Miles Russell

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Dr Miles Russell

Miles Anton Russell

(1967-04-08) 8 April 1967 (age 51)
Brighton, Sussex, England
Known forTime Team
Piltdown hoax resolution
Academic background
Alma materUCL Institute of Archaeology
Bournemouth University
Academic work
Sub-disciplinePrehistoric archaeology
Roman archaeology
InstitutionsUCL Field Archaeology Unit
Oxford Archaeological Unit
Bournemouth University

Miles Russell, FSA (born 8 April 1967) is a British archaeologist best known for his work and publications on the prehistoric and Roman periods and for his appearances in television programmes such as Time Team and Harry Hill's TV Burp.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Russell was born and educated in Brighton, and in 1993 moved to Bournemouth, where he has lectured at Bournemouth University and, since 2009, has worked on the Duropolis "Big Dig" with co-directors Paul Cheetham and Harry Manley. He has written 15 books,[2] covering the Neolithic and Roman periods and has appeared numerous times on television, most notably in the Channel 4 television series Time Team alongside presenter Tony Robinson. He has also been a frequent contributor to Digging for Britain, presented by Dr Alice Roberts.[3]


As a graduate of the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, he subsequently worked as a field officer for UCL's Field Archaeology Unit and a Project Manager for the Oxford Archaeological Unit. In 1993 he joined the staff of Bournemouth University, where he is a senior lecturer, subsequently conducting fieldwork on various projects across southern England, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man, Sicily, Germany and Russia.[4] He obtained his PhD from Bournemouth University, on the Neolithic monumental architecture of the South Downs in 2000 and became a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2006. He is director of Regnum and co-director of the Durotriges Project, both investigating the transition from the Iron Age to Roman period.

In 2003 Russell published the results of a three-year project investigating the Piltdown Man hoax which strongly implied that the perpetrator of the fraud was the 'finder' Charles Dawson. In 2008 he co-directed excavations within Stonehenge, together with Professor Tim Darvill and Professor Geoffrey Wainwright. In 2013 Russell and colleague Harry Manley identified a fragment of a Roman statue, previously known as the "Bosham Head", as representing the Emperor Trajan.[5] Russell and Manley have also identified a damaged statue of the young emperor Nero from Fishbourne Roman Palace in West Sussex and have tentatively identified a Roman statue held at Petworth House as also being a representation of the Emperor Nero.[6]

In 2017 Russell published the first results from the Lost Voices of Celtic Britain Project, reassessing the archaeological content of the 12th century Historia Regum Britanniae by Geoffrey of Monmouth;[7] A forensic examination of Geoffrey’s Historia Regum Britanniae has demonstrated the text was compiled from a variety of early British sources, including oral folklore, king-lists, dynastic tables and bardic praise poems, some of which date back to the first century BC.[8] In deconstructing Geoffrey’s text, Russell has argued that the origins of King Arthur emerge as a composite ‘Celtic Superhero’ created by Geoffrey from five separate characters.[9][10]


  • A Reassessment of the Bronze Age Cemetery-Barrow on Itford Hill and its place in the Prehistory of Southeast England (1996)
  • Flint Mines in Neolithic Britain (2000)
  • The Neolithic Monumental Architecture of the South Downs (2001)
  • Prehistoric Sussex (2002)
  • Digging Holes in Popular Culture: Archaeology and Science Fiction (2002)
  • Piltdown Man: the Secret Life of Charles Dawson (2003)
  • Monuments of the British Neolithic: the Roots of Architecture (2003)
  • Rough Quarries Rocks and Hills: The Neolithic Flint Mines of Sussex (2004)
  • Roman Sussex (Tempus, 2006)[11]
  • Bloodline: The Celtic Kings of Roman Britain (Amberley, 2010)
  • UnRoman Britain: Exposing the Great Myth of Britannia (2011; with Stuart Laycock)
  • The Piltdown Man Hoax: Case Closed (2012)
  • Bignor Roman Villa (2015; with David Rudling)
  • Arthur and the Kings of Britain (2017)
  • Hillforts and the Durotriges: a Geophysical Survey of Iron Age Dorset (2017; with Dave Stewart)


  • Mysteries in the Landscape (2002)
  • Seven Ages of Britain (2003)
  • Timewatch (Piltdown Man) (2003)
  • Time Team (2004-2012)
  • Time Team: Big Roman Dig (2005)
  • Timewatch (Stonehenge) (2009)
  • The One Show (2010)
  • Digging for Britain (2010-2011)
  • A History of Ancient Britain, Series 2, Age of Romans (2011)
  • The Big Spring Clean (2011)
  • The Sacred Landscapes of Britain (2014)
  • Border Country: The Story of Britain's Lost Middleland (2014)
  • Operation Stonehenge: what lies beneath (2014)
  • Secrets from the Sky (2014)
  • Underground Britain (2014)
  • Digging For Britain (2015)
  • History's Greatest Hoaxes (2016)
  • King Arthur's Britain: the Truth Unearthed (2018)


  1. ^ Bournemouth University: Staff Profile. Accessed 6 March 2014
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Miles Russell". The Conversation. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  4. ^ Bournemouth University: Staff Profile. Accessed 8 April 2014
  5. ^ "Two Hundred Year Old Mystery Of Roman Statue Solved By Archaeology Experts", Red Orbit, 8 October 2013. Accessed 6 March 2014
  6. ^ Bournemouth University - "Identity of 2,000 year old Roman, Nero, revealed in ‘The Big Spring Clean’", 26 April 2011.Accessed 6 March 2014
  7. ^ "Lost Voices of Celtic Britain Project".Accessed 12 April 2017
  8. ^ "King Arthur was created as a Celtic superhero", The Times 17 October 2017. Accessed 30 September 2018
  9. ^ "King Arthur never existed and was created as a Celtic Superhero", The Mirror 17 October 2017.Accessed 30th September 2018
  10. ^ "Here are the five ancient Britons who make up the myth of King Arthur", The Conversation 10 November 2017.Accessed 30 September 2018
  11. ^ "Nero to South, Hero to North", British Archaeology, Issue 89, July/August 2006