Monty Python Wiki

Archaeology Today is a sketch that appears in "Archaeology Today," the twenty-first episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus.


After the opening titles, an Archaeology Today interviewer (Michael Palin) introduces Professor Lucien Kastner of Oslo University (Terry Jones). He asks him how tall he is and Kastner looks at him in confusion and says about 5 foot 10. The interviewer moves on to the other man but asks Professor Kastner in curiosity if he's really 5 foot 10, as he looks much shorter to him.

He turns to the other interviewee, an expert in Egyptian tomb paintings Sir Robert Eversley (John Cleese). He says "you must be over 6 foot, isn't that right?" and Sir Robert uncomfortably says yes. The interviewer excitedly announces he is 6 foot 5 and that he is much much different to Professor Kastner. Sir Robert points out that they are here to discuss archaeology and the interviewer congratulates him for saying that, unlike the 5 foot 10 Kastner.

Sir Robert presents his findings in excavation at El Ara but is constantly interrupted by the interviewer asking questions about people's heights. The interviewer gushes over 8 foot tall Watutsi tribes and when challenged by Sir Robert, grabs Sir Robert's vase and throws it to the ground. Professor Kastner angrily tells the interviewer how he wants to say something, because he's come all the way from Oslo and had more woman than both of them, even if he is 5 foot 10. He lies on the floor crying and Sir Robert rebukes the interviewer and punches him. The interviewer swears revenge on him for doing that.

Flaming Star[]

The interviewer and Sir Robert fight

A title card for a dramatic western Flaming Star appears. In 1920 Egypt, a team of archaeologists are digging. Sir Robert's assistant, Danielle (Carol Cleveland) narrates how well the dig was going. Sir Robert breaks into song, singing about how beautiful the day is.

Suddenly, the music stops and the camera turns to the interviewer standing on the bank of the trench and challenges him. Sir Robert reminds him he is 6 foot 5 and the interviewer calls Kastner, who now grovels and kisses up to the interviewer. Kastner jumps onto his shoulders, and squeals with glee at how tall he now feels. Sir Robert, attacked, comments how they are 11 foot 3 and calls Danielle to jump onto his shoulders and the interviewer grudgingly comments how they are 11 foot 6. The interviewer calls Abdul to jump onto Kastner's shoulders, which makes them 15 foot 4. Sir Robert calls Mustapha, which makes them 19 foot 3.

The two towers of people stagger towards each other and start attacking each other, eventually toppling over. The two teams start fighting the rest of the crew, breaking precious artefacts in the process.

The interviewer, surrounded by dead bodies, concludes this edition of Archaeology Today.