Digging the Past: Archaeology on TV

16 January 2013

Mortimer Wheeler

Joe Flatman is contributing to a one-day event about Archaeology on TV at the British Film Institute (BFI) on 19 January.

The special event, organised in association with the BFI and the UCL Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, includes three sessions which will look at different aspects of television's approach to archaeology and the often eccentric characters who presented the stories.

Joe will explore the story of Sir Mortimer Wheeler and his remarkable archaeology game show 'Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?, with his presentation illustrated with original footage from the series.

The BBC’s highbrow archaeology game show was a surprisingly big hit in the 1950s thanks mainly to the eccentric characters who formed the panel, especially Sir Mortimer Wheeler, the dashing, moustachioed ringleader whose old-school charm struck a definite chord with viewers.