Phew, this is a busy month of doing Thirty-One Days of Time Team and we will wrap of season two with a dig into some Saxon Graves. This is another flashback episode to an earlier season of the Time Team. Tony still has his hair in the episode.
1400 plus years ago a group of pagan warlike foreigners invaded the area and did not go home. Who were they? What were they doing in England? Tony Robinson strolls a site in Wiltshire. The locals and the developers were told that there are ancient graves on a piece of land. Who are the people buried on this site? The Time Team has three days to dig to find out more about the site before the developers come in.
The site is unimpressive with piles of rubble around it and the ground is full of rubble and modern garbage. This will throw off the geophysics team. Mick makes the call for getting a machine in to get rid of the topsoil. Nobody knows how big the Saxon graveyard is. In a backfield, Carenza will be looking to see if the Time Team can determine the graveyard size. It was one area that has not been built on.
The first layers of topsoil are cleared and the developer turns up to see what the Time Team is doing. Mick wants to know if there are any services in the area, they should be aware of as they dig. The developer believes not. As the topsoil is pulled back, Phil jumps into the hole left behind. Tony wants to know how they can tell if there are graves in the ground? Phil quickly demonstrates this, but Tony cannot see it.
Carenza gathers information on previous excavations done in the area to help provide a bigger picture of the area. Tony believes it would be excellent to find the settlement where the Saxons lived. Mick and Phil are looking at a grave. Tony then catches up with the developer. The neighbor next door while building discovered graves. He was flooded with phone calls in regards to what was found and was billed for an excavation. He was left with land that he could not sell. Local archeologists worked on excavating graves next door to the plot and have discovered additional graves.
Who were the Saxons? Why did they come to England? The Anglos were undergoing a civil war and the local king invited them in as mercenaries. They liked what they saw and decided to stay. If the Time Team finds bodies, will these indicate the mercenary history of the Saxon? Tony turns to Robin for more information about the Saxon mercenary. Robin highlights the battles that the Saxons took part in and hints that the Saxons cemetery could be civilian in nature.
Mick and Carenza are doing a survey of the land and go next door to a neighbor’s house. The neighbor had a balcony. They are trying to look at the land to see if there are more places to put in trenches. There seem to be hints of prehistorical burial mounds. The locals had known about these mounds for years. When the land was dry there were marks in the ground that hinted at burial mounds.
At the end of part one, there is a Time Team first: the Time Team has discovered a skeleton and it will be taken out. There were three graves found with three bodies. What else will the Time Team find in this Saxon Graveyard? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out more.
This Time Team would be good for a fun day in a history class.
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