The Greatest Archaeological Finds in Recent Years | Full History Hit Series
A full series of History Hit videos on the most fascinating archaeological discoveries over the past year. Join presenters Tristan Hughes, Luke Tomes, Dan Snow and James Rogers as they join some of the most exciting historical excavations across Europe.
We start of at the British Museum, where host of The Ancients, Tristan Hughes is given special access to the 'World of Stonehenge exhibition' to speak to the team responsible for the discovery of an elaborately decorated 5,000-year-old chalk cylinder, buried with three child skeletons in Yorkshire, and as old as the first phase of Stonehenge - described as the "most important piece of prehistoric art to be found in Britain in the last 100 years".
Next, Dan Snow catches up with a team of archaeologists uncovering a large Anglo-Saxon burial site in Wendover, Buckinghamshire - found whilst working on the HS2 high speed railway project. Almost three quarters of the graves found contain high quality grave goods, suggesting the site was the final resting place of a wealthy Anglo-Saxon community.
Luke Tomes then travels to Aldbourne in Wiltshire, which hosted thousands of American servicemen and paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division before they departed for Normandy on 6 June, 1944, gaining particular fame for being the village in which Easy Company, portrayed in the iconic TV series, 'Band of Brothers', was stationed from late 1943. Archaeologist Richard Osgood reveals to Luke a haul of remarkable finds discovered throughout the week at Operation Nightingale, including two dog tags belonging to real members of Easy Company.
Later, Tristan Hughes gains special access to the Ryedale Hoard: A Roman Mystery exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum featuring the remarkable 1,800 year old bust of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
Finally, war historian James Rogers is onsite at the Mont-Saint-Jean farm Waterloo excavation, a field hospital, where the skeletons of combatants and horses (as well as amputated limbs) of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 have been found. These are incredibly rare discoveries on a Napoleonic battlefield and bring us closer to the harsh realities of the bitter fighting. James also visits the site of the famous ‘reverse slope’ where metal-detectorists are discovering musket balls and parts of uniforms.
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00:00:00 Pre-historic Chalk Drum
00:16:25 HS2 Anglo-Saxon discoveries
00:27:10 Easy Company WW2 Dog tags
00:48:08 Ryedale Hoard: Roman Treasure
01:10:30 Battle of Waterloo Skeletons