Production info

Archaeology Today
UK, 1970  TV  

TV-series Monty Python's Flying Circus

John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle
Directed by Ian MacNaughton


In this particular sketch the host of "Archeology Today" quizzes his guests Professor Lucien Kastner and Sir Robert Eversley ('an expert in Egyptian tomb paintings') on the disparity of their heights. A dispute erupts when Sir Robert remarks that this is hardly about archaeology, and the whole scene ends in a fight. The host swears to avenge himself. After the caption "the story of one man's search for vengeance in the raw and violent world of international archaeology" the scene cuts to Sir Robert's expedition in the sands of Egypt... In a voice-over his assistant remarks that "the dig was going well that year. We had discovered some Hittite baking dishes from the fifth dynasty, and Sir Robert was happier than I had ever seen him", after which Sir Robert breaks into a song. After discovering a 'Sumerian drinking vessel of the fourth dynasty', Sir Robert concludes "now at last we know there was a Sumerian influence here in Abu Simnel in the early pre-dynastic period, two thousand years before the reign of Tutankhamun", and breaks into a song again. But then the BBC host appears and challenges him to a new fight. Eventually everybody on the dig gets entangled in the fight and all the finds get smashed. The host concludes with "and there we end this edition of Archeology Today".

Comedy sketch from episode 21 (second season, episode 8) of the hugely popular and influential British comedy show "Monty Python's Flying Circus". The series aired on BBC Television between 1969 and 1974 and pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in style and content.

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