University of Sheffield lecturer to feature in Channel 4 programme

Written by Taylor Ogle

Investigating Viking burials is all part of a day’s work for Dr Elizabeth Craig-Atkins in this week’s episode of The Great British Dig. 

In the second episode of the series, the crew, alongside comedian Hugh Dennis, visit Masham in North Yorkshire to explore the town’s history. 

Dr Craig-Atkins, who has been a lecturer in human osteology at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Archaeology since 2013, was first approached by the production team last summer.

“The Great British Dig has captured the public imagination for archaeology, and for me they have done a really important job of integrating local people into the archaeological process and the making of the series,” said Dr Craig-Atkins.

Archaeological experts from across the country have collaborated with the programme to introduce ordinary people to the history beneath their feet.

The osteologist praised the programme for showcasing the work of archaeologists. Dr Craig-Atkins said: “The public were able to watch us work during the week, but were also invited to an open day at the end of filming to showcase the outcomes of the excavation.”

Marketplace of Masham, North Yorkshire where the programme was filmed
Credit: Gordon Hatton


The documentary, which was first broadcast in April 2020, was Channel 4’s most successful one-off programme of the year.

Hugh Dennis, the host of the show, told Channel 4: “The Great British Dig is a fantastic format which combines finding out about the history of where you live and the surprising things that lie under your own back garden.”

This success led to the renewal of the programme for a further four episodes.

Talking about Dr Craig-Atkin’s work with the show, Professor Caroline Jackson, Head of the Archaeology Department at The University of Sheffield, said: “This research highlights our long history of impactful research which has an immediate public impact and sparks the imagination.”

The first episode of the new series aired Wednesday 17 February and investigated a Roman fort under a housing estate in Newcastle.

You can watch Dr Craig-Atkins on the second episode of The Great British Dig which airs on Wednesday 24 February at 9pm on More4.

Written by Taylor Ogle

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