THE KNIGHT OF SAINT BEES
The incredible story of the Cumbrian Knight who was discovered in a lead shroud and with his body coated in beeswax, meaning that archaeologists have access to a body in near perfect state of preservation – even though he died in the year 1368.
We have acquired the extraordinary original autopsy film and photographs – the very first time they’ll have been seen on TV. It’s a genuine flesh and blood autopsy, the like of which hadn’t been seen before and hasn’t been seen since.
Tim and Malin tell the tale and bring the latest technology to be able to shed new light on the medieval equivalent of the ‘Ice men’ of Scandinavia.
AGINCOURT: BAND OF BROTHERS
A fascinating investigation into the tombs of the English knights who returned from Agincourt - many date to roughly the same period, immortalising Henry V and his ‘happy few’ in English alabaster for hundreds of years until the present day. It’s an intriguing record of how the survivors fed back into society and formed the strength of the Plantagenet period, capitalising on the mythic victory of Agincourt.
Many of the tombs carry the same regalia, and tantalising clues – they also carry the same sword and armour as Henry himself. This is a great piece of medieval detective work into the hidden archaeology and the symbolism of medieval power which is hidden within the churches and cathedrals of England. We also look into the face of a man who actually fought at Agincourt when his coffin in St. Albans is opened for the very first time.
BATTLE AT ALJUBORRATA
This 1385 battle in Portugal between the Portuguese - aided by English allies under the Duke Lancaster - and the Castilians aided by the French resulted in a crushing Portuguese victory under the burning August sun. Over the centuries bones from the battle have been recovered and placed in an ossuary. Finding the ossuary could be vital in interpreting the new evidence from a 14th century battle between professional armies in mainland Europe. Tim joins the excavations there to lend his expert help….and makes a couple of extraordinary discoveries.
THE SKELETON OF LEWES
When the remains of a medieval man were discovered near the town of Lewes in East Sussex, the town did what most do and called Tim and Malin in to investigate.
Surely the skeleton, with its extensive skull traumas, was that of a man killed at the battle of Lewes in the 12th Century – the battle during the Second Baron’s War that saw Simon de Monfort victorious and made him ‘the uncrowned King of England’?
But no – radiocarbon dating put the skeleton as belonging to a much earlier period – perhaps even the Norman age. The question then is simple: is this the first skeletal link to the battle of Hastings ever found?
The Medieval Dead team believe they have the answers.
THE WARRIOR OF JANNAKKALA
It is to Finland that we travel first - to a recently discovered burial site in which was found the well preserved skeleton of a medieval warrior.
The find fascinated Malin in particular and she uses the latest techniques and her many years of experience to study the bones of the warrior and uncover his story. But there is one great mystery that Tim is also determined to solve: why was Jannakkala Man buried with his medieval Long Sword AND a Viking Broad Sword that may well have been hundreds of years old at the time of its burial?
Tim is intrigued by the possible discovery of a previously unknown link between the Christian and Pagan eras….
THE FORTRESS OF MONTESEGUR
Amazing setting, amazing story – the story of the slaughter of hundreds of Cathars in the thirteenth century. In 1242, a military command of about 10,000 troops moved against the castle at Montsegur which was held by about 100 fighters and which was home to more than 200 pacifists. The siege lasted nine months until in March 1244, the castle finally surrendered.
The aftermath was grim – some 220 Cathars were burned alive on a huge bonfire at the foot of the Castle for refusing to renounce their faith.
Tim and the team travel to France to search for archaeological clues to try to discover what really happened in those last terrifying days of the siege.