Guy de la Bédoyère looks back with Time Team

Time Team Official
31 Dec 202046:04
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TLDRIn this engaging conversation, Guy de la Bedoyere, a renowned historian and archaeologist, reminisces about his experiences on the popular television series 'Time Team.' He discusses the camaraderie and intellectual stimulation among the crew and shares his passion for Roman history, evident in his extensive work on the show from 1997 to 2013. Highlighting memorable finds such as the Spitfire aircraft and the Viridius inscription, Guy emphasizes the importance of context in archaeology and the thrill of direct historical transmission. He also touches on his current research interests, including a shift towards Egyptology, and reflects on the significance of historical artifacts in connecting us with the past.

  • πŸ” Guy de la Bedoyere, a historian and former Time Team member, discusses his experiences and the camaraderie on the show, highlighting the contrast to other television work which he found lonely and solitary.
  • 🏰 Guy's main expertise is in Roman history and archaeology, but he has contributed to a wide range of Time Team episodes, showcasing his diverse skill set.
  • 🀝 He emphasizes the collaborative nature of Time Team, where the team worked together to explore various historical sites, making the experience more enriching and enjoyable.
  • πŸŽ₯ Guy appreciates the opportunity to be on Time Team due to its fast-paced and varied nature, allowing him to engage with different historical periods and sites.
  • πŸ›  His background as a BBC sound engineer helped him feel comfortable with the technical aspects of television production, which in turn allowed him to focus on the historical content.
  • πŸ›‘ Guy recalls significant finds from Time Team, such as the rare Roman stone with lettering and the Spitfire aircraft, which stood out due to the completeness of the story they could tell.
  • 🏺 He explains how the Romans' predictability in site patterns can sometimes be disrupted by unusual finds, like the peculiar coins at Greenwich, which suggest a collector's folly rather than standard Roman activity.
  • πŸ—οΈ Guy's interest in Roman artifacts extends to their day-to-day lives, as seen in his book 'Gladius', which explores the lives of Roman soldiers beyond the battlefield.
  • ✈️ His fascination with World War II aircraft is rooted in his upbringing post-WWII and the personal connections to the war through the people around him, leading him to learn to fly and engage with the history of aviation.
  • πŸ“š Guy is currently shifting his focus from Roman history to Egyptology, aiming to bring a fresh perspective to the study of ancient Egypt for a general audience.
  • πŸ—οΈ The personal connection to history is a recurring theme, with Guy expressing a desire for more discoveries about lesser-known historical figures like the rebel Roman Emperor Corosius.
Q & A
  • What was the atmosphere like on the Time Team set according to Guy de la Bedoyere?

    -Guy de la Bedoyere described the atmosphere on the Time Team set as being very sociable and collaborative. He appreciated the opportunity to engage with interesting people and have conversations about a wide range of topics, not just archaeology, which was a stark contrast to his experience on other television works where he felt lonely and solitary.

  • How did Guy de la Bedoyere's background as a BBC sound engineer influence his experience on Time Team?

    -Having been a BBC sound engineer for years, Guy de la Bedoyere was not intimidated by the equipment or the television situation on Time Team. This background made it easier for him to talk and think freely without being overly concerned about the technical aspects, allowing him to focus on the archaeological work and interactions with others.

  • What was Guy de la Bedoyere's main role on Time Team?

    -Guy de la Bedoyere's main role on Time Team was as a Roman historian. He contributed his expertise in Roman archaeology and history to the show, helping to interpret and explain the various finds and sites the team explored.

  • How many Time Team episodes did Guy de la Bedoyere participate in, and over what period?

    -Guy de la Bedoyere took part in Time Team from 1997 to 2013. He estimates that he participated in between three and five episodes per year, but does not know the exact number of episodes he was involved in.

  • What was the significance of the Viridius inscription found during the Ancaster dig?

    -The Viridius inscription was significant because it provided a direct and immediate link between the Romans and the modern day. It was a rare find that allowed the team to bridge a gap of over 1600 years and offered insights into the religious practices and cultural transitions of the time.

  • What was unique about the Roman site at Greenwich that Guy de la Bedoyere mentioned?

    -The Roman site at Greenwich was unique because it did not fit the typical patterns observed in Roman archaeology. The coins found there were unusually large flan and better preserved, and the site lacked structural remains, suggesting it might have been a collector's folly or depository in early modern times rather than a standard archaeological site.

  • What is the significance of the Vindolanda tablets, and how do they compare to other Roman documents?

    -The Vindolanda tablets are significant because they provide a rare and direct insight into the daily life and administrative practices of Romans in Britain. Unlike formal classical Latin, the tablets contain informal, everyday language and are comparable to the extensive documents found in Roman Egypt, offering a unique perspective on Roman life outside of the formal historical record.

  • What is the gladius and why was it an important weapon for the Roman legions?

    -The gladius, specifically the gladius Hispaniensis, was a short sword used by Roman soldiers for close combat and thrusting. It was an important weapon that defined the Roman legions for hundreds of years due to its effectiveness in battle and its association with the soldiers' slang terminology.

  • What inspired Guy de la Bedoyere to write his book 'Gladius'?

    -Guy de la Bedoyere was inspired to write 'Gladius' as a way to explore the everyday lives of Roman soldiers beyond the technical manuals about their equipment. The idea was to delve into historical sources and inscriptions to understand the personal experiences of soldiers, which he felt was a unique and compelling approach.

  • What is Guy de la Bedoyere's current area of research and interest?

    -Guy de la Bedoyere's current area of research and interest is Egyptology. He is working on a long-term project related to ancient Egypt, which he finds fascinating, particularly because it allows him to engage with hieroglyphs and explore the cultural and linguistic differences in expression.

  • What was the most memorable Time Team episode for Guy de la Bedoyere and why?

    -The most memorable Time Team episode for Guy de la Bedoyere was the Ancaster dig. He was proud of this episode not only for the archaeological significance of the Viridius inscription found there but also because it made for compelling television and is still on display at the Lincoln Museum.

πŸ˜€ Time Team Tea Time Reunion

The speaker reminisces about the camaraderie and relief from the rigors of archaeology experienced during Time Team's tea times. He fondly remembers conversations with Helen, Carenza, Mick, and others, highlighting the variety of topics discussed beyond archaeology. Mick's compliment about the speaker's unique approach to conversation is mentioned. The speaker also expresses his dislike for solitary television work compared to the enjoyable social aspect of Time Team.

πŸ˜„ Diverse Experiences on Time Team

The speaker, Guy de la Bedoyere, discusses his participation in Time Team from 1997 to 2013, emphasizing the variety of roles he played, including Roman historian and aviation archaeologist. He reflects on the opportunity to engage in different areas of archaeology and the collaborative environment that made the experience enriching. His skills in finding out about various historical subjects and his quick thinking are highlighted as valuable assets during his Time Team tenure.

😁 The Spitfire and Memorable Time Team Moments

The conversation shifts to memorable finds and experiences on Time Team, with a particular focus on the Spitfire excavation. The speaker describes the Spitfire as a standout due to the comprehensive nature of the find, which included the artifact itself, documentation, and eyewitness accounts. He also mentions the rare find of a stone with Roman lettering at Greenwich and the personal significance of these discoveries.

πŸ˜‰ The Fascination with Roman Artifacts and Personal History

The speaker expresses his intrigue with Roman artifacts, especially a coin with a cryptic legend and the Viridius inscription found at Ancaster. He discusses the direct connection to the Roman period these artifacts provide and shares his personal quest to understand the history of his own home, where he found a coin from Elizabeth I. The conversation also touches on the peculiarities of the Greenwich site and the unusual Roman coins found there.

😌 The Predictability and Cultural Insights of the Romans

The speaker delves into the predictability of Roman sites and artifacts, noting the patterns in coin and pottery loss. He discusses the cultural differences between Romans and modern people, using the example of 'naughty Samian' pottery found at Birdoswald and the Romans' more open attitude towards sexuality. The conversation also covers the speaker's experiences with Roman sites and the insights they provide into Roman life and culture.

πŸ˜† The Importance of Roman Britain and Vindolanda Letters

The speaker discusses the significance of Roman Britain as the best recorded and explored province in the Roman Empire. He talks about the importance of inscriptions and the rarity of finding such detailed historical records. The Vindolanda letters are highlighted as an exceptional find that provides a unique glimpse into the daily life and language of ordinary Romans.

😍 The Allure of World War II Aircraft and Personal Connections

The speaker shares his interest in World War II aircraft, stemming from growing up after the war and being surrounded by its influence. He recounts his experiences learning to fly, flying in a Flying Fortress, and meeting people who experienced the war firsthand. The conversation also includes his involvement in an excavation of a Flying Fortress crash site and the impact of meeting an American engineer who helped identify parts of the aircraft.

🀩 The Gladius and the Roman Soldier's Life

The speaker discusses his book 'Gladius,' which explores the everyday lives of Roman soldiers rather than focusing on technical aspects of the Roman army. He shares the story behind the book's title and cover design, emphasizing the importance of the sword in defining the Roman legionnaires. The conversation also touches on the speaker's experiences teaching Roman history and the impact of using historical artifacts in the classroom.

πŸ˜‰ The Transition to Egyptology and the Broader Historical Context

The speaker reveals his current focus on Egyptology, a shift from his extensive work on Roman history. He discusses the learning process involved in studying Egyptian hieroglyphs and the cultural differences in expression between the Egyptians and Romans. The conversation also highlights the interconnectedness of history and the speaker's belief in the importance of making historical artifacts accessible beyond museums.

πŸ˜‡ The Legacy of Edward III and the Shared Historical Heritage

The speaker concludes the conversation by sharing a fascinating fact about the descendants of Edward III and the likelihood that many people in the country are related to him. This serves as a reminder of the shared historical heritage and the connection between the past and the present.

πŸ’‘Time Team
Time Team is a British television program focused on archaeology, which is central to the video's theme. The show is mentioned as a shared experience among the speakers, highlighting the collaborative and engaging nature of archaeological work. For example, the guest Guy de la Bedoyere reminisces about his time on Time Team, indicating the program's role in making archaeology accessible and exciting to the public.
Archaeology is the scientific study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains. In the script, archaeology is the main theme, with discussions revolving around personal experiences and discoveries made during various digs. It is portrayed as both a professional discipline and a source of personal fulfillment and camaraderie.
πŸ’‘Roman Historian
A Roman historian is a scholar who specializes in the study of ancient Rome, its culture, politics, and history. Guy de la Bedoyere identifies himself as a Roman historian in the script, emphasizing his expertise in Roman archaeology. His role on Time Team was to provide historical context and interpretation of the Roman-related finds, such as the Viridius inscription and the Spitfire aircraft site.
πŸ’‘Samiian Ware
Samiian Ware refers to a type of Roman pottery, specifically a fine red-gloss terra sigillata, which was a high-status tableware. The script mentions Samian Ware as an example of the kind of artifacts that can be used to date and understand archaeological sites. Guy's ability to identify specific forms of Samian Ware, such as 'dragon door 22', illustrates the detailed knowledge required in archaeological practice.
πŸ’‘Vindolanda Tablets
The Vindolanda Tablets are ancient wooden tablets discovered at Vindolanda, a Roman fort in Britain. They often contain writing that provides a rare glimpse into the daily life of Romans. In the script, the Vindolanda Tablets are mentioned as an exceptional find that contributes to the understanding of the Roman presence in Britain, showcasing the value of such artifacts in enriching historical knowledge.
The Gladius is the Latin word for a type of Roman sword, specifically the 'Gladius Hispaniensis', which was used by Roman soldiers. The script discusses the Gladius in the context of Guy's writing career, where he explores the everyday lives of Roman soldiers through historical sources and inscriptions. The term also refers to the title of his book, which focuses on the Roman soldier's sword.
πŸ’‘Aerial Archaeology
Aerial archaeology involves the use of aerial photography and other remote sensing techniques to identify and analyze archaeological sites and features. In the script, Guy mentions his involvement in aerial archaeology, indicating the diverse range of skills and methods used in archaeological research, and how it can provide a broader perspective on historical landscapes.
πŸ’‘Viridius Inscription
The Viridius Inscription refers to an artifact found during an excavation that features an inscription related to the Roman period. In the script, the discovery of the Viridius Inscription is highlighted as an extraordinary moment in both archaeological and television terms, emphasizing the significance of such finds in contributing to historical understanding.
Egyptology is the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, and culture. Guy mentions his academic background in Egyptology and his current research focus on Egypt, which indicates a shift in his scholarly pursuits. This reflects the interdisciplinary nature of historical research and the interconnectedness of different periods and cultures in the study of the past.
A museum is an institution that conserves, collects, and displays items of artistic, cultural, historical, or scientific significance. In the script, museums are discussed as places where artifacts like the Viridius Inscription can be viewed by the public. The conversation also touches on the value of museums in preserving and sharing history, as well as the importance of making historical objects accessible beyond just museum displays.

Reminiscing about the camaraderie and shared meals on Time Team, providing a sense of relief from the day's archaeological work.

Mick's compliment on Guy's unique approach to discussing non-archaeological topics made a significant difference in the work environment.

Guy's experience on Time Team contrasted with other television work, which he found lonely and solitary.

Guy's background as a BBC sound engineer facilitated his comfort with equipment and contributed to his ease on Time Team.

The enjoyment of engaging conversations with a variety of interesting individuals on Time Team.

Guy's participation in Time Team from 1997 to 2013, covering a range of historical periods and sites.

The importance of Guy's ability to quickly find out about various things and his persistence in research.

The opportunity on Time Team to work in a variety of different archaeological contexts, beyond just Roman sites.

The memorable find of a rare piece of stone with Roman lettering at the Greenwich site.

The significance of the Spitfire find and the comprehensive story it provided due to the artifact, documentation, and eyewitnesses.

The unique Viridius inscription found in a grave, providing a direct link to the Roman period.

The discovery of the unusual Roman burial aligned east-west with a head turned towards a Roman god.

Guy's interest in the personal stories behind archaeological finds, such as the tuppence found in his back garden.

The unusual and unpredictable nature of the Greenwich site, suggesting it may have been a collector's folly.

The expertise in identifying Samian pottery and its use in dating archaeological sites.

The cultural differences in perception between Romans and modern people, especially regarding humor and daily life.

The significance of Vindolanda tablets as unique examples of everyday Roman writing and their value in understanding Roman life.

The importance of Britain's well-recorded and explored archaeological sites in the Roman Empire.

Guy's fascination with World War II aircraft, particularly the Spitfire, and his experiences related to them.

The personal connection to historical events through meeting and talking with people who experienced them.

The process of selecting the title 'Gladius' for Guy's book on the Roman soldier's sword and its significance.

The gladius hispaniensis as the defining weapon of the Roman legions and its cultural impact.

Guy's current shift in focus from Roman history to a long-term project on Egyptology.

The personal significance of handling historical objects, such as coins, in teaching and learning.

The pride in the Ancaster Time Team project, the discovery of the Viridius inscription, and its lasting impact.

The importance of museums in preserving and displaying historical artifacts for public education and enjoyment.

The interconnectedness of the past with the present, as illustrated by the widespread descendants of Edward III.

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