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