Podcasts

Episode #12: Gold strike: Philip Crummy on discovering the Fenwick Hoard and what it tells us about the Boudiccan rebellion

Gold!!! On this episode of the PastCast, Philip Crummy, director and principal archaeologist at The Colchester Archaeological Trust, discussed the 2014 discovery and excavation of the Fenwick Hoard.

This fascinating stash of gold and silver jewellery was buried in Colchester in AD 61, around the time that Boudica, queen of the Iceni tribe, launched her fiery rebellion against Roman rule in Britain. Crummy spoke with PastCast presenter, Calum Henderson.

The hoard has come to prominence again recently as part of the new British Museum exhibition on the life of the Roman emperor Nero. You can read much more about the exhibition and the Fenwick find.


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Episode #11: Why archaeology matters: Dr Hugh Willmott on the fight to save Sheffield University’s department from closure

On this episode of the PastCast, with Sheffield University’s longstanding Archaeology department facing closure, Dr Hugh Willmott makes the case for the discipline’s vital importance as a field of academic study. Willmott spoke with PastCast presenter, Calum Henderson.

You can read Hugh Willmott’s article for us, Don’t Underestimate Archaeology, here. And make sure to sign the official petition against the potential closure of the department at the Change.org website. There’s also plenty of extra content on The Past website on the future of archaeology.

Episode #10: Iron in the time of Anarchy. Plus: how a D-Day landing craft tank was restored to its former glory

On this episode of the PastCast, Julie Franklin of Headland Archaeology discusses the 12th-century smithy excavated in Cheveley in Cambridgeshire in 2015, and what the site’s date, and that of its abandonment, suggests about a dark period in the history of the Fens. Julie spoke with PastCast presenters Calum Henderson and Carly Hilts.

Calum also spoke to Andrew Whitmarsh, curator at the D-Day Story Museum in Southsea, Portsmouth, about the recovery and restoration of LCT 7074, a craft used to land tanks during D-Day on 6 June 1944. Whitmarsh describes the lengthy process by which the craft was restored and how it has come to form the fascinating new centrepiece of the museum.

Episode #9: Unwrapping the Galloway Hoard. Plus: behind the scenes at the British Museum’s new Nero exhibition

On this episode of the PastCast, Dr Martin Goldberg discusses the latest research into the Galloway Hoard, Scotland’s earliest-known Viking Age hoard, ahead of a new exhibition on the fascinating collection at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. Martin spoke with PastCast presenters Calum Henderson and Carly Hilts.

Calum also spoke to Francesca Bologna, project curator at the British Museum, about their new exhibition on the Roman Emperor Nero. Francesca reveals how the exhibition was put together during the pandemic and how it seeks to challenge the image of Nero as a tyrant who ‘fiddled while Rome burned’.

Episode #8: Understanding Hawaiian temples. Plus: Becket at the British Museum

On this episode of the PastCast, Calum Henderson spoke to Professors Clive Ruggles and Patrick Kirch about their study of several fascinating temple sites at Kahikinui on the Hawaiian Island of Maui. Ruggles and Kirch discuss what their research revealed about these ancient ritual ruins.

You can read more about their findings in the latest issue of Current World Archaeology, out on 20 May in the UK and in the US and Canada in late June. Subscribers to The Past will be able to read the magazine, as well as exclusive extra content from our archives, before it hits the newsstands.

Calum also spoke to Current World Archaeology editor Matt Symonds, who checked out the much-anticipated new British Museum exhibition on Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury who was murdered on the orders of King Henry II in December 1170.

Episode #7: Nazi strike: Barbarossa – the biggest invasion in history

On this episode of the PastCast, Calum Henderson spoke to Neil Faulkner about Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi German invasion of the Soviet Union, the 80th anniversary of which falls this June.

Neil discusses the terrifying build-up to the invasion, the attack itself, and the Nazis’ deceptive success. A campaign that was seemingly unstoppable ultimately collapsed and turned the tide of the Second World War in Europe.

You can read a special feature on the invasion (written by historian David Porter) in the latest issue of Military History Matters magazine, of which Neil Faulkner is the editor. It is out on 13 May in the UK and in the US and Canada in late June. Subscribers to The Past will be able to read the magazine, as well as exclusive extra content from our archives, before it hits the newsstands.

Episode #6: Hadrian’s Wall: how the Roman frontier created division

On this episode of the PastCast, we spoke to Matt Symonds about one of Britain’s most famous historical landmarks, Hadrian’s Wall, built by the Roman emperor in the north of England to separate his people ‘from the barbarians’.

Matt discusses the wall’s complex history, the fate of those affected by its construction, and its place in Britain’s national story. Presented by Calum Henderson and Carly Hilts.

You can buy Matt’s book, Hadrian’s Wall: Creating Division, published by Bloomsbury Academic, on their website. Matt also discusses Current World Archaeology, of which he is editor, and what readers can look forward to in the next issue, out in the UK on 20 May and in the US and Canada in late June. Subscribers to The Past will be able to read the magazine, as well as exclusive extra content from our archives, before it hits the newsstands.

Episode #5: Time Team returns: Carenza Lewis on how an archaeological institution rose to dig again

“Now that the show is coming back, there’s almost the feeling that it had never actually gone.” On this episode of the PastCast, we spoke to Carenza Lewis about the long-awaited return of Time Team. After eight years off air, the legendary archaeology show is returning this summer for a pair of exciting new digs.

One of Time Team’s professional archaeologists and presenters, Carenza shares her memories of the show in its original format and what she’s looking forward to when it returns. Presented by Calum Henderson and Carly Hilts.

You can read Felix Rowe’s article on the return of Time Team in the latest issue of Current Archaeology, out on 6 May, as well as online at The Past. Make sure to check out Time Team’s Patreon page and its official YouTube channel, on which the new episodes will appear later this year.

Carly also discusses her article on Butser Ancient Farm. You can check out their website, as well as Butser Plus, which allows you to explore the farm whilst supporting their work.

Episode #4: The Riddle of the Rosetta: deciphering the Stone’s Egyptian hieroglyphs

In this episode of the PastCast, Calum Henderson speaks to Diane Josefowicz about the Rosetta Stone, ‘the key’ to unlocking the secrets of Egyptian hieroglyphs. The results of Jean-François Champollion’s work on the Stone’s inscription may be well known, but as Josefowicz explains, other scholars – with different attitudes towards ancient Egypt – also took up the challenge.

You can read Diane’s article on the Rosetta Stone (co-authored by Jed Buchwald) here, as well as in the latest issue of Minerva magazine, out now. Diane and Jed have also authored a book on the subject, The Riddle of the Rosetta: how an English polymath and a French polyglot discovered the meaning of Egyptian hieroglyphs, published by Princeton University Press.

Episode #3: Thomas Becket: murder and the making of a saint

“Almost a true crime drama.” In this episode of the PastCast, Calum Henderson speaks to Lloyd De Beer and Naomi Speakman, two curators of the British Museum’s upcoming exhibition on the life, death, and legacy of Thomas Becket, the Archbishop infamously murdered in Canterbury Cathedral in December 1170 and later canonised as a saint.

The exhibition is due to open in mid-May after the government’s lockdown restrictions are eased. Accompanying it is a new book by Speakman and De Beer, published by British Museum Press. You can find out more about the exhibition and the book on the British Museum’s website.

Episode #2: The Mary Rose: behind the sinking of Henry VIII’s doomed warship

In this episode of the PastCast, Calum Henderson spoke to archaeologist Peter Marsden to discuss what the latest research tells us about the Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s doomed warship.

Peter’s book, 1545: Who Sank the Mary Rose? is published by Seaforth Publishing.

Episode #1: What The Dig got right and wrong about archaeology

In the first episode of the PastCast, we discuss Netflix’s new film about Sutton Hoo. Calum Henderson speaks to Neil Faulkner about the archaeology in the film, and to Carly Hilts about the role of the pioneering women in the real excavation.