What I would sincerely like to know is why you fed the writers of the script
of episode 2 the information about 'Slaves of Rapparee', for indeed you were
involved in the excavations in the early 1970's at Ilfracombe? The
information on this was clearly provided by yourself to the scriptwriters.
You are clearly aware of the controversy this caused at the time. Why could
you not let sleeping dogs lie? You must be aware of the devastating effect
this had upon the integrity of the amateur archaeologist who initially found
For the uninitiated, the full detail of what occurred at Rapparee Cove can
be found in the book:
Barrow, P., 1998, Slaves of Rapparee: The Wreck of the London, The Lazararus
Press, Bideford, Devon ISBN 1 -898546 - 25 - 8
And finally, I'm not an armchair archaeologist Mark, as you well know. I
have probably carried out more excavation in the last 10 years in North
Devon than you have in the last 50.
Please answer my questions if you have any integrity at all.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Horton" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 11:47 PM
Subject: [BRITARCH] watercooler archaeology
> Hi folks,
> For tomorrows discussion around the watercooler......
> Well we seem to have neatly divided the correspondence on Britarch down
> the middle (I have been off all day doing graduation things) and thank
> you for those who remain supportive of the enterprise; I am beginning to
> sense that some of you out there are beginning to get it (and there are
> scores of cultural references, that we put in just for your benefit -
> they will be lost on the mass of the great British public who are
> watching, so please be appreciative...... ).
> There are lots of complex layers to the story line, which will only
> become apparent as the series develops; one of which is a strongly post
> modern take on archaeology and narrative. While you have been jumping up
> and down objecting to 'factual inaccuracies' most of these were well
> considered and deliberate. At no point have we changed history (like for
> example was done in the Tudors, when Wolsey committed suicide) we have
> just added to it here and there, in order to make a dramatic point. Its
> what Shakespeare did as well after all. And he used history to make a
> contemporary point in all his plays.
> I still stand my claim that we are 100% - but this means that the
> archaeology is realistic - and the hostile reaction from many arm- chair
> archaeologists is because they dont actually go near to a dig, and just
> get their archaeology from the sanitised TV. Of course, if you had a Viv
> yanking out the wood as she did, would it actually survive the time team
> edit process? Of course not as the producers of these programmes what to
> show archaeology is a good light. Sometimes we dont realise the
> significance of something until long afterwards. This is a drama, warts
> and all. .
> The magnetomer scene which has caused no little amusement - I did warn
> you about the bleeps. We were originally going to do the bra's off scene
> in the mud, but the weather proved to aweful, so it was done inside at
> the last moment. We wanted to use a mag because of the gag, but there are
> really boring to film as they make just the odd bleep. Metal detectors
> are reserved for later on I warn you (and I promise, not particularly
> sympathetically, Paul Barford will be pleased.......).
> I have spotted a few mistakes that were too late to change in the edit -
> but I am jolly not going to tell you; you need to spot them yourself, or
> we will get a million posts (this is crap, waste of license fee, PC, BBC
> bias etc.) on the myrad of BK blogs that have sprung up!
> Ep 3 is completely and wonderfully mad, and is bound to upset everyone as
> its the Romans, and I have yet to find a romanist with a sense of
> Hey ho!