Channel 4 has commissioned a new series Great British History Hunters for More 4 from Tuesday’s Child following the real-life detectorists and the journey their fascinating finds make through the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme and Treasure processes.
Britain is a land of rich history hidden beneath our feet, where millions of artefacts are yet to be found that can reveal the secrets of our past. This series will tell warm characterful stories about ordinary people that are out-and-about all over the country making extraordinary discoveries every day. Whether metal detectorists, mudlarks or amateur archaeologists, they all have a passion for finding the missing pieces that help tell the story of our past.
It’s every detectorist’s dream to one day find “treasure” that ends up on display in the British Museum or a museum local to where they live. With unique access to the Museum’s dedicated team of archaeologists, curators, conservators, and scientists, the discoveries are filmed from soil to gallery, revealing more history from the objects at each stage. Since its inception in 1997, there’s been over 1.5m finds recorded with the Portable Antiquities Scheme – a project to record archaeological finds made by the public – and whilst some of these artefacts can reap financial rewards for the finders, more importantly they also help shed light on the history of our nation.
Against a backdrop of the Great British Countryside in all its glory – rolling fields, stunning coastlines, hillsides, vast mudflats, breathtaking archaeological excavations, and the London skyline at night – we’ll meet a colourful mix of finders, including an 11-year-old YouTuber finding Bronze Age gold, an Indiana Jones enthusiast, female detectorists giving the guys a run for their money, war vets, devoted dads and a host of other finders that illustrate the camaraderie and companionship that detecting can bring, and the important role they all play in the British Museum’s mission to involve people in archaeology and share an appreciation of our shared past.
Great British History Hunters (4 x 60) is commissioned for More 4 by Jo Street, Channel 4’s Head of Daytime & Features, and Deborah Dunnett, Commissioning Editor, Daytime & Features. The series is produced by Tuesday’s Child with series producer Paul Golding and executive producer Steph Harris.
Sarah Saunders, British Museum’s Head of Learning and National Partnerships, said: “The British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) is a unique partnership, that brings together archaeologists, museum professionals, landowners and finders, to better understand, appreciate and protect Britain’s rich past. With the support of DCMS, the British Museum (with Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales), is proud of its role in delivering the PAS and administering the Treasure process, and reaching communities across England and Wales. We are delighted that this work will be highlighted by this new series which will showcase the hard work of the Scheme and exciting discoveries made every year by the British public.”
Steph Harris, Creative Director at Tuesday’s Child comments: “After 18 months of being rooted to our homes, a collective curiosity about our local areas has seen a huge rise in reported finds as more people have taken up detecting and mudlarking and we’ve been privileged to work with the team at the British Museum to be able to follow the process from the moment an item is unearthed to it ending up in a case in a museum.”
Great British History Hunters will air on More 4 next year.