East Anglia Fens (02:07)
Neil Oliver imagines how marshlands appeared to early Britons. In this program, he explores religion and spirituality in the Bronze and Iron Ages.
Flag Fen Causeway (04:56)
Bronze Age people viewed water as a portal between worlds. Archaeologists discovered an oak timber path serving religious purposes in a peat field near Peterborough.
Bronze Age Offerings (02:40)
Sacred objects were hidden in the Flag Fen Causeway; an expert believes they were used for small rituals. Locals continued to revere the site after it was submerged in 1000 BC.
Maiden Castle (03:39)
A Bronze Age hill fort in Dorset contains monumental boundaries indicating a fear based belief system.
Iron Age Religion (04:00)
1500 people once lived at Maiden Castle. A bronze burial mirror suggests a complex belief system; a priest class emerged and dictated spiritual practices.
Roman Invasion (02:22)
By 100 AD, Maiden Castle had fallen to the Roman Army. A burial suggests priests died defending the hill fort; the conquerors used the site for their own worship.
Anglesey Druids (03:54)
Romans encountered Celtic Iron Age priests ruling through intimidation. Propaganda may have maligned their reputation but the watery landscape was sacred.
Llyn Cerrig Bach Artifacts (03:50)
Iron Age weapons, jewelry, and slave chains were found in an Anglesey lake. They were likely submerged as an offering to the water; Romans saw Druids as religious extremists.
Bath in the Iron Age (02:54)
The Romans embraced Celtic holy sites; both were pagan and saw water as sacred. Learn why the Dobunni Tribe worshiped hot springs.
Iron Age Religious Survival (03:56)
Romans adopted Celtic deities; view sculptures combining the two belief systems. The Romans built a temple in Bath where they merged Minerva with the Celtic goddess Sulis.
Bath Roman Rituals (04:22)
An expert discusses how animal sacrifices were carried out. Romans came to the sacred spring to make requests to Sulis-Minerva—starting a tradition of tossing coins in water.
Lullingstone Villa (03:42)
A Kent archaeological site shows how Roman beliefs evolved over generations. Cellar paintings show that offerings were made to pagan water deities to keep the well clean.
Lullingstone Mosaics (02:49)
Messages hidden in artwork illustrate the villa's Roman owners were covert Christians.
Roman Religious Transition (02:02)
In 330 AD, Christianity was legalized and Lullingstone's owners could worship openly. They built a villa church; Neil analyzes holy wall paintings.
End of Paganism (01:30)
Lullingstone wall paintings are the earliest evidence of Christian worship in Britain. Believers replaced Roman and Celtic rituals but their sacred sites remain.
Credits: Sacred Wonders of Britain: Part 2 (00:46)
Credits: Sacred Wonders of Britain: Part 2
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