Saturday, August 1, 2015

Too Much Time Team?

Is there such a thing as too much Time Team?  My right shoulder is almost normal.  My sprained right ankle is almost normal.  I still want to watch Time Team, though.  I've watched all twenty seasons and all the specials.  I've started watching it from the first program again.

I'm not an archaeologist and I haven't even participated in a dig. ( The closest I've got was helping to clean out the old stone barn at the New Lebanon Shaker site.)  Once I found archaeology uninteresting.  I tended to fall asleep during the archaeological presentations during the Mohican Seminars. Before the last one I attended, something clicked inside me, though, and I realized the importance of the artifacts and the information obtained.  It's physical confirmation of history and the people who came before us.  Sometimes when that history is missing, such as the unknown Mohican history that went up in smoke in 1911, it's all that more important.

Time Team is a unique show.  The photography is well done.  I've seen parts of the British Isles I thought I never would.  I've managed to absorb knowledge without knowing it.  Last Christmas time while helping to decorate our team's area, I gave my team leader an impromptu lecture on bricks used in Britain.

The cast made the program unique as well.  The impression given to the audience is of people who were very knowledgeable and enjoyed their work.  They also liked and respected each another enough to have friendly arguments and challenges.  It was very informative and sometimes very amusing when team members became involved with projects involving ancient technology, or role-playing.  I seem to recall Phil Harding involved with a lot of it.  He comes across as a good sport.  

If I were more talented, I'd put together a video of my favorite moments.  I do get a kick out of it when a tent starts moving across the field, with many legs underneath it like an extremely obese, top heavy centipede. I enjoy Phil Harding's enthusiasm greatly.  It's such a delight to see someone who enjoys his work so much and who is so generous in sharing his knowledge.  I still don't understand flint-knapping, though, and I'm in awe of anyone that can work rock like that.

It's been very interesting to learn that at one point the ancient Britons and the ancient Native Americans were much alike.  They both started as hunter-gatherers. They both started to farm and settle down in small communities.  They both made stone tools and projectiles.  They both made round dwellings to live in.   I think I even saw ancient British shoes that looked like moccasins.  

I have a feeling that there could be more commonalities, but because of the lack of attention paid to Native American sites and their disruption and disappearance we might never know.  Will we ever know if they had enclosure ditches like the Britons?  Did they erect anything similar to the stone henges? I wonder why Britain evolved like it did and why were the Native Americans so different?  Was it because the Roman Empire invaded Britain and conquered it, bringing in new ideas and ways of doing things?  Was it because of even more new information were brought back to Britain from the Crusades?

Mick Aston, I hope where you are now you realize that Time Team has not failed.  Over two hundred sites were listed after Time Team worked on them.  Thanks to the web, Acorn TV and Youtube, new people around the world are discovering Time Team, enjoying it and learning to appreciate archaeology and history, and a more considered and well-rounded view of life.  

Sometimes my brain seems to go on thinking while I'm sleeping.  I had an interesting dream last night.  I dreamed that Time Team came over to America to investigate Mohican sites in Washington County, New York.  Phil Harding wanted to go to a pow wow with me after I mentioned them.  I think that would have been a lot of fun, and it's too bad it was only a dream.  Maybe I ought to watch a movie or two, though.