Time Team's Mick Aston has passed away.
Co-creator of the noted British archaeology series that ran from 1994 through 2012, Professor Michael Antony 'Mick' Aston
popularized local archaology in the UK by presenting it in an easy to digest, accessible form.
Mick was a vocal naturist, vegetarian, and wearer of funny looking sweaters. He was also a prominent archaeologist with a particular interest in landscape archaeology.
He had a very wry approach to the show. Once, when asked on-air if he thought the team would "unravel the mystery" of that weeks dig, his response was typical Mick: "Oh, I should think not".
Time Team's format - conduct an archaeological evaluation of a given site (or sites) in three days within the framework of filming a TV show, had its detractors, but Mick did his part to ensure that the evaluations he performed were carefully documented and strictly followed discipline. His role was twofold - promote archaeology to a popular audience, and protect the archaeology of the sites the show visited.
He fervently believed that the study of archaeology was well within the ability of the average citizen, as long as it was done properly and in conjunction with experts in the field. Many Time Team digs were conducted in the back gardens of typical British homes, by the homeowners (with a "pet archaelogist" in tow).
Mick also wrote books on the development of British medieval villages
and had undertaken a ten year project to investigate the manor of Shapwick, in Somerset. He was very interested in churches
and monastic structures (despite being a strident atheist), and was emeritus professor at Bristol University in his retirement.
In the latter years of Time Team, show producer/co-creator Tim Taylor interviewed Mick "off camera" - here is one of those interviews
. There are a great many Time Team episodes available on Youtube, and on the Channel 4 website in the UK.
Mick will be missed.