Digging for Britain 4 January 2022: Tuesday on BBC Two

Series 9 Episode 1 of 6This episode sees Alice Roberts tour the East of England, seeking out the most outstanding archaeological digs of the year.

Starting in style, she witnesses the uncovering of ‘the most important Roman mosaic to be found in the UK in over 100 years’ on seemingly featureless farmland in Rutland. She meets farmer’s son, Jim who discovered that the field he’d known his whole life actually had a large Roman villa complex lying just beneath his feet. During 2020’s long lockdown, Jim and his family entertained themselves by excavating an area that turned out to be exactly where a huge mosaic lay, just two feet under their field of wheat.

Meanwhile, in the Lincolnshire fens, the site of a saintly hermit’s hovel has been discovered. Archaeologists are digging where they believe a man called Guthlac set up home in the late seventh century, having renounced his riches to impress God with his sparse existence. Dr Onyeka Nubia follows up the dig with a visit to Cambridge University to examine an extravagant and very rare 1200-year-old book which details Guthlac’s life in order to understand why he became one of Britain’s earliest saints.

The Anglo-Saxons are centre stage again as the grave finds uncovered at a dig in a small town in Kent astonish even the most seasoned archaeologists. Some of the finest are brought to the new Digging for Britain tent for Alice to learn about the process of conservation and micro excavation from leading conservator Dana Goodburn Brown.

Finally, Stuart Prior tries ale made to a previously unknown Anglo-Saxon recipe uncovered during a dig at a huge malting site in north Norfolk. New evidence suggests that Anglo-Saxons living in the east were growing cereal crops in ratios that linked them strongly with their cultural homelands in mainland Europe.

About Digging for Britain

Professor Alice Roberts follows a year of British archaeology, joining up the results of digs and investigations the length of the country.

This show is broadcast on BBC Four, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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3 Responses

  1. john Evans says:

    There is a ‘theme’ music running through this programme – what is it? Please!

  2. Alan Taylor says:

    Coins for the Eyes: 4/4 by Johnny Flynn & Robert Macfarlane.

  3. Pat says:

    I love this programme but could the presenter please keep her hands still for a bit while talking. It’s so distracting

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