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Making History - 17/09/2013

Tom Holland and guests discuss the role Dumbo, Bambi and Pluto played in the Allied invasion of France in 1944, and the history of milk.

Tom Holland is joined in the Making History studio by Dr Matt Pope from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London and from Luton by Mark Thomas who is Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at University College London.

Today's programme has just a touch of Disney. But we're not at the movies - rather under the English Channel, exploring the role played by Dumbo, Bambi and Pluto in the Allied invasion of France in 1944 and finding out that these pipelines might not have been as successful in delivering fuel after the invasion of France than the history books tell us.

We explore the history of milk. It's something that we take for granted but, in fact, the ability to drink milk into adulthood is something that only some 35% of humans possess. Its origins lie in a genetic mutation that first began spreading through Europe some 7,500 years ago. The consequences were far-reaching - Europe's very first revolution. The hunter-gatherer lifestyle that had dominated the continent since the first arrival of Cro-Magnon man was swept away, and an imprint stamped on diet and population that is still evident to this day. Mark Thomas has recently explored this fusion of genetics and archaeology in Nature Magazine.

We head to Wiltshire to study records from nearly two centuries ago which show that, back then even more than today, the debate about welfare was as much about morality as economics.

And we hear about a new project devoted to the First World War, which could give a whole new meaning to bible studies.

Contact the programme:

Produced by Nick Patrick A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

  • Broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 3:00PM Tue, 17 Sep 2013
  • Available until 12:00AM Thu, 1 Jan 2099
  • First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 3:00PM Tue, 17 Sep 2013
  • Categories
  • Duration 28 minutes

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