Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Farewell Mick Ashton

There have been many articles over the last week in the UK of the death of the leader of the 'Time Team' TV programme that has played a large part in popularising archeology and revealed vast amounts of information about the history of the people who have lived in the UK over thousands of years to the general public. The programme has been profoundly successful, interesting and long lived - only now coming to the end of its run after 20 years.

Mick Ashton was a hugely talented communicator and archeologist and played a major part in the success of Time Team series, no doubt inspiring the interest of future generations of archeologists. Interest from the public is such that there are waiting lists to participate in archeological digs that are held all around the UK to allow amateurs to discover details of the history of their locality. The British Archeology Magazine pays its own tribute here. Gone are the days when objects dug up were of interest only to specialists and museums!

What is less well know about Mick is that he suffered from aspergillosis and asthma, presumably Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA). This would have made working with soil rather more difficult than it is for most of us! This has been reported in a number of places so sadly in death Mick has added to his prodigious achievements by reminded everyone about a lesser-known illness that we think affects 25 000 people in the UK alone, and is probably heavily under diagnosed.

RIP Professor Ashton

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