Digging for Britain 6 January 2022: Thursday on BBC Two

Series 9 Episode 3 of 6The show travels to the north of the UK to look at the most fascinating archaeology uncovered in the region over the course of 2021.

In North Yorkshire, a team of community volunteers are digging down beneath Richmond Castle, one of the country’s oldest and best-preserved Norman castles, and what they find tells a rich 1000-year story, from its origins as a Norman stronghold to the intimate role it played as a prison for conscientious objectors during the First World War.

On the northern tip of the Orkney Islands, our dig diary cameras are present to witness archaeologists racing to unearth rare discoveries from an endangered Neolithic tomb before it erodes into the sea.

Ten miles east of Edinburgh, a team of keen volunteers are hunting for evidence of Scotland’s oldest railway – a pioneering, horse-powered wooden track that predates the era of steam trains by nearly a century.

In the heart of the Peak District, only ten miles from Sheffield, archaeologists are using cutting-edge chemical analysis to find evidence of a rare Roman industry – lead processing. With no lead deposits in Italy, the Romans scoured their empire to track down and exploit this valuable resource, abundant in Britain.

Dr Stuart Prior embarks on some experimental archaeology to investigate how the Romans turned raw lead metal into the water pipes and plumbing of the Roman Empire, and visits the world-famous Roman baths in Somerset to see authentic Roman plumbing in action. Stuart also discovers that the Romans had a surprising use for this versatile metal, with ancient bathers inscribing messages to the gods and curses on their peers.

In Hull, archaeologists have a unique opportunity investigate an enormous cemetery from the industrial era, when the city flourished in a golden age of whaling and shipping. But discoveries of trauma and injuries to the human remains on site reveal the dangers of the emerging technologies of the Industrial Revolution.

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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Alex Matthews

Editor in chief of TV Everyday.

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