Mick Aston/ Shutterstock.com

I suffer from enthusiasm

In his rainbow-striped knits, archaeologist Mick Aston helped bring the past to life on TV’s Time Team.

First aired in 1994, it had seemed a slightly unlikely premise for a hit TV series – a bunch of wild-haired, woolly-jumper wearing archeologists with just three days to unearth evidence of the UK’s historic past.

The genial professor enthusiastically demystified the more academic side of his science, as he explained about ‘geo-phys’ and dug exploratory trenches alongside actor-turned presenter Tony Robinson and a team of fellow-archeologists.

It would often rain – but even a dig that resulted in more puddles than artefacts was usually fascinating evidence of something interesting, as Mick would explain.

Growing up in a working class family in Birmingham, Mick majored in geography at university, taking part in archeological digs to hone his experience. He became a museum’s field officer when he graduated, but grew to love teaching, too. As his academic and practical insight grew, he combined excavating with teaching and writing about the subject. Time Team gave him the opportunity to share his passion he had for archeology and make it accessible to a new and wider audience.

Mick was leading a project exploring the landscape history of the Somerset village where he lived, when he died aged 66. His Time Team colleagues paid tribute to him in a special edition of the programme. His friend and co-host Tony Robinson is spearheading DigNation, a crowdfunded archeology festival in his memory.