Dan Walker goes digging for treasure with Michaela Strachan and Raksha Dave in Channel 5’s brand new series, Digging For Treasure: Tonight.
Joined by teams of metal detectorists, mudlarkers and marine archaeologists, they’re looking to unearth the hidden history under our feet and under water.
Each episode comes from a different location, where an army of amateur metal detectorists use their kit and skills to scour an authorised patch of land for artefacts and items lost by people through the centuries.
Across the series, the team broadcast from historically significant sites across Britain, including north Yorkshire, Edinburgh, Norfolk and the banks of the Thames.
As the discoveries emerge, they’re taken to a central hub, where, under the gaze of the people who discovered them, representatives from the Portable Antiquities Scheme (run by the British Museum in London and Treasure Trove in Scotland) use their expert analysis to reveal the history of each find — from Saxon broaches, Roman daggers and hoards of coins hidden but never retrieved.
The series also looks at some of the most challenging excavations and historically important sites that have been excavated through the years.
From diving at a shipwreck off the coast of Cornwall, which sank in 1684, laden with diamonds, to the largest Celtic coin hoard ever found, worth millions of pounds.
The series will also use technology to pinpoint the location of a Lancaster bomber lost in World War II and tell the emotional story of its final hours. And we search the bottom of a Scottish loch with marine archaeologists for evidence of Mary Queen of Scots.
In the first episode, Dan Walker, Michaela Strachan and Raksha Dave have permission to set up the Digging for Treasure camp in Northallerton, north Yorkshire. We search in the shadow of a ruined castle and between both Roman and Viking settlements.
At this site, we work with a large team of local detectorists from a club known as North Detecting Events.
We are hoping to discover an abundance of artefacts from the medieval and Viking periods. Being so close to the castle ruins and settlements, we’re expecting to find an abundance of rare coins and personal treasures from those eras, and maybe even some of the weaponry that was used by the soldiers garrisoned there.
On hand will be the expert — the local finds liaison officer, a member of the Portable Antiquities Scheme from the British Museum. They will analyse, record and give context to each of the finds as they’re discovered.
Digging For Treasure: Tonight is coming soon to Channel 5.