Since 2012, I’ve had the good fortune to be involved with the Time Team Dig Village project, currently running down at Dunster in Somerset. You’ve no doubt seen the pictures and posts that periodically show on my little used social media sites when an event is taking place.
While the project is still ongoing, there comes a time at which an interim report is needed to let everyone know what the latest findings are. Ideally it needs to satisfy both the professional archaeologist(s), plus, be readable by the general public so that they can easily understand the content without having to know too much about archaeology itself.
Down in Dunster this last weekend (26th January 2019), that interim report was launched. Sufficient copies were printed to be able to freely distribute it locally to those who are involved in the project, plus some copies for the necessary archaeological records. I’ll amend this post in due course since the intention is to make a PDF of the report freely available online for anyone to look at. I’ll post that link once it’s available,
While the project continues, it was really great to see the culmination of several years work make up the content of the report. We held the launch in the local Dunster Museum. A small video of the event can be seen here.
I’ve really enjoyed working as part of this project, it’s been both rewarding and educational. Long may it continue!
To be honest, I don’t hold out any hope this will in fact change anything, and in addition, Dig Village appears to be the format of choice “going forward” (as all the best buzzword folk say these days), but I still can’t help but feel that it’s still the basic Time Team format that fans of the show want retaining.
Sure, the format can be made more in line with the earlier years of the show, but it’s Time Team the brand that’s become so popular, it’s such a shame that it’s all over. If you feel you want to support the latest petition to retain the programme, please follow the link below.
Time Team To Continue on TV (and/or be released on DVD) Petition | GoPetition
Although it is extremely sad that this is the last series of Time Team (at least in its current format), I have to say, I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Series 19 took some serious flak, although while I confess there were elements of it I wasn’t that comfortable with, I don’t think it was the total disaster that some critics seem to regard it as. Series 20 however has thus far been brilliant.
At Dropshort for example (which I helped with the pre-evaluation), where things didn’t fully go to plan, you get to see the the “process” of archaeology that in this instance didn’t lead to the result that I’m sure everyone wanted. To me, this was one of the best, it reflects it as it is, sometimes things just don’t work out.
Then there was Brancaster. A fabulous dig which I also had the privilege of attending. Some magnificent geophysics, some excellent finds and finally, some decent weather! To be honest there hasn’t been one episode so far that I can say I’ve been disappointed with. It’s just so disappointing that it’s the swansong. Time Team has been part of my life for the last twenty years. It opened my eyes to what I previously (as an engineer) thought a particularly dull subject. Come Christmas, I’ve always been looking forward to the Sunday in the New Year around 6pm when the new series started. Please note Channel 4, I do not appreciate the constant buggering around over the last few years with the schedule. Time Team had its “spot” which everyone knew, to start messing about with it was just plain bloody stupid. It’s the same as the BBC deciding to air Match of the Day at 3am on the Wednesday.
Apparently there are plans to “re-invent” it, moving it back to its early days of fewer people and more of a “wing it” approach in filming allied to following developments in the archaeology as opposed to the recent scripted version that it had tended towards. Either way, it needs to continue. Sure, some of the “characters” are getting a little long in the tooth, but like any good team, new blood can be brought it to allow for a smooth transition. The trick is not to change everything at once. It simply has to continue, somehow life would never be the same without it.