Time Team (1994) s18e06 Episode Script

Under the Gravestones

This is the kissing gate ga's Church, here in the village of Castor .
and it's one of the most beautiful gland.
And yet it's what's under this could be the remains of a mysterious Over there in the school playing archaeologists have found an structures.
This could add up to be ry special.
Looks like it's going to be ays, that is, if I can ever get down again.
Castor is 5 miles west ough in Cambridgeshire.
Nearly 2,000 years ago, next to the important Roman town of Durobrivae and less e Street, a major Roman road that's still today.
And over the last 400 years, haeologists - Ben, you've been here before.
nd of William so yes, I know William well.
Why, why did you keep coming here? Well, every time a grave was dug, a mass of Roman material would come Absolutely.
I'm an enthusiastic amateur, but even I can recognise distinctive a piece of pilae - hypocaust bricks.
What's the stuff you got here? Well, about a couple of years ago, it was obvious that they had in fact and I would dearly love to Absolutely.
It doesn't seem quite right.
No, there are no bodies buried here.
What this strip along here? Absolutely.
But even without any graves, l need to scan this narrow strip of churchyard renches.
We're also surveying the playing r school, as this is where an intriguing arian said he found some Roman baths.
Well, here we are.
He was a man obsessed r's archaeology and he's buried right here.
Sacred to the memory of , who died the 24th December 18 47, in the59th year of his age.
Edmund Artis had a remarkable he wangled himself a job anded gentry and became a one man Time Team, area and illustrating his efforts awings.
When there were slack periods and uses it for his excavations Absolutely, yes.
So wonderful stories, for example, , where all the workmen clear off It claims to show the location ildings in and around the churchyard.
But antiquarians, as we know, iable.
So we're going to test just how ays is here can actually be found on the ground.
There's a lot of commonality between Well, what we're trying to do is look and we've overlaid them ap, so we can get some idea atures were.
There are enough common features Roman buildings, yeah.
Now, the problem comes Well, you match on one side de's out.
You try and match up this side and basically, well, it just doesn't match.
And this is pretty critical to Well, there's only one Exactly, create our own map.
So you two have got quite en't you? Stewart and Henry are going to of Castor and mark on it the precise location logy A job made easier by the massive I can see another large chunk This looks to be part ing, sort of, in that direction through 'So, ignoring some underwhelming '.
Mick decides it's still ing a trench close to 'And under the watchful eye of Phil '.
our digger gets trench erway.
' See, what we're getting is lots ce.
'John's a bit confused.
'His radar was showing here, 'but we've barely scratched the t archaeology.
' It is, without a doubt.
Could be that, but then Just forget that.
I am forgetting it.
This is reality.
This will tell us g there.
Is that Roman? 'Already, pieces of Roman mosaic flooring, 'called tessera, are turning up.
' Yeah, William said you get graves here.
Ah, now what's that? Finally John figures out phys has gone wrong.
We've got the Roman filter on.
What you filter the Roman out, 'because when Artis me to Castor, 'he claimed to have found staggering ogy.
' When Edmund Artis comes If we look at this, a dmund Artis 7th December 1821.
So that's the local paper? That's the local paper.
And the report says, "On the north "the walls of which ed "and from 10 to 11 feet high".
"But the floors are all destroyed".
That's massively high, isn't it? So that's as high as the walls 'Back outside, s now raining cats and dogs 'on our archaeologists ne.
' Thank you so much.
'But despite the weather ys results, 'this trench is turning mine.
' We got some finds, Paul? We're getting loads of finds 11th, early 12th century, about We've got Roman as well.
There's some bits of Roman which is late 3rd, 4th.
A bit of mosaic tessera.
Cracking This is the crucial thing, Tony.
As Paul says, we are beginning y.
These are the first levels that g down onto.
They could include Saxon e.
This is really rather ary for us.
We always have a problem finding What will we find next? Probably snow.
Afternoon of day one here at the fabulous Castor Cambridgeshire, where we're looking for what could be some triguing Roman buildings.
Already, Phil's put in a trench over there on the far side of the graveyard and has come up with n stuff.
But now we've moved on rectory.
Stewart, why are we here? It's clear that when Artis e, there were Roman buildings But the problem is, ittle bits.
We don't know whether this range or further that way and if you look at this is what he found down here.
See the church in the background, That's it, yeah.
So you can see, way down.
If we can find atures, we can get the orientation, here in the old rectory garden.
And after some promising geophys, we've decided to put a third trench hool field.
This is another spot antiquarian Artis, and later archaeologists, because he drew the remains ve Roman bathhouse he reckoned he'd found here.
One thing about excavating here is that there's something latch onto, we know exactly where we are.
But it's never actually been tion.
So we might get any Roman remains.
As we start to get to grips Goodies for archaeologists ranteed here.
This is an amazingly impressive t it? And all from Peterborough Museum or.
That's right, yeah.
What's particularly interesting .
There's a wonderful hunt cup, Isn't that a lovely, sinuous hare? It's wonderful, isn't it, yes? But it's finds like nted wall plaster that may be the key king the secrets of Castor.
Or this one, look Which appears to have some sort of With perhaps leaves being painted.
The whole impression is of lding.
A really opulent building, yeah.
Artis marks lots of structures church.
Could this be a complex of ildings? If so, our trench in the old rectory top of one.
But if Artis' plan is accurate, it's the north graveyard where we really need to focus And by mid-afternoon, he's latched onto something.
Um, you've turned up .
Look at this.
We've got rong reflector here and it's at least No, up until now there's been they could just be stone casket, Well, this is where building was meant to be from antiquarian records, where they got this early mosaic.
It's possible Jimmy's detected mosaic floor that Artis drew is book of illustrations.
And if our antiquarian site plan Yeah, it's slow going, isn't it? Yeah.
It's been a bit of a challenge.
Well, I'll leave you to it.
But over in Trench Two rectory, there's already Roman evidence turning up.
You've got loads of Roman pottery, Roman as well, yeah? It's all Roman, as far as I can tell.
And there's a couple of Roman coins which is late third century It looks like a primary deposit - it's found where it was dropped, that we might be looking at The pottery's well distributed 's very loose.
So, I think we may be looking at f his holes.
Really? So Matt could be onto is building.
But once again, chucking it down.
Nevertheless, Tracey's battling on Tracey, is that just a pipe you've s it a wall? It's neither, Tony.
I mean, this trench is turning into We've got little pockets ology, all of these yellowy-orangey patches It doesn't look like d it to look.
I thought it would be more han it is.
That's what I was hoping for as well.
It looks like demolition material.
It may be that this is g.
It certainly has er in it.
If we've got that painted plaster, ? Oh, yeah, and we've got and stuff, so it looks like a bathhouse, obviously.
Lots of box flue tiles coming up.
It may be a mess, least it's a Roman mess, none of that nasty axon stuff.
Oh, I like Saxon though, Tony.
Not as much as Venerable Bede here.
(LAUGHS) End of day one and as the rain at last sunshine, something's going on e church.
There must have been something here to use it.
What are you guys doing here? All the excitement's on the far side .
But we've been looking at all the that all the Roman buildings he church were one giant structure.
And Stephen thinks this ght have looked.
Well, it's a pretty enormous If it's that big it would rf the church.
Yes, it would be two or three times What's a praetorium? Well, in Artis' terms, he was used to digging size and this was the biggest thing What does it mean? It probably means a headquarters n.
Have you geophys-ed this area yet? Yeah, Jimmy's done lf of the graveyard and, to be honest, en an absolute nightmare what we're not seeing esults are massive Roman walls, r rooms.
The same way we didn't this morning, h.
If modern technology ee the archaeology the one thing to do is ench in and have a look.
Oh, yeah.
Can we dig the churchyard? We can dig in this churchyard.
Yay! We've got one day - permission.
Very excited, the chance.
So we've got one day only? One day only.
'So we've got just a single day 'to find this mysterious ium 'and not much evidence to go on.
'We're going to need tomorrow.
' Beginning of day two here at the feel far more sensitive about the we have to do everything by hand.
Now there's no modern graves here, s either late 18th or 19th century.
So presumably there's going to .
Exactly, and a lot of raves.
And there will be an awful lot people will have dug unmarked graves disturbed.
Disarticulated! Yes.
They were far more robust in the past, as long as they didn't leave the the graveyard, and that's one thing ake sure happens here - everything we dig out in the ground.
Our efforts will be concentrated Well, I think Artis was a very good me, but I'm not so confident about this g here.
Is it attached to the other it? What alignment is it on? We need a trench there to tie it to and sort out the alignment.
Then I think we need to do ar in the west part of the churchyard That's where you can wall in the path? Yeah, a few years ago I cleaned up there's definitely something there but I look at it.
Is that a big building tis depicts it? So Phil's on the move.
To this spot, just north of the But why, though, might the Roman's From everything we know about this been in use in the 2nd, 3rd and uries AD, what else was going on at that time? An awful lot, it's a very important Oh, yeah, definitely.
The local Roman town, Durobrivae, here, is immensely important, it's he walled area, but the significance of s it has 400 acres an area the size of Roman London.
And here we're very close to en't we? That very important north/south e the A1.
It's along that route that some rs of Roman Britain would have passed, Constantine, and Hadrian's particularly se of the Fenland.
Hadrian was very keen on draining at he actually oversaw the improvement of the Fens, the Fens, or at least works to make it uctive.
So he might have actually come here? Yes.
sure, oh, absolutely.
This is not somewhere ant or tucked away.
This is somewhere at f Roman Britain.
By the 3rd century, Castor robrivae on one side and the imperial Since yesterday evening we have used the term Praetorium, at his book, he shows, for example, las that he excavated, the ones here and here and here, l structures.
But look at the size tructure which is the Praetorium, this building, ger.
So is he just using it a walloping big building understand, but it's clearly significant and probably more significant unding villas.
But there are things called pire? Yes, they are normally associated The truth is, though, we still we? We reluctantly have to admit that's got something very big, we know it's oman buildings but, I suppose a bit like Artis, g to put it in a sort of context, a framework - Meanwhile, down in the school .
Stewart has mysteriously Stewart, you look magnificent.
Look at this, look, me Team.
What exactly is it that you're doing? What we're trying to do is get et of Artis when he mapped this site 19th century.
So you are our Artis? That's me, absolutely, and what I'm self back into his mindset and the problems he l together all these bits of Roman finds an existing map.
I'm trying to do exactly the same ting map, but using the equipment d have had available, something like a plain table, bly his magnifying glass, his eyesight going a bit, hat sort of surveying equipment to see how easy or how difficult, or what problems ed doing it.
But you're not on your own, Sir.
A part which I empathise somewhat, We'd use these to measure across as lots of running around across the bogs, so basically doing whatever to do.
He's officially my chainman, for his role.
He's going to swan around and Um, another corner, please.
Hello, Phil, how's it going? .
Phil and Jackie are searching for If you turn that over, you can see ade of one, two, three, four, dual tesserae, Looks a nice piece.
But we've also got the walls we've got Is this plaster? Wall plaster.
In red, and a sort of grey look.
So, with a bit of luck, if we carry he floor, and maybe the walls, isturbing the graves.
Without disturbing the graves, that'll be a great relief which Faye's now taken over from but it's very pebbly and not very Oh, yes, definitely, y archaeology.
Where I am I've got nothing, I've got a big rectangular hole And he basically took m.
Therefore that's why we've got nk is a rubbed out wall.
I need to find the depth for this t something at the bottom r something.
That would be good.
I think there's a fair the footsteps of this chap Artis, so I can put them on the drawing.
Oops, excuse me, excuse me, n.
In your own time, Matthew.
I think the peg's come out.
Who put the peg in, Matthew? Sorry, sir, won't happen again.
That's your wages docked.
Yes, Mr Ainsworth.
Right, it's the Rectory Matthew.
Anything you say, Mr Ainsworth.
Down at Tracey's trench, Well, we're getting there.
You've got walls showing now have before.
That's lovely, we've got of this larger wall, this sly.
That all ties in nicely uses, doesn't it? It does.
It doesn't quite look like , does it? There's a lot more rk and stuff there.
I think the problem is we don't know how long this was open after Artis Local houses, yeah.
Yeah, yeah.
It probably didn't look like that it anyway.
I doubt very much all the walls were example.
All the Pillae again uniform height.
I think he got large chunks just helped us to sort of visualise the So, we've got a sizable bath house, Back in the graveyard, They've now only a few hours left to get down to the floor of a ture.
We're definitely on of a building but of course what we're encountering as an remains.
Are these individual Well, we've had a lot of loose turning up all the way across here, rence here is you can see we've got about five skulls n one place.
Could that be a gravedigger Yeah, basically it looks l pit.
But we do have a problem that we've the gravediggers have been through What we've got to hope is that all and that they've left some of it for us.
And that means digging deeper.
That means digging deeper.
Thankfully Raksha's trench at the It's going very well, actually.
Put this trench in here we thought was a wall coming through there.
And lo and behold we have a huge We knew that was there but I didn't ctually is.
So we've got one wall here, which is running in that direction, so they should actually come out bout here.
It's amazing, this is the first time e the kind of monumental walls saw.
Yes, this is the only trench have huge walls.
Hm, hm.
And it's our failure so far to find other big walls, we haven't actually found much yet.
Matt, this is he books.
We usually put you through about 24 it really didn't very long at all.
And what have you found out? Well, we've got one, two, ive trenches open, and got some bits of wall line oads cut through.
What we've found out is that we y walls at all.
And if you look at what we bout this site from modern methods, these excavations , these are the only bits in black ve been found.
So how do you join those together? It's actually extremely difficult.
We're having to rely an awful lot on what Artis put on his plans incredibly large Roman building One very interesting thing re with this wall-lined artefact, it's completely in different orientation else, which raises a doubt about the orientation al stuff.
Have these lines been looked at? John and his team have done radar in all this area in here and In some places, I mean, he's htsman, his plans are, in some cases, backed iews and the details of where the walls go ant plan, especially as these red have often been confirmed by more modern excavation.
and where he shows them on here niques, and he's come up with similar answers ed them.
He's a good surveyor.
And we've got it down in e at the bottom, we've got his plan and we're the walls.
All right, say this red stuff but it was a whacking great wall and the Romans didn't build bits of no reason.
This substantial wall must be building.
So on one hand we've got this Got some work tomorrow, guys.
Beginning of our final day here at e, and we've just some fantastic news.
The diocese have given us permission own there for one final day.
Although, whether we'll find our he praetorium, is a huge question.
So we're spreading our bets today.
In the old rectory garden, where t could be the east wing of our praetorium, renches.
But our main hopes lie with n the graveyard.
Raksha's at the western edge orth of the church.
Beneath these bones we're trying to find this Roman structure, marked is drew.
It's here that he said he found mosaic floor.
Phil, you know how I said I was getting a lot more building s of tesserae? Now I'm getting lots of pea grit, which is this fine grit, it's coming down onto.
Oh, good lord.
Well, that looks like a floor.
It looks very like a floor, n situ burial.
That's lying directly on top of it, Blimey.
We could be just inches away from finally getting of a big Roman structure and, crucially, it's slap bang in torium plan.
Back in the old rectory garden, y stuck in and the sweat and graft to pay off.
Hi, there, Faye.
Cor, this looks You're well down.
I am, but fantastically we've got on of wall.
It's a big Roman wall, isn't it? Without a shadow of a doubt.
And we were worried yesterday about You can see where Artis put his ically this line down in this section here.
I actually think that level e was standing.
Really? Yeah, which is why it's so compact.
With footprints.
What size come on.
You're so demanding! I haven't in there.
This is a wonderfully t? We can see where Artis was digging for the first time and try and ite and how he saw it, basically.
So this on the eastern side of what we think ilding.
Faye's discovery of this massive y dug by Artis, is a really good sign.
Maybe we can rely on our fter all.
Meanwhile, there's breaking news to get permissions to dig it, s to dig it, then finding nothing but Roman of old bones, but at last, Phil, we've got g, haven't we? We have got Artis's floor.
Look, if you look down between that pair of legs you can see a u.
You're smiling, William.
I'm really excited about this.
bout this, he might be right the praetorium.
Yesterday I think you were a little e attitude of some of our archaeologists who ng the idea.
Praetorium means a lot to a parson.
I've got my Greek New Testament ed.
Show me.
Here we are.
"They took he house of Carthus m.
" In Artis's day he would have aetorium when he went to church because sed to describe where Jesus was arraigned ntius Pilate.
So he was tried in the praetorium.
I was going to say this is so to do.
We've now got the floor.
You can actually begin to see some .
We might be able to say exactly what The scale of the thing, isted was a praetorium.
A big, official, ial type of building.
Finally our efforts in the eing rewarded.
If you take off more conjectural parts And the work of mapping our site Well, what I thought Henry's 3D map of our praetorium is still partly based ure, but there's one The buildings and structures That's it.
If you were he site from down here, then whatever was up on the hill, Back outside n our other graveyard trench, Raksha's found something stunning I love this, this is fantastic.
It looks a lot different esterday.
It's a lot different.
Raksha's revealed a huge section undation.
The classic herringbone style definitely Roman.
People were a bit .
I talked about finding this big herringbone wall and I suspect But just to prove re right as always, we carried on down and, d, here it is.
As you can see, there's this through.
We have this step foundation.
What does this tell us about the hole building? Well, this looks remarkably similar to what was found on the other It's on a similar line and he s.
This is a photo of those step ted at Castor in the 1950s.
They're more than 100 y from our trench, but they're virtually identical ksha.
I think we're looking at cted at the same time, basically.
And probably the same building, ather than Exactly.
So suddenly we've got To think we've been walking of a Roman building that's been here for nearly ust astonishing.
And as the last few hours of our dig at Castor tick by, the and better.
So what's the story of , then, Faye? Basically we have a Roman building we've got a room with what looks caust system.
So is this stuff that Artis confirmed? Well, Artis did map on some walls re was a Yeah, it is.
And what's also new her level So what did they do, fill it in or cover it up and ng on top? Or they had stairs that to another room.
Oh, right, right, right.
A building on two levels makes Romans had to factor in the slope of a hill here in the old rectory garden and the church.
Down at Tracey's trench to the on of the Roman baths is coming to an end and good story.
Well, er, got finds here.
Er, this ones from Tracey's trench Now, the stuff from Tracey's like generic-issue Roman potteries.
Well, let's turn to our real expert.
I was gonna kick you, actually.
ing to say.
Well, there are differences Helen, s, actually.
The bulk of the material from this rlier period, 2nd into 3rd, like this large sherd here and these are sherds of al beakers.
And it makes a real contrast from the southern part of the site the site, where you've got essentially a assemblage.
So Castor has two clear Roman s the baths at the south end of the site were almost certainly built at an big building up on the hill, where Phil's he graveyard.
You gotta be pleased mosaic.
Yeah, I reckon I am, Tony, but I think I'm more pleased I know you can't actually pieces of bone down there, n to the edge there, I thought to myself, Yeah, that's one corner there Right And all this is one building? Now then, when you line up the tesserae is just slightly skewed we know that there was a massive construction here, so it looks as after all.
Well, it looks like it, doesn't it eah, yeah.
After a roller coaster here at Castor, just what have we learned? Ben, how do you think the ory is holding up now? Pretty well.
It's not a villa, g estates they've got What else is it? d building.
What do we think building was for? Well, again, et's just return to Edmund Artis.
He first termed it a praetorium, which would mean to him residence, perhaps having official links with the state t is.
How do you feel about Artis now? Well, Artis and his plans ah that's Absolutely.
Where we have ns, we found them to be right and the other wonderful they're pretty as well formative.
Everybody likes something to be nctional.
Like my hat.
The massive Roman wall that Raksha d of the graveyard, nearly two metres wide, building, possibly three storeys high.
And at an extraordinary n length, this is the largest Roman building vated.
It would've had a vast red tiled washed walls A truly astonishing structure.
Mick, I can't remember quite like this one.
It's been fantastic to be able ard, hasn't it? Absolutely fantastic.
Three days ago, I don't think any of t we got.
Absolutely not and this is so this mosaic here underneath these bodies.
We've got Artis telling the real thing, the praetorium exists in my view.
I'm quite happy with it, wonderful.