beneath the stream

27. Neil Oliver ~ the land tells us who we are

September 9, 2020

We are delighted to be joined in this episode by archaeologist, historian, author and presenter Neil Oliver, who talks with us about the places where we can be reminded of things that have affected every version of humanity and can imagine we reach through the thin divide between us and the past. Places where we understand that humanity is a work in progress; that Nature is not finished with us.

Since the last ice age the landscape has become a priceless time capsule preserving moments of human history. Our story is in the land. We can read it and touch it; the land can tell us who we are and how we got here and, as Neil says, here we can discover “the love and grief that our ancestors have left, or have been put, in the ground; no more potent magic is available to us human beings.”

Neil Oliver’s website
Book: The History of the British Isles in 100 Places
Podcast: Love Letter to the British Isles 


Some of the ideas and references we make in this podcast can be found here:

Box Hill, Surrey 
A A Gill 
Joanna Lumley
Homo heidelbergensis  
Westminster Abbey 
Ness of Brodgar  
Céide Fields 
Torr An Aba, Iona 
Vedbæck, Denmark  
Fernand Braudel 
E O Wilson 
Happisburgh footprints 
River Thames  
The Wash 
Homo antecessor 
BBC Coast 
King Solomon  
Walkers Crisps  
Loch Doon 
Smalls Lighthouse  
Association of Lighthouse Keepers 
Orford Lighthouse  
Llandudno copper mines 

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