Guideline Geo part of new Time Team episodes
Time Team is a popular TV program that ran in the UK from 1994 to 2014. It has since been shown in approximately 40 countries around the globe. Each episode set an archaeological research question (normally submitted by members of the public), then gathered a team of archaeologists and other experts to answer it. And, to make it more challenging – they had just 3 days to do it. The show is currently enjoying a renaissance with regular new content provided to fans online and through social media channels.
The use of geophysics in Time Team was key to being able to meet the challenge of only having 3 days on site. It was invariably undertaken from the very start of each episode, right the way through to the close. Prior to joining Guideline Geo, our ABEM Product Manager Jimmy Adcock worked on the show for 10 years. Jimmy contributed to over 80 episodes whilst working for Dr. John Gater, the show’s geophysics consultant.
Guideline Geo’s involvement with the program can be traced back to 1998. A fresh-faced Jesper Emilsson (now Product Manager for MALÅ) went to a small town in the UK with an unshielded GPR to search for Roman remains across a number of back gardens.
Time Team geophysicist John Gater and Jesper Emilsson at Papcastle, UK in 1998 with a MALÅ GPR unshielded antenna
The episode, broadcast in 1999, is available online in some regions with the GPR appearing around 12 minutes in. (Time Team producers are working hard to get more of the original series onto YouTube without regional restrictions via their Time Team Classics channel.)
MALÅ returned in 2011 (broadcast 2012) to demonstrate the MIRA 16-channel array system. It was supplied by our MALÅ Senior Applications Engineer Mike Langton (in those days working for a private survey company). The episode focused on Cunetio Roman town, where a hoard of 55,000 Roman coins was found in the 1970s.
MALÅ MIRA survey results from over a mansio (the Roman equivalent of a motel) at Cunetio Roman town
The results impressed the production crew so much that Time Team borrowed a MIRA 8-channel for the final broadcast season which aired in 2013. Two standout results were Roman remains at a site called Brancaster, in the east of England, and a partial Prehistoric barrow on Salisbury plain in south-central UK:
A selection of MALÅ MIRA slices from over part of a ploughed-out burial mound on Salisbury Plain and a summary time-slice from Brancaster Roman fort
To see more of the Brancaster data, click here.
MALÅ MIRA HDR on-site at one of the new Time Team shoots
Fast-forward to 2021 and, after a very long break with many fans calling for a return, it’s back. And so is the participation of boxes from Sweden!
Now an online venture, crowd-funded via Patreon, Time Team is providing a host of archaeological and historical content for old and new fans alike. This will include two new full episodes which will be free to watch on YouTube soon (details to be announced). And Guideline Geo are very pleased to have been able to participate in the filming of these episodes once again.
At the second site, in Oxfordshire UK, both Jimmy and Mike attended with the latest generation of our multi-channel GPR, the MIRA HDR. They were helping investigate what may be one of the largest British Roman villas ever discovered.
And finally, Mike and Jimmy recently assisted on a third site for the Time Team crew. However, for now we are remaining tight-lipped about the details of this high-profile site. Keep an eye on the Time Team social media channels for more information on that little project!