2nd March 2014: Time Team Special: Britain's Bronze Age Mummies


During August and December 2013, I was involved in the filming of a Time Team Special, that was to become "Britain's Bronze Age Mummies" at Low Hauxley (Northumberland) with the regular cast (below) Francis Pryor, Tony Robinson and Phil Harding, plus Dr Ffion Reynolds and green-screen filming in Bristol with members of Black Knight Historical.

The role at Low Hauxley was to take part as a Bronze Age Shaman "dancing" around a large fire on the beach at night. This sequence was used to promote the Time Team episode during the week and extensively during the programme itself.

At Bristol, the assembled crew were to perform several recconstructions of Bronze Age burials. My part was to lay two skeletons down in what was to become, a wooded area (with the help of CGI).

Before and after the "magic" of technology transforms the green-screen (above) to a realistic natural setting (below)

 

Reviews from one TV pundit:

"From Northumberland to the Orkneys, Tony Robinson and the gang had their hands and trowels full as they took us back to the dark and beguiling Bronze Age.

As one beardy boffin put it last night, the Time Team members were really staring history in the face last night. The face in question belonging to a hollow-eyed skull, many thousands of years old. Actually, there were quite a few skulls in evidence, along with the marvellously complete skeletons of Bronze Age Britons. Well, we say "complete". They looked like entire people, but many were actually composed of bones from DIFFERENT corpses.

Turns out, it was all about strange burial rituals and shamans and trance states. Cue startling reconstructions of people roaring and shrieking and dancing around bonfires, which certainly made ancient Britain seem remarkably exotic. And so it was – after all, we were making mummies at the same time the Ancient Egyptians were. Eat your perfectly preserved hearts out, pharaohs.

Even with all the talk of death and burial, Time Team still makes for the ultimate Sunday night viewing. In fact, the only way it could more cosy and Sundayish is if Mary Berry turned up halfway through to bring the archaeologists some freshly made Victoria sponge. Lovely".

(This was actually the second time I have appeared on Time Team - the first was in October 2010, when the crew were featuring the Roman villa in Litlington, Herts

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