When you dig up the past, all you get is dirt…

Time’s Up for Time Team

timeteam

Time Team, the most popular archaeology television programme in Britain, has died aged 20 after an acute illness.

Time Team burst onto the scene twenty years ago and immediately caused a stir. A bit scientific, a bit saucy, the show polarized opinions within archaeology and was a surprise hit with the viewing public. For the first time ever, words like ‘geofizz’ and ‘robber trench’ were broadcast into homes around the United Kingdom; the motley crew of lifetime academics, diggers and assorted characters let their freak flag fly for all to see, and we loved them for it. More than just TV personalities, they became our first reality stars, and our good friends.

The Team showed us that the keys to the past were in our own hands; that underneath every ordinary back garden could lay the evidence of something fabulous. No matter who you were or where you came from, the great equalizer of the past belonged to us all.

In recent years, the programme struggled to adapt to a television landscape consumed by shallow celebrity and instant gratification. In a world obsessed with dirty laundry, it seems there is no longer any place for good clean fun.

Time Team is survived by millions of pounds of archaeological research, a generation of archaeologists who owe their first moments of inspiration to the programme, a catalogue of research that would otherwise have never happened, and hundreds of sites that are now better understood and looked after.

A memorial service will be held on the 10th November from 7:00pm at the Sun & 13 Cantons, 21 Great Pulteney Street , London W1F 9NG. For crisis counseling, email info@digventures.com

Check out the Guardian article here… and if you too feel moved to write a eulogy, we look forward to reading your comments below.

7 Responses to “Time’s Up for Time Team”

  1. Diana

    Simply this – sad to see it go. I loved having the team in my lounge room. They did feel like friends.

  2. Digginjim

    Thank you for encapsulating the way I feel about Time Team so elegantly. As a member of the production team for ten years this is very sad day for me…

  3. Nico

    *raises his arms tot the sky* WHY??? Even though we only had 3 seasons in Holland, I never missed any re-run, or re-run of the re-runs!

  4. Hugh Fiske

    Although Time Team had its faults, when viewed alongside such pap as ‘I’m A Celebrity..’ and ‘X-Factor’ it shone like a gold torc in a muddy field. Its loss is a victory for those who detest programmes encouraging independent and creative thought and deed. and for those those others in TV lala-land who seek to reduce all programmes to the patronising levels of Country File and The One Show.

    To ‘dumb down’ is a cliche nowadays but the outcry that arose when Channel 4 tried to do just that to Time Team in the last series surely sealed its fate, it simply couldn’t be allowed to survive to spite those who considered it highbrow and elitist, or the old fashioned archaeologists who found it just too common (infra dig perhaps?) and likely to lead to just anyone trampling across their domains and treading on their toes.

    A whole generation of modern archaeologists was brought up on Time Team and was enthused by it, unaware perhaps of the tutting of these old-school academics who are now beginning to stir again and turn their baleful attention to crowd-sourced digs and the like.

    The mantle of providing popular archaeology on TV has been cast off by Channel 4, perhaps Channel 5 fresh from producing their excellent Big Dig series on Great War archaeology fancy picking it up?

  5. Deb Hubbard

    THANK YOU to cast and crew for 20 (mostly) wonderful years of Time Team: archaeology has been brought to ordinary people in the form of great entertainment, and it will NEVER be forgotten. I and my husband feel almost bereaved. Like the many skeletons discovered RIP.

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