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14 August 2008
A leading authority on religion and ritual in the ancient world from the School of History and Archaeology will be making an appearance in a new Channel 5 documentary this month.
Julius Caesar and the Druids, to be shown on Tuesday 19 August, is part of an exploration into new evidence of Druids in the Iron Age and Roman Britain. It will feature Professor Miranda Aldhouse-Green, Professor of Archaeology, explaining the significance of archaeological finds at key Iron Age and Roman ritual sites.
Professor Aldhouse-Green, who has published more than 15 books on aspects of religious belief and expression in ancient Britain and Europe from the Bronze Age to the late Roman period, also acted as a consultant to the programme.
Filming took place at the Origins Gallery of the National Museum Cardiff and at Lindow Moss in Cheshire, the site of the famous Lindow Man bog-body. The team also went to Anglesey, filming at the Iron Age ritual site at Llyn Cerrig Bach in RAF Valley and at South Stack on Holy Island, off Anglesey, where they filmed the story of the Roman general Suetonius Paulinus' destruction of the Druids' sacred grove in AD 60, as chronicled by Tacitus.
Professor Aldhouse-Green’s latest book on Druids - Caesar’s Druids: Archaeology of an Ancient Priesthood will be published by Yale University Press in 2009. She will attempt to answer the question of whether Druids really existed or were they a Roman literary invention? Providing an in-depth study of the archaeological and literary evidence for Druids in Gaul and Britain during the later first millennium BC and early first millennium AD, the book will provide a contextually-rich interpretation of evidence from ancient literature and material culture for professional ritualists in later prehistoric Europe and the western Roman provinces.
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