According to received wisdom, native British culture was suppressed by 400 years of Roman rule, and then the withdrawal of the mighty imperial army in 410AD threw the country into a state of primitive barbarism, which only came to an end with the invasion of the more advanced Anglo Saxons.
With detailed archaeology, cutting-edge academic research and his own brand of iconoclasm, writer and broadcaster, and presenter of Britain AD, Francis Pryor argues that we have got this version of our history wrong.
In the second episode of this series, Francis Pryor sheds light on the so-called 'Dark Ages'. He shows that far from a 'Dark Age', archaeologists have discovered evidence of a resurgence of native culture. The classic image of the Romans departing and 'turning out the lights' is shown to be completely false.
Francis finds a world inhabited by Christianised, literate Britons engaging in trade and diplomacy with the Byzantine Empire. So far reaching are the implications of these discoveries that the 'dark age' period in Britain has been renamed Late Antiquity.
A series of three one hour programmes, presented by leading archaeologist and sheep-farmer Francis Pryo, re-examine Britain A.D, the Arthurian myth, the British national character and the mysterious period of British history known as 'The Dark Ages'.
Finding new and previously unexplained evidence Francis Pryor overturns the idea that Britain was crushed under Roman rule, then reverted to a state of anarchy and disorder after the Romans left in 410 AD. Instead of doom and gloom Francis discovers a continuous culture that assimilated influences from as far a field as the Middle East and Constantinople. Francis is confronted by evidence that confounds traditional views of Britain as a powerless bunch or warring barbarian tribes. Nor was there the invasion of bloodthirsty Anglo Saxons, rampaging across the countryside, which our school books have always depicted. With new archaeological evidence Francis discovers a far more interesting and complex story, one that puts the continuing energy of the Ancient Britons at the core.