Two BU archaeology experts and Time Team presenters have explored an ancient Greek city for the latest episode, airing this weekend.
Dr Derek Pitman, Deputy Head of Department in Archaeology and Anthropology, and Lawrence Shaw, a visiting fellow, BU graduate and now Lead Historic Environment Advisor for Forest England, led the programme’s expedition team on the dig in Vlochos, Greece, to unearth the remains of an ancient inland city.
Dr Derek Pitman explained, “Our team were first drawn to a large hill with identifiable fortifications and set about looking for signs of urbanism. The site is in mainland central Greece, in a region that hasn’t received much international attention. In 2016, we worked alongside local partners to reveal the urban layout for the first time and have since been working to uncover the full extent of the site.”
The team were further helped by a snowfall, which covered the ground and was found to be melting over buried buildings. The snow-marks in the winter showed some extra buildings that were previously unknown to archaeologists.
Dr Pitman continued, “Our aim with this programme is to show the archaeology of Greece from the ground up. Rather than using the historic stories of which we are all aware, we wanted to follow the science and tell the story from the archaeology we uncover. This dig season, our main aim was to uncover these unknown buildings, but, as the episode shows, it wasn’t as easy as we thought it was going to be!”
Site director Dr Robin Rönnlund of the Swedish institute at Athens adds, “The overall project has highlighted the value of international collaboration and cross-disciplinary approaches. The research environment in Thessaly and the Karditsa region is welcoming, and we hope to continue our work in the region and further intensify the collaboration with our local partners.”
Derek and Lawrence host the programme and take a lead on the expedition to complete geophysical surveys and map the city underneath the ground using modern archaeological technology.
The episode was a co-production between Time Team and the Ephorate of Antiquities of Karditsa. The project is a Greek-Swedish collaboration between the Ephorate of Antiquities in Karditsa and the Swedish Institute at Athens with participating archaeologists from Bournemouth University and the University of Gothenburg.
Further episodes are planned in the region to fully understand this inland city landscape and the people who called it home.
Part One of the Time Team episode will air on YouTube at 7pm on Saturday 1 April, with part two following at 7pm on Sunday 2 April. The trailer is available on YouTube now.