Age of Ice

Image for Age of IceNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour

Neil Oliver travels back to ice age Britain as he begins the epic story of the evolution of the land and its occupants over thousands of years of ancient history. In this episode he describes a struggle for survival in a brutal world of climate change and environmental catastrophe.

  • 8,000 year old footprints

    8,000 year old footprints

    Neil Oliver discovers fragile footprints made by ancient hunters who left imprints in soft mud near Newport, South Wales 8,000 years ago.

    Watch the video clip now


    Presenter Neil Oliver on what A History Of Ancient Britain meant to him personally: "To come so close to the way some individual, man or woman, was thinking all those millennia ago, while the Ice Age waxed and waned, was very moving for me."

    Read Neil's post at the BBC TV blog
  • List of Locations

    Goldcliff, Newport, Wales – Human footprints from 8000 years ago.
    Natural History Museum, London – Boxgrove man and Cheddar Man (not on display).
    Paviland Cave, Gower, Wales – Discovery of Red Lady.
    Natural History Museum, Oxford – Boxgrove bones of Red Lady.
    Creswell Crags Museum, Nottinghamshire – Horse head engraving and cave art.
    Lake Of Mentieth, Scotland – The impact of glaciers.
    Fiskary Bay, Coll – Mesolithic camp.
    British Museum, London – Star Carr antler head-dress.
    Montrose Basin, Scotland - Site of a tsunami impact.

  • Reference List

    'Homo Britanicus' by Chris Stringer
    'After the Ice' by Steve Mithen

  • Visit Ancient Britain with Hands on History

    Visit Ancient Britain with Hands on History

    Create a stone circle, make a cave painting or use our guide to evoke the sights and sounds of ancient Britain.

    Try out our activities with your family
  • Hands on History Days Out

    Hands on History Days Out

    Visit the BBC Things to Do site to find history activities around Britain and Northern Ireland.

    Find days out near you
  • Hands On History Animations

    Hands On History Animations

    What would life have been like in prehistoric times? Watch our animation.

    A Day in the Life...Of A 10-Year-Old in Ancient Britain


Neil Oliver
Neil Oliver
Executive Producer
Eamon Hardy
Series Producer
Cameron Balbirnie
Series Producer
Cameron Balbirnie


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