Dr Shini Somara experiments to discover how the Orcadians could have moved giant blocks of stone over rough ground, and archaeological adventurer Andy Torbet climbs Orkney's most challenging sea-stack to unlock the story of Orkney's unusual geology.
They've been called the greatest manuscript discoveries of modern times - but was the unearthing of the 981 fragmented texts 1300 feet below sea level in the caves near the ancient settlement of Qumran between 1947 and 1956 actually just the beginning of one of one of history's great religious conspiracies? What was written on them? What do they reveal about the time of Jesus? Why did the Catholic Church keep them out of the public eye for nearly thirty years? And what else lies buried here? Jamie is off to Israel to find out.
The Ancient Egyptian elite were more than just rich with history. In this series, with exploits that could've been ripped from the pages of modern magazines, experts will recount tales of excess wealth and discuss the scandalous sins of the era.
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