Whether the team is digging to unearth an Iron Age village, or a vanished Roman Villa, or even a Norman Castle, I’m all over it, I can’t help it, I’m hooked. I don’t recall when I saw my first episode, but I immediately became a full on fan of the show. Time Team, unlike most programs on archaeology, is not there to give you this neatly wrapped version of history. Instead, the team are asked by either the sites owners, or one of Britain’s historical societies, to come investigate. The premise is they have only 3 days to uncover the truths the sites may hold. Simply delicious; well, to me it is.
I am such a history geek. It began way back when I was in my 20’s I suppose, with a book on the Celts, and I haven’t looked back since. Now, these 25+ years later I hesitate to use the word “Celts” as I now know, through years of reading, that designation is rather misleading. In truth, the people we know as the “celts” are connected more by language. Now, I could easily at this point go into this long-winded explanation as to why the Celts of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are in actual fact not directly related to the Celts of the mainland Europe, or that even the term “Celt” is misleading, but I won’t bore you to tears. I could let you know that there is in fact a (I believe) Iron Age group that were referred as, or referred to themselves as? The Keltoi…but I won’t bore you with those details.
I get this thrill every time they fire up the earth scraper. Then, with trowels in hand, begin to scrap away the dirt and debris that has built up and hidden away the piece of history that is to be the subject of the episode.
But shhhhhhh… I don’t watch them on TV, I watch them on YouTube. Now with my new laptop, lying sideways in bed via my 15.4″ screen, I am taken away to the next archaeological mystery. Heck, I don’t even maximize the video and normally watch it in the 4×6 frame size. The show has taken me on a tour of Britain that I could never have enjoyed in any other way. Exposing the remains of ancient ancestors, to the ramparts of a Norman Castle, they tease away the layers of dirt and present you with the bits and broken pieces that lay buried.
What I especially find engaging is that the team themselves are all in their own right characters of one degree or another. All history buffs, historical scholars, archaeologists, and all the many other professions that uncover, identify and/or record history, are rather quirky sorts by nature. Not sure exactly why, but perhaps its all that dirt and dust…history I suppose tends to cover you in this fine layer of detritus that obscures any notion you may have had concerning what someone else thinks. It is not, after all, of particular interest what modern society thinks, but rather what these shadows of history thought.
For me, there is nothing more satisfying than to curl up and watch the team dig history out with either a shovel or utilizing some hi-tech, GEO-ground-penetrating-contraption. Delicious. I tell you, I’m addicted.
Of particular interest to me is the middle Stone Age, into the Bronze age, up to the late bronze-age. What intrigues me about the time period, is that timeframe covers the shift humankind made from hunter-gatherers to farmers, than to villages. I’m fascinated by those shifts, those in-between times hold the best stories. From Babel to Babylon, and back to the building of the pyramids in Greece, up into the Orkney’s and down to the truths of Stonehenge.
So there’s a glimpse into the life of PaulaB. If you are at all interested, I HIGHLY recommend pointing your pointer over to Francis Pryor‘s page. He is one of the occasional members of the team, and is brought in to lead the digs – often when they are featuring early Iron Age to Bronze Age sites. Once I have some extra cash on hand I plan on purchasing some sort of reader and my first e-book is going to be one of his. I know, I know…how exciting, eh?
Over this last year, these programs have sustained me, and quite frankly, I don’t know what I would have done without them. When so much in my life was/is up in the air, when I had no idea where I was going, or what I was going to do for a job, or even where I was going to live, I could curl up in front of my monitor and be taken away to a place out of time. Thank you Time Team.