Time Team Day 19 - Fogou in Cornwall
I am so happy to continue with my Thirty-One Days of Time Team with a brand-new episode of the Time Team! This first new episode is divided into three episodes the first episode has a run time of 27:39. The second part of the episode has a run time of 30:34 and episode three has a run time of 32.12. Each episode is broken up according to Day One, Day Two, and Day Three.
The Time Team kicks off this episode in Cornwall. New and old faces have come together for this first episode. This site was voted on by the fans and it is a Fogou. This Fogou was rediscovered twenty-five years ago by a local farmer. A Fogou is a series of underground tunnels and chambers. The fogou was believed to have been built in the Iron Age. What will the Time Team find out about this fogou? Watch this episode to find out more.
New hosts Gus Casely-Hayford and Natalie Haynes come together to host the new Time Team. The fogou is one of fourteen discovered in Cornwall. It is located at the heart of the Cornish tin industry. Since its discovery, more tunnels and passages have been discovered. John Gater is already on the site. There was evidence of occupation discovered. Did the occupiers use the fogou for storage purposes? Gater goes over the results with the team and has found additional tunnels.
Trench One will go in over one of the side passages. There is evidence of an enclosure ditch. As the trench goes in there is an edge of a passageway. Matt comments that they are going deeper than anticipated in this first trench. A metal cover is removed so that the Time Team can scan a chamber to see if it compares to the other discovered fogou.
Trench Two is being discussed. Will the Time Team put it over an Iron Age roundhouse? John and Carenza talk about the potential location of the trench and whether or not there was a roundhouse on the site. Before trench two goes in, metal detectors go in and make a find. A copper coin was found and Helen talks about the coin with Gus. This coin will provide the first dating evidence for the site.
Did this site hold a spiritual significance to the people? It is in a high place and connected with both land and sea. Was this why people built on the site? Natalie goes into one of the passages with the site manager and they talk about the fogou. The site manager does not believe that the fogou was used for storage. He notes that there was time and care taken with building the fogou.
In trench one, there is exciting news from that trench. There seems to be a void in the ground. Is this another to the fogou? How big is this void? Matt will have to investigate more. What will the Time Team continue to learn about Fogou? Tune in to all three episodes to find out more!
Wow, wow, wow, I am shocked by the latest technology that is used to explore archeological sites. I also thoroughly enjoyed Gus’ narration throughout the episode. Natalie just seemed so extra to the series. I wondered why she was there. My imagination runs wild with the thought of paring Gus with Tony. They could make an interesting pairing for a future Time Team episode! In fact, I demand that there be at least one Time Team episode with Gus and Tony co-hosting!
Would I recommend showing the new Time Team to a classroom? Definitely, I would also show it in a STEM class because of the new technology implemented to further archeology!
Today, Gus Casely-Hayford explores the Berber Kingdom of Morocco. How could an empire be built in the Sahara Desert? Tune into this episode to find out!
The Berbers turned the northwest corner of Africa into a kingdom. The Sahara Desert has one of the harshest climates in the world. It is an unlikely location for an empire. However, the Berbers did it. This empire stretched from the Sahara to Spain. This kingdom lasted for centuries. The Berbers left their mark on this stretch of desert. How did the Berber nomads create an empire in the desert?
Twenty-First century Morocco is a Muslim kingdom, ruled by a king who claims descent from Muhammad. It has a cost that runs from the Atlantic ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. The Atlas Mountains find their home in Morocco. Half the population still speaks the Berber language. The Berbers were farmers, traders, and nomads. They became Muslim and maintained their traditional Berber customs.
One man turned the Berber people into Muslims. He had studied the Koran and became a fiery preacher. Abdullah. He pulled together an alliance of tribes and was their spiritual leader. In 1054, he led an army to a trading post. This trading post was one of the most important cities in Africa. This city was called Sijilmassa and its remains are spectacular. Sijilmassa was a city of over 50,000 people. It remains to hide a more significant past. The city was wealthy and was the commercial hub of Morocco. It was in an oasis.
Africa was looking to the Sahara Desert for trade instead of the Atlantic. They traded Gold, books, and horses. Gold made the city wealthy. Sijilmassa minted gold coins and sent them all over the world. It was the envy of all empires. Only one man succeeded in taking the city. Then the army secured the sources of the gold trade. Awdaghust was taken and the Berbers had a monopoly on the gold trade.
After these two were taken, the Berbers had what they needed to take the rest of Morocco. However, there was one thing missing: water. The Berbers were excellent at finding water and building irrigation for water. Below the surface, there was a complex of tunnels that funneled water under the landscape. Water could be funneled for miles. This shows that the Berbers were more than familiar with their landscape.
The next step in spreading the Islamic message was to cross the Atlas Mountains. The mountains were dangerous and it would have been a challenge for any army to cross. Thieves were also attracted to the area. The trade routes through the Atlas Mountains were dotted with fortified houses. The merchants needed to be protected along the trade routes. The Berber army crossed over the Atlas Mountains and invaded Aghmat.
Aghmat would be the launching point for further conquest. It was based north of the Atlas Mountains and was in a green valley. At first, the history of Aghmat was lost, until archeological excavations uncovered the city. A bathhouse from this time was excavated almost intact. It was one of the biggest bathhouses in the Muslim world.
The Berbers enjoyed city life, however, they did not like where the city was located. The Atlas Mountains surrounded Aghmat. Aghmat was not a good city for defensive purposes. The Berbers would eventually move to a new, pitch their tents in an open field, and create a new city: Marrakesh. To find out more about the Berbers and Morocco continue to watch this documentary.
It was a huge misstep not to share the history of the Berbers pre-Islaam. What were the Berbers like before their conversion? This was a disappointing episode in the Lost Kingdoms of Africa series. This episode would not be one I would show to a history class.
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