History Cold Case

History Cold Case is a British documentary television series in which scientists use modern forensic techniques to investigate ancient remains. Two series of History Cold Case aired on BBC Two between 6 May 2010 and 21 July 2011. The television series is recommended for age 17 and above due to graphic images and maturity.

History Cold Case
GenreTelevision documentary
Directed byMike Taylor
Neil Ferguson
Harvey Lilley
Narrated byLaurence Fox
Stephen Mangan
Theme music composerRob Lord
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes8
Executive producer(s)Natalie Humphreys; BBC Executive Cassian Harrison
Running time57 minutes
Production company(s)Red Planet Pictures / Shine
DistributorShine Group
Original networkBBC Two
Picture format16:9 1080i
Audio formatStereo
Original release6 May 2010 (2010-05-06) 
21 July 2011 (2011-07-21)
Related showsThe Decrypters
External links
Official website


Anthropologist Sue Black and her team at the Centre for Anatomy & Human Identification (CAHID) at the University of Dundee investigate human remains. They use forensic science, including radiocarbon dating, DNA and isotope analysis, to find out about the life and death of each set of remains, which range in date from the Bronze Age to the Victorian era. In some cases, they search through historic records to try to locate a name. In each episode, the team travels to a different location in Great Britain and set up a mobile lab to do their work. At the conclusion, they present their findings, including facial reconstruction, to the local community.[1]



Series 1 (2010)

No. Title Original air date
1"Ipswich Man"6 May 2010 (2010-05-06)
Series premiere. The team investigate the remains of a 13th-century African man found in a grave in Ipswich.[2]
2"Mummified Child"13 May 2010 (2010-05-13)
A 19th-century mummified child, used as an anatomical model, is examined.
3"Stirling Man"20 May 2010 (2010-05-20)
The team search for the identity of a 14th-century man given a knight's burial at Stirling Castle.[3]
4"Crossbones Girl"27 May 2010 (2010-05-27)
The team seek to put a name and face to a 19th-century female found in a pauper's grave in Cross Bones, London.

Season 2 (2011)

No. Title Original air date
5"The Skeletons of Windy Pits"30 June 2011 (2011-06-30)
The team investigate 2,000-year-old remains found in the Ryedale Windypits.[4]
6"The York 113"7 July 2011 (2011-07-07)
The skeletons of 113 men are found in a mass grave in found outside the walls of York. The team search for ties to the Siege of York, and investigate two skeletons that both show rare genetic abnormalities.[5]
7"The Bodies in the Well"14 July 2011 (2011-07-14)
The team investigate the remains of 17 people, including 11 children, pulled from a well in Norwich. DNA analysis shows they may all be from a single family that suffered a horrific fate.[6]
8"The Woman and Three Babies"21 July 2011 (2011-07-21)
The team investigate the puzzling case of a woman from the time of the Roman occupation of Britain, oddly buried with three babies, unearthed in Baldock in 1989.[7]

See also


  1. Clydesdale, Lindsay (5 May 2010). "Forensic scientist Sue Black puts her skills to use solving historical cold cases". Daily Record. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  2. Merrick, Hollie-Rae (5 May 2010). "Historic Ipswich skeleton finally identified". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  3. "Stirling Castle knight revealed as English nobleman". BBC News. 21 May 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  4. "Ryedale Windy Pits skeletons were 'sacrificial'". BBC News. 27 June 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  5. "York mass grave skeletons were Civil War soldiers". BBC News. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  6. "Norwich skeletons to be re-buried after 800 years". Eastern Daily Press. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  7. McEvoy, Louise (18 July 2011). "Baldock skeletons to feature on BBC2's History Cold Case". The Comet. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
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