Digging up the Past

Digging up the Past

A collection of documentaries and series based around new discoveries and archaeology.

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Digging up the Past
  • The Wall: Rome's Great Northern Frontier

    Hadrian’s Wall is celebrating its 1900th birthday… the perfect time for History Hit to investigate this potent embodiment of Roman dominance.

    Dan Snow explores the physical remains of Hadrian’s vast project of 122AD - over 80 Roman miles of wall, turrets and forts, stretching from coast to coast...

  • Titanic's Tragic Twin: The Britannic Disaster

    This documentary explores the sinking of the Britannic during the First World War, examining how she ultimately came to suffer the same fate as her sister ship, the Titanic.

    Titanic had a twin sister, Britannic, which despite being bigger and better built, sank to the bottom three times faster t...

  • The Incredible Story of William J. Bankes - Adventurer, Collector, Spy

    Tristan Hughes follows in the adventurous footsteps of William John Bankes. From the deserts of Egypt to the elaborate interiors of Kingston Lacy, he explores the incredible achievements of this 19th century daredevil.

    Bankes was the Georgian Indiana Jones - an adventurer, collector and spy, cha...

  • Great Excavations! Digging Charles Dickens' Workhouse with Sir Tony Robinson

    Sir Tony Robinson comes to History Hit to present a special film about a remarkable excavation in central London, the workhouse that inspired Charles Dickens to write his famous novel, “Oliver Twist”.

    In the middle of the capital, archaeologists are digging deep to find out more about the lives ...

  • A Tudor Discovery - Thomas Cromwell’s Prayer Book

    History Hit digs deep into a fascinating new discovery that has grabbed the attention of historians across the world.

    Prof. Suzannah Lipscomb explores what is being called the most exciting Tudor find ‘in a generation’ as curators at Hever Castle identify a bejewelled, gilded prayer book, tuc...

  • Uncovering the Band of Brothers

    1 season

    80 years ago, millions of American soldiers started arriving in Britain, a friendly invasion that was here to prepare for the liberation of Europe. Amongst them was Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment - that would become the famous Band of Brothers. Now, a team of volunteers, in...

  • Digging up the 'Dark Ages'

    Join Dan Snow as he explores this stunning set of discoveries in our brand new documentary ‘Digging Up the Dark Ages’ on History Hit TV.

    While working on the HS2 high speed railway project in the UK, archaeologists made discoveries of national significance, uncovering a large Anglo-Saxon burial...

  • Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh

    Tutankhamun, 'The Boy King' of Ancient Egypt, is one of history's most famous names. Though his short reign proved fairly-insignificant, his legacy lives on thanks to Howard Carter's discovery of his magnificent tomb in 1922. Now, as the centenary of Carter's discovery creeps ever nearer, many of...

  • Edges of Empire

    1 season

    Tristan Hughes goes on a journey along Hadrian's Wall, visiting some of its greatest sites. Meeting experts to learn more about the Wall's history and the ground-breaking new archaeological discoveries, that continue to tell us more about what life must have been like on this far-flung frontier a...

  • Stonehenge

    Dan Snow visits one of the most recognisable historical sites on Earth. Stonehenge. Timed with the recent solving of the sarsen stones origin mystery, this documentary takes an in-depth look at what we know, and what we don't know, about this iconic Neolithic monument.

  • Archaeologist Spies of World War One

    Archaeologists excavated the ancient past during peacetime, but in war they had a different mission - to play a vital role in modern military intelligence. Historian of archaeology Dr Amara Thornton explores a network of archaeologist-spies, codebreaking, mapping and running agents, and with expe...

  • Cromwell's Head

    The story of Oliver Cromwell’s head is perhaps the most bizarre, yet least well known, of all tales from English history.

    This documentary tells the full story of this extraordinary artefact. It’s a strange and grisly saga that runs from dark conspiracy, to detective story - touching upon kings,...

  • The First Britons

    If the words British history conjure up images of Elizabeth I, Shakespeare, Boudica, Mary Seacole, The Beatles and the Blitz, you’re squinting at a small spec of the history of humanity of these Isles. Even if you go back to the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD, or even further to the Iron Age ...

  • Decoding the Roman Dead

    Colchester Museums have been working with archaeologists and specialists to ‘decode’ the hidden stories of 40 of Colchester’s earliest inhabitants.

    Through new scientific research techniques, they have reconstructed the identity and lives of these people: where they came from in the empire, wha...

  • Secrets of Hitler's Island Fortress

    Guernsey and its neighbouring islands have a unique distinction which sets them apart from the rest of the British Isles. Together with the rest of the Channel Islands, they were the only part of the British Isles to fall to Nazi Germany in the Second World War. In this documentary, Dan Snow disc...

  • The World of Stonehenge Revealed: Decoding the Find of the Century

    Described as the "most important piece of prehistoric art to be found in Britain in the last 100 years", an elaborately decorated 5000 year-old chalk cylinder, discovered buried with 3 child skeletons in Yorkshire and as old as the first phase of Stonehenge, is going on display at the British Mus...

  • The Ryedale Hoard: Yorkshire's Roman Mystery

    History Hit's Tristan Hughes has special access to the Ryedale Hoard: A Roman Mystery exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum to speak to the people responsible for its discovery and investigate these incredible artefacts.

    Featuring the remarkable 1,800 year old bust of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, ...

  • King Arthur: Legend and Legacy

    The familiar medieval Arthurian myths of a noble King ruling over his kingdom from camelot, supported by his Round Table of loyal and brave knights who seek for the Holy Grail and slay dragons, is a legend that has been engaged with by English kings ever since the 13th Century. By the 14th Centur...

  • Painting Elizabeth: Creating a Royal Legend

    Elizabeth I is one of the most iconic figures from British history - her image can be recognised in an instant. But this was no mistake, for Elizabeth’s portraits were an audacious act of spin to cement her image of female majesty. In this documentary, Dr Nicola Tallis and Prof Anna Whitelock tak...

  • Access All Areas

    1 season

    History Hit gets AAA permission to head behind the scenes at top history locations!

  • The Traces of War

    1 season

    Dr James Rogers, Assistant Professor of War Studies, is fascinated by these remains and exactly what they can tell us about not just the changing nature of war through time - but the stories of the people who lived through those events.

  • River Journeys with Conrad Humphreys

    1 season

    Join professional yachtsman Conrad Humphreys on his journey sailing down some of Devon's finest rivers and learn more about their fascinating histories.

  • Endurance: Rediscovered

    It was one of the last great lost shipwrecks of history - Sir Ernest Shackleton's Endurance. But now, incredibly, it has been rediscovered - over a century after it sank beneath the ice in freezing Antarctic waters.

    Organised by the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, the expedition to locate the...

  • Walks Around Britain

    1 season

    Great Britain has a collection of varied landscapes and countryside to rival anywhere else in the world - and the best way to see it is to walk. Join Andrew White and his team as they discover fantastic walks between 2-8 miles with stunning views and great stories and fascinating histories from a...