Footage from the excavation of a Roman settlement near Barcombe Mills was the lead item on BBC 4 show ‘Digging for Britain’ last week.
The project at Bridge Farm had been contacted prior to the excavation and supplied with a camera and microphone to record events as they happened on site throughout the season.
This initial filming was undertaken by project director Rob Wallace and site supervisor Lindsay Banfield, who filmed various volunteers and students extracting artefacts and digging features during the six-week dig during June and July.
David Millum MCIfA, Culver Archaeological Project deputy director said: “Whilst the archaeologists felt that the site might lack the wow factor such as human skeletons or gold hoards that usually seem the stuff of TV archaeology, they duly sent their efforts in and were pleasantly surprised to hear that a crew from the programme would come down and do some additional filming.”
A two-man crew arrived to film the excavations and artefacts, as well as the general surroundings, and interviewed Rob about various aspects of the dig and his conclusions.
David continued: “They seemed particularly taken with the very narrow path through the 2m high sweetcorn that led to the site.
“Over the weeks the excavation had become completely enclosed and invisible from the edge of the field allowing that surprise reveal moment that TV presenters seem to adore.
He continued: “As with most TV archaeology they were particularly interested in the artefacts recovered and spent a good amount of time in our finds unit.
“To be fair the archaeology in our current trench is of a fairly ephemeral nature not easy to interpret or explain.
“Large deep pits, areas of burning, series of postholes and the disrupted base of a road can appear more like just random orange-brown holes and lumps than the important Romano-British archaeology that it is.”
Rob was invited in September to go to a studio filming session and was interviewed by the shows host, Alice Roberts.
The site made the final cut and was the first item featured in episode 3, The South, which aired on BBC4 on December 4, and can be viewed on BBC iPlayer.
The Culver Archaeological Project is already planning next summer’s dig.
For more details of the project and participation opportunities, visit www.culverproject.co.uk.