Meet the Time Team!
Tony has been presenting Time Team for the last 17 years and has never missed an episode - in total that's almost two years spent of Time Team shoots! Perhaps most famous for his roles as a comedy actor he now presents series such as Man on Earth and The Worst Jobs in History. He first discussed the idea of making an archaeology series with Mick Aston in the 1980s when they met on a holiday in Santorini. A few years later the idea of Time Team was born and Tony presented the pilot episode back in 1992. Since then he's received numerous Honorary Doctorates for his work and has become president of the Young Archaeologists' Club.
Mick has been with Time Team since Day One; in fact he was partly responsible for its creation after telling Tim Taylor, Series Producer, that it would be possible to a evaluate a site in only three days. He's worked in archaeology for over 40 years and has a particular passion for anything medieval and monastic. Mick had a childhood love of archaeology, despite his schools best attempts to dissuade him, and studied Geography with a subsidiary in Archaeology at Birmingham University. Ever since then he has pursued a career in the subject working at Bristol University from 1979 to 2004. He's a passionate believer in communicating archaeology to the public.
Phil is one of the most experienced members of the Team and has been a full time archaeologist since 1971. On site Phil is the lead field archaeologist - woe betide anyone who hasn't got straight sections in their trench. His greatest love in archaeology is prehistory and he's a dab hand at knapping flint himself. When not working with the Team he's a field archaeologist at Wessex Archaeology and recently received an honorary doctorate from the University of Southampton. He also plays the guitar and has been known to bring it along to entertain the Team in the evenings!
Helen didn't originally set out to be an archaeologist - she was bored at work and began reading history books from the local library. Eventually she'd read everything on the history shelf and moved to the next shelf down - archaeology. She followed her interest and attended a day school run by Mick Aston before getting a job as an archaeologist in 1986. She has appeared on many editions of Time Team either as an Anglo Saxon expert, a small finds expert or as a lover of historical records detail before becoming a permanent team member in 2005. When not filming with the Team, Helen is the National Finds Advisor on Early-Medieval artefacts for the Portable Antiquities Scheme. One other thing you may not know, Helen is the founder of the Time Team Wild Swimming Club.
John is the head of our Geophysics team and it's his job to survey each site before we start opening trenches. John has been with Time Team since the very beginning in 1993 and over the years he's surveyed hundreds of sites in just three days. His love of surveying started back in 1974 when he picked up his first set of geophysical equipment to work a site in Orkney. He went on to study at Bradford University and recently received an honorary doctorate from them in 2006. In 1986 he set up a geophysical company, now known as GSB, who provide the surveyors for the Team. This series posed some unusual challenges, the biggest of which was the largest survey ever undertaken on a Time Team - 57 acres!
Matt joined the Team in 2003 and has barely missed a dig since. He's been a professional archaeologist for 12 years and has dug all over the world. After studying at the Institute of Archaeology in London he worked at several archaeological units before getting his place on the Team - instead of an interview he was filmed discussing an imaginary trench. He often teams up with Phil to take part in the cameos, usually in costume. His favourite cameo of the year was dressing as an Anglo Saxon to compete against Phil in a ritualised insulting competition. When not on Time Team he works as one of the Directors of LP Archaeology.
Matt and Raksha have known each other since studying together at the Institute of Archaeology in London. After a childhood love of dinosaurs and history she discovered archaeology and has been hooked ever since. In true Time Team fashion, she applied for a job on the show after a conversation in the pub and joined in 2004. Her highlight of the 2009 series was digging on the Isle of Mull thanks to the combination of exotic location, great archaeology and wild swimming in the sea. Raksha also has the dubious honour of being the person who's always chosen if there's a latrine to dig!
Alex studied Medieval Archaeology at the University College London, having been inspired by watching Time Team as a boy. He subsequently returned to take an MA in World Archaeology and is now studying for a PhD at Winchester University. He spent 7 years working in commercial archaeology so he knows how to dig a trench or two. But Alex is best known for his appearances on Tales from the Green Valley, Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm in which he lived for many months in a manner authentic to the period. Alex loves exploring and understanding the landscape and also learning old crafts and skills, so brings a huge enthusiasm to experimental archaeology.
Francis has been appearing on Time Team for many years either as one of the country's foremost experts on prehistory or in the more general role of Site Director. His enthusiasm and energy have won him many fans as have his own programmes for Channel Four - Britain BC and Britain AD being the best known. Francis is a former President of the Council for British Archaeology and was awarded an MBE for his discovery, excavation and promotion of the famous Flag Fen site near Peterborough. He has written a number of best-selling books amongst them: 'Seahenge: A Quest for Life and Death in Bronze Age Britain'. 'Britain in the Middle Ages: An Archaeological History' and recently 'The Making of the British Landscape: How We Have Transformed the Land, from Prehistory to Today' and 'The Birth of Modern Britain: A Journey into Britain's Archaeological Past.'
Tracey is our site supervisor and after Phil is one of the most experienced field archaeologists. She got her first job in archaeology back in 1992 after volunteering on a local dig, from there she studied at Southampton University and has been digging ever since. Tracey worked on her first Time Team as a local archaeologist then appeared on a couple more programmes before becoming a regular face. When she's not digging on site Tracey is usually taking black and white photographs with her classic cameras.
Ian is most often seen behind the controls of a mini-digger but is also a very experienced archaeologist (with a PhD to boot). His first job on Time Team back in 1998 was a stroke of luck - he got a called in for a day's work on what he thought was a building site - it turned out to be a Time Team dig. Before digging holes he worked as a photographer, builder, gardener and decorator until he finally discovered archaeology.
Stewart is Time Team's Landscape Investigator. As a result he spends his time looking at aerial photos, earthworks and generally trying to work out how the site fits into the wider landscape. One of his biggest challenges in Series 17 was working out how the earthworks of Hopton Castle fitted into the events of the brutal Civil War siege. He has a habit on Time Team of disappearing into the woods for three days before emerging with a theory that totally changes everyone's interpretation of a site.
Mary-Ann studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University. She joins Time Team as a co-presenter for Series 19, exploring the documentary sources, discovering more about key artefacts and finding out about the modern stories behind the sites. Mary-Ann found out she'd won the role on Time Team just weeks before the series began shooting, and celebrated by buying her distinctive (and helpfully waterproof) pink jacket. Mary-Ann has presented archaeology programmes about prehistoric Silbury Hill in Wiltshire and the historical truth behind the legend of King Arthur, as well as shows with a more anthropological bent. She seems to spend quite a lot of time feeding the rest of the Team - limpets, venison, mead and cheese... an army of archaeologists dig on their stomachs!