TV archaeflkgy goes to new extreme-=--s~ ---------
Tim Taylor, the man behind Britain's most popular long-running archaeology programme, Time Team, is launching a new TV series: Extreme Archaeology (or EXA fot short). Set to hit the airways on June 20th and running all summer on ChaJUlel Four, the show's title draws reference from Extreme SPOrts: hyperdangerous pursuits like snowboarding aJld white-water rafting.
The new series puts ti,e Extreme into Archaeology by dealing witll physically tough sites arowld Britain - ti,e fact that maJ1Y of ti,e sites chosen in tllis eight-paJ·t series are lmder tI,reat of desmlCtion, from the elements or from the ravages of time provides an added element of intensity. As Tim Taylor says: 'The great tiling for me has been to build on the Time Team experience and use archaeologists and a delivery teaJn who can get into places I wouldn't dare send Mick, Phil and Carenza!'
Unlike Time Team, EXA's excavation policy has been to be as non-invasive as possible. The series has tllerefore used some truly cutting-edge techniques including the latest methods of geophysical scanning and survey, accompanied by minimal 'keyhole' excavations undertaken to answer specific questions. Time Team entllusiasts might, however, like to know that ti,e 'ticking clock' time-sensitive component of Time Team is also there, though less explicitly: ar many of the sites, the tough environmental conditions meaJlt that the team needed to get in and out of the site as quickly as possible. Typically, each episode tllerefore ran over roughly three to four days.
Innovatively, and as a welcome surprise, the extreme archaeologists are three women: a geophysicist, a field archaeologist, aJld (controversially for some) a trained medical doctor and bones specialist. The teaJn is led by the hearty Dr Mark Davies, a !eculrer in geology (specialising in volcanoes) aJld expert in leading missions across dangerous terrain. AU are under ti,e age of 40, aJld were supported in their exploits by climbing experts and members of the producrion team.
'The programme is far more than just aJ·chaeology. It is also about science, and applying new scientific techniques to the archaeology, plus also about climbing, caving, and even diving, explains i\l1ark. Tim Taylor adds 'Bycombining the EXA