History Cold Case

History Cold CaseHistory series which sees skeletons of everyday people from across the ages analyzed in staggering detail, opening new windows on the history of our forebears by literally revealing the person behind the skeleton.

The fascinating work of world-renowned Professor Sue Black OBE and her team at the Center for Human Anatomy and Identification at the University of Dundee comes under the spotlight as the team works on answering three big questions from the skeleton.

Who were they? Why did they die? What does their life story tell us that we didn't know before? Using the full arsenal of modern forensic anthropology, remarkable stories emerge from long forgotten bones, along with the faces of people who haven't been seen for hundreds of years.

Ipswich Man. An apparently African skeleton, unearthed near a medieval English monastery, pushes Professor Sue Black's forensics team to its limits.

Mummified Child. This time the team heads back into a dark corner of the 19th century, to a time when corpses were turned into trophies and children were sold by the inch.

Stirling Man. Mysterious skeleton discovered by accident in a series of forgotten rooms in Scotland's Stirling Castle.

Crossbones Girl. A skeleton unearthed in an archaeological dig in the historic borough of Southwark in London sparks a new cold case when it is found to be covered with disfiguring scars.

The Skeletons of Windy Pits. For decades experts have remained baffled by a jumble of human bones discovered in a unique series of caves on the North York Moors, known as the Windypits.

The York 113. In 2008, construction workers just beyond York's city walls uncovered 113 bodies in a mass grave.

The Bodies in the Well. When the remains of 17 people - men, women and 11 children, one as young as two years old - were discovered in a dry well shaft in Norwich city centre, the local community were keen for answers about who these people were and what happened to them.

The Woman and Three Babies. In the sleepy commuter town of Baldock in Hertfordshire the History Cold Case team is called in to investigate the discovery of a skeleton dating from around 100AD, buried in a bizarre position, along with the remains of three babies.

Watch the full documentary now (playlist - 7 hours, 52 minutes)

Ratings: 8.07/10 from 27 users.

More great documentaries

31 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Andreas Luneborg

    Sweet production.

  2. knowledgeizpower

    I guess I will start on this series then it has one good review lol...Sure has been alot of posting of playlists of docs that has multiple hours of viewing Lol :D whoosh keeping us busy I guess..I have to space out my viewing time...Okay any how this looks like it might be pretty good science mystery...Peace :)

  3. Pastori Paholainen

    Awesome series.

  4. panthera

    great series.

  5. Guest

    This is an amazing series - I really hope they make more. It is fascinating, profound, and a great way to add to learn a little more history.

  6. Cory Warren

    I've been on this site for months and this was the first doc series that made me cry. When I saw the faces of the bodies from the well it made me very, very sad.

  7. bohista1

    Truly one of the best documentaries I've seen to date. When I read the description, I thought "oh this sounds interesting" but interesting doesn't even come close to describing it. Fascinating, emotional, educating - the list goes on. If you haven't seen it, watch it for sure. You won't be sorry you've spent time doing so. I would love to see more and was very disappointed when it ended.

  8. His Forever

    Oh! So many bodies and so little time! I wish I had gone into forensics, actually. I just love this stuff.

    Thanks, Vlatko!


    Ipswich Man: 10+

    Mummified Child: 9+

    Stirling Man: 9

    Crossbones Girl: 10+

    The Skeletons of Windy Pits: 8.5

    The York 113: 10

    The Bodies in the Well: 10+

    The Woman and Three Babies: 11 (the best)

  9. Guest

    Like the subjects but there is just so much padding that I ended up skipping through. They don't do the reveal properly either, I kept guessing and spoiling the end for myself. Having said all that, I still kinda liked it.

  10. Matthew Dempsey

    as forensic science student I ******* love these! thx for the upload

  11. Amy Sturms

    My father was a coworker and close friend of Professor Black's, and for his retirement gift she had her team scan his head for a bust, ostensibly to study reconstruction of a person with facial hair, and then presented him with the completed bust. It shows his head, one half as he looked in life, and the other as his face would have looked with skin removed (my father taught anatomy). It is a beautiful tribute. I'm so happy to find this documentary, and be able to see some of the other amazing work her team has done.

  12. Sieben Stern

    I had low expectations for the IRL CSI - but I'm really enjoying it ^^

  13. knowledgeizpower

    After watching this series..It actually was pretty good I can see why it has some many good reviews...Peace

  14. His Forever

    Iz: The little boy looked so much like my own son, it was heart-wrenching! I'm so glad we live in a better time.

  15. Earthwinger

    Moody blue lighting in cool looking laboratories, a la CSI ?
    Husky voice-over ?
    Sweeping panoramic shots that quickly zoom in then slow down ?
    Transparent writing boards, and short depth of field shots with x-rays ?

    Serious case of style over content, but hey....they have to pad it out for an hour, and eye candy helps with that. :D

  16. knowledgeizpower

    Really C@N aww....yeah that episode was a difficult one to watch..But you would be surprised what wickedness happens to some children in this day and age though seriously...I agree with you very heart wrenching...Peace To You :)

  17. Guest

    And how many times did they take one last look at the bones and discovered something they missed. Please.

  18. orewatt

    interesting but the presenter is boringly condesending!

  19. His Forever

    That was a fantastic series! I wish we could find more episodes. It's like ending a beloved novel--glad you read it, but sad that it's over.

  20. siamease

    This is interesting but incredibly repetitive - fluctuating from foreshadowing to repeating & back - I fell dead asleep at 28 minutes. My guess is that it could have been a good 15-20 minute documentary.

  21. Damariz Hidalgo

    Glad I took anth and fully understand everthing here. Forget sleep...

  22. His Forever

    Siamease: You simply have no taste for the dramatic! Kept me on the edge of my seat with every episode--including backing it up occasionally to hear a particular piece of evidence sometimes two or three times if I missed something. Wish I could do what they do!

  23. Aubrey Mumbi

    Perfect production i really enjoyed, produce more episodes

  24. Jane Haydon

    I started with the Baldock one as it is my maiden name and I have been there. Thankyou for these, will watch them all in time as I usually save some for the nights when I cannot find anything to suit and I have (BEST THING I DID) chucked the TV and it's been way worth it for 5 years now. Your site helps me from straying back due to the "aw you poor thing" style badgering from tv addicts! Ta very much......

  25. CherryBombpop

    I was fascinated by every minute of this series and watched the whole thing over 2 days - ad still didn't want it to end. If you are interested in anthropology, archaeology, history, or forensics, this one is for you.

  26. Matt Kukowski

    The production of this doc is freakin cool enough to make a doc about Drying Paint (in real time) amazingly interesting!

  27. Linnea Johnson

    I simply love the middle ages and history, period! This series is simply awesome! One of a kind. Thanks so much for this treat!

  28. Ashleigh Gionet

    I wonder if they really buried that little boy. I doubt it, its too much of a scientific marvel!
    They played with it, examined it, wondered at it, then just simply buried it?!
    That's selfish and unscientific.. yes yes I know he was a human but his soul is long gone and he's been mummified for over 200 years! Why destroy such a piece of history?

  29. Ch H

    A really nice series. I didn't find it overly repetitive, considering that it was probably formatted to run on TV with breaks, requiring a quick recap after each one.

    The investigators were engaging, and I learned a lot of on-the-ground history, as well as forensic medicine. The use of archive records was impressive, and the hands-on visits to museum experts were fascinating. Top scores there for the mummified child.

    I question one episode---the bodies in the well---for being unrealistically wide-eyed and innocent. Unfortunately, I had no trouble predicting the most likely scenario for 17 men, women, and children being pitched into a well in thirteenth-century England.

    However, this series is premised on spelling out the steps with as few presuppositions as possible, and if the solution of that case is new knowledge for a lot of viewers (as it seemed to be for the townspeople), that's all to the good.

  30. Sudsy Susie Brownn

    i really like this show hope they do more episodes, wondering why they were surprised on the theory that the man buried above the woman and babies ...to me it would be more logical to assume he was related to the others buried beneath him. rather then him being a stranger.

  31. olga usa

    Amassing, took my breath away. Professionalism, knowledge and love of history gave us such an amassing series

Leave a comment / review: