Time Team Special follows archaeologists as they search for the story of Boudica

04 May 2011 13:00:00.000

PA 147/11

A Time Team Special tonight on Channel 4 will put the excavation of the Roman town of Caistor St Edmund — a major archaeological dig being led by The University of Nottingham — at the heart of the programme’s search for Boudica’s Lost Tribe.

The site just south of Norwich is a small English village that 2000 years ago was known as Venta Icenorum — a Roman town deep in Iceni territory. The dig, led by Dr Will Bowden from the Department of Archaeology at The University of Nottingham, began in 2009. It was the first time that anyone had dug inside the walls of the settlement for 75 years.

In “Boudica’s Lost Tribe: A Time Team Special, Wednesday May 4, 9pm, Channel 4” — Tony Robinson will trace the story of one of the greatest female warriors in history. The programme will follow the excavation in Norfolk in the hope that it may hold the key to uncovering what happened to Boudica's tribe, the Iceni, after they were defeated by the Roman army.
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The programme will stage a reconstruction of the discovery of the site. In 1929 remarkable images taken by the crew of an RAF aircraft caused a sensation because the exceptionally dry summer meant that details of the Roman town were clearly visible as parched lines in the fields of barley. The pictures appeared as a front page exclusive in The Times on March 4 that same year.

The Time Team Special follows Dr Bowden and his team as they try to establish whether the Roman town was built on top of a tribal centre in order to punish the Iceni rebels, and consider whether imperial Rome simply crushed the Iceni or if Boudica led her tribe to destruction.

Decades after it was first discovered the site continues to attract huge interest. Last summer the number of visitors during the dig topped 5,000. Dr Bowden and his team will be back for a third time this summer between August 13 and September 3 when they start investigating the forum of the town.

Dr Bowden said: “The forum was previously excavated during the 1930s, when it was argued that the forum was burnt down at the start of the 3rd century and lay in ruins for 100 years before being rebuilt. We want to find out if this is really true and also when the forum was actually built.
 “We're also digging in the northwest corner of the town, looking at a possible Saxon enclosure, as one of the big mysteries of Caistor is what happened to it at the end of the Roman period.”
The excavation is funded by the British Academy and is being carried out with the collaboration and by kind permission of the Norfolk Archaeological Trust (the site owners) and in collaboration with Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service and Norfolk County Council's Archaeology and Environment division.

Pictures featured in this release are courtesy of “Boudica’s Lost Tribe: A Time Team Special, Wednesday May 4, 9pm, Channel 4”.

— Ends —

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

May Fest 2011 is on Saturday May 7, 11am to 5.30pm, at The University of Nottingham. The University is throwing open its doors to the community — with heaps of free activities for all ages. The Physics Buskers, thunder and lightning on demand and brain games. Get a glimpse of some of the amazing things that are happening on your doorstep. Visit: www.nottingham.ac.uk/mayfest

More news from the University at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/news

Story credits

More information is available from Dr Will Bowden, will.bowden@nottingham.ac.uk
Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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