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The Celts: Blood, Iron, and Sacrifice with Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver

Series 1-Episode 1

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Review

Documentaries about the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings have never been thin on the ground. But the Celts get rather lost in TV history. Notwithstanding a 1987 series (music by Enya!), the expansionist peoples of the Iron Age have been shunted aside. Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver try to put that right with this engaging, darting three-parter.

A sculpture from the third century BC shows that the Romans viewed their opponents as savages. But we see countless examples of how structured and sophisticated Celtic society was: intricate fibulae from a burial site in France, rocksalt mines in the Austrian Alps, the enormous cauldron of a chieftain buried in Germany and so on.

Roberts and Oliver’s narrative baton-passing works surprisingly well in a programme packed with amazing archaeological finds (it’s as easy as brushing away a carpet of leaves in one case) and un-jarring reconstructions.

Summary

Anthropologist Alice Roberts and archaeologist Neil Oliver explore the origins and beliefs of the ancient group of peoples, looking at their highly sophisticated tribal culture and influence on vast areas of the ancient world. They begin by examining the origins of the Celts in the Alps of Central Europe and the moment they first came into contact with the Romans, revealing the pivotal battles that took place between the two rivals came to define the future direction of European civilisation and the shape of the modern-day world.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Alice Roberts
Presenter Neil Oliver
Director Jeremy Hall
Executive Producer Cameron Balbirnie
Producer Jeremy Hall

History

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