Last night I had an email from Time Teams location manager Kerry Ely. Originally he was the archaeological site supervisor and great man to have around on a dig. He said that he was in the pub in true Time Team fashion. You can only imagine what a group of archaeologists, a television crew and a production team get up to in small towns across the British Isles! Beside him was the lovely head of sound, Stevie, and a wonderful camera assistant named Jack.
All in all I can imagine a rowdy bunch of around 60 + people, joking, discussing the last week, and discussing archaeology. Pubs are the uncensored labs, offices and meeting rooms for British archaeologists. They are often where the best work and ideas are thought over, debated over and decided, or not.
The Time Team are away on their 5th shoot of the series for the next viewing year, at Bamburgh Castle, in Northumbria. They were at Bamburgh last year also making this an unusual site. Time Team does not normally return to a site. It has done so only a couple of times before. The Team must have left the site last time feeling as though there were more gems to reveal. The web leads us to believe they are hoping to find a medieval chapel.
Now, it is about 10.30am Thursday morning in the UK as I write this. Filming would have begun on site. Tony would, hopefully, have completed his piece to camera for the introduction, John and the geophysics crew should be busy surveying and perhaps coming through with the first results, the incident room should be bursting with researchers, historian and other specialists looking at maps, old documents and computers. Phil should be on site looking about and thinking about the first trench; if he is lucky he may already have broken the turf. The other archaeologists may be drinking coffee and waiting for the call to get in the trench, or others, to begin excavating.
Also on site this year is a web based team. Very shortly the should begin uploading short blog style video content to the web. Time Team Digital is a new concept to Time Team. For the next 3 days it allows people to watch excerpts and interviews of the team as the excavation happens, and hopefully followers get a sense that they are experiencing a real archaeological dig, with its discovery, discussion and interpretations. Without having to wait for the edited episode next year.
This should be an interesting way of viewing a whole lot of archaeologists, scientists and historians working through the process of an archaeological dig. And taking you along for the ride….
Go check it out, it would be good to hear what you like about it afterwards.