personally, I'd like one of those mobile phones that works underground, as
demonstrated on the programme. Seems an annoying design flaw that it only
works when the owner is in no danger, however.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Miles Russell" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 11:03 PM
Subject: [BRITARCH] Incredible documentary
Wow - hadn't realised that the new series of Meet the Ancestors had started
already (well I missed the first 5 minutes and Julian Richards wasn't on it,
but, to be fair, I can't think what else it could have been - unless the BBC
has a new flagship archaeological documentary that I wasn't previously aware
of) and what a story it was! The reconstructions were of a uniformly high
quality and, although I missed where exactly the evidence had originally
been obtained (I assume there must be a new scroll of history from a
previously lost ancient source - perhaps uncovered from a library at
Herculaneum or Pompeii) but boy does this change our perception of Roman
relations with Britain and the British. I certainly now will look at the
Boudiccan revolt in a new light (and am hastily re-jigging my PowerPoint
lecture for next years intake accordingly). I wonder why Tacitus and Dio
Cassius never mentioned this in their great works (which are shown now to be
rather inaccurate and misleading)? Wow indeed.
Not sure what the bits in-between the dramatic reconstructions were trying
to say, however, having missed the beginning of the documentary, but they
made a change from the usual "talking heads". I didn't catch the name of the
archaeological unit / university department involved nor how they were first
led into this particular line of enquiry, but what a result! Admittedly the
team seemed a bit haphazard with regard to their methods (and I'm sure that
more should have been said on the programme about legislative
infringements - Scheduled Monuments, Listed Buildings, World Heritage
status, Treasure Act etc - and permissions required in order to conduct such
a fieldwork programme but I suppose that when you have a story this big and
this potentially important, the public don't need to see all the minutiae of
Britain's cultural heritage).
All in all then, I must say that despite the surprise, this innovative
programme really got me thinking and the conclusions were so devastatingly
persuasive that I can't think of any alternative hypothesis. I'm off to
Google the team involved immediately so that I can find their email address
and congratulate them on solving one of the great mysteries of Roman
Britain. Fantastic stuff. Why is no other university / unit involved in such
ground-breaking research? I hope this was entered in the 2008 RAE.
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