Operation Stonehenge: What Lies Beneath was a rather disappointing two part series about new work on the site around Stonehenge. The basic premise was that Stonehenge shouldn't be considered in isolation, instead it's important to understand the whole area around it. So a team of archaeologists from Austria have done a site wide survey of 10km2 using non-invasive modern techniques - geophys and the like.
The third course I've done on Future Learn was about archaeology & the Roman port Portus. And sadly I found it a bit disappointing. The course was run by Southampton University, whose archaeology department are one of the partners in the excavation of the site at Portus. Portus is in Italy, near Rome & to the west of it. From the 1st Century AD it was the main port serving the city of Rome, remaining in use until the 7th Century.
Continuing with our recent WWI theme we watched a one-off programme about the tunnels under the Somme battlefield presented by Peter Barton. The title (The Somme: Secret Tunnel Wars) and a bit of the introductory segment have an air of Discovery Channel-esque "we will Solve The Mystery!", but the programme as a whole steered away from that and was very interesting.
The Plantagenets was a three part series about this dynasty of English monarchs presented by Robert Bartlett. He points out that this is the longest running dynasty of English kings, which I hadn't realised - they stretch from Henry II (who takes the throne in 1154) right the way through to Richard III (who dies in battle in 1485). Bartlett covered them in chronological fashion, conveying some feel for the politics of the time and for the dysfunctional soap opera-like personalities and family relationships of the Plantagenets.
The second lecture in the 2013 Charles Wilkinson lecture series was associated with the department of Ancient Near East Art at the MMA, and was called "Adornment for the Afterlife: Jewelry and Identity at Ur and Nimrud". Kim Benzell, who gave the talk, is one of the curators at the museum and is also a trained goldsmith which gave her quite a different perspective on the ornaments she was talking about.
Last Thursday we went to the British Museum to go to a talk about Chinese figurines (and we'd hoped to go to another talk later the same day but it was sold out). In this talk Sascha Priewe (a curator at the British Museum) was talking about traditions of figurine making in ancient China and how this did (or didn't) lead to the First Emperor's terracotta army.
Ancient Greece: The Greatest Show on Earth
The Wonder of Dogs
While we were visiting J's parents we watched a few documentaries about ancient Egypt (or related subjects) that they'd recorded from TV channels we don't have. A bit of a mixed bag - one of them I'd've switched off if it was just me (J wasn't as annoyed by it), but the others were better.