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The Search for Civilisation

Archaeologist Richard Miles shows how discoveries in the 18th and 19th centuries overturned ideas of when and where civilisation began, as empires competed to literally 'own' the past.

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Wed 22 Feb 2017 23:40

BBC Four Archaeology Season

BBC Four Archaeology Season

Archaeology: A Secret History is part of BBC Four’s season of programmes exploring our fascination with uncovering the past. Find out more about the other programmes in the season below…


The Flying Archaeologist - Ben Robinson conducts aerial surveys of ancient sites to reveal new evidence of lost civilisations.


Stories from the Dark Earth: Meet the Ancestors Revisited - Julian Richards discovers how science, conservation and new finds have changed our understanding of history.


Nelson’s Caribbean Hell-hole: An Eighteenth Century Navy Graveyard Uncovered - Human bones found in Antigua trigger an investigation into a dark chapter of Britain's imperial past.

The Archaeology at the BBC Collection - Robin Lane Fox explores the BBC's first ventures into archaeology programming.

The Somme: Secret Tunnel Wars - Peter Barton investigates the military mining that played a big part in the tactics of both sides during WWI.

Find out more

Find out more

There are lots of features, articles and quizzes covering archaeology - and the treasures that have been uncovered - in BBC History’s Archaeology section.


Role Contributor
PresenterRichard Miles
Series ProducerCameron Balbirnie
Executive ProducerEamon Hardy
ProducerAnthony Barwell
DirectorAnthony Barwell

"The flickering torchlight of the guide reveals glimpses of a long lost world..."

Dr Richard Miles

Dr. Richard Miles explores Herculaneum - read his article.