Alan Ereira

Anthropologically engaged historian and film maker

Currently writing GOLD: A HISTORY

About me


Professor of Practice at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David (Athro Ymarfer Prifysgol Cymru Y Drindod Dewi Sant)

Founder/chairman of the Tairona Heritage Trust, working to amplify the voice of the Kogi (Kaggaba) people of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia.

I have worked for many years making historical documentaries, mostly for the BBC, and writing books on history. From 1995 I worked closely with the late Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame) making documentaries and writing.

I now concentrate on writing history and contributing to anthropological works.  I am involved in the UNESCO/BRIDGES initiative to bring perspectives together from humanities, social science and traditional knowledge, to inform research, education and action for global sustainability.
About me

Contact


  • For my agent, please contact philippa@davidgodwinassociates.co.uk

BOOKS


The Nine Lives of John Ogilby: Britain's Master Mapmaker and His Secrets

The Nine Lives of John Ogilby: Britain's Master Mapmaker and His Secrets

The story of a remarkable man, and of a covert journey which gave birth to the modern world. "A fascinating book", The Times. "An astonishing life-story" The Financial Times (Duckworth)

The Elder Brothers' Warning

The Elder Brothers' Warning

The story of my first encounter with the hidden world of the Kogi and their warning of what will happen if we do not stop plundering the world. (Tairona Heritage Trust)

The Invergordon Mutiny: A Narrative History of the Last Great Mutiny in the Royal Navy and How It Forced Britain off the Gold Standard in 1931

The Invergordon Mutiny: A Narrative History of the Last Great Mutiny in the Royal Navy and How It Forced Britain off the Gold Standard in 1931

In September 1931 the Royal Navy experienced its biggest modern mutiny. This is the first detailed account. Based on the testimony of the lower deck (as well as secret agents) it reveals the Government's plans to sink its own fleet. (Routledge)

The People's England

The People's England

Tracing the reality of "working class" experience through the lives and opinions of labourers, servants, soldiers, factory workers, seamen, immigrants, shopkeepers and miners, exploring the relationship between work and identity. (Routledge Kegan Paul)

CRUSADES

CRUSADES

The best-selling book of the TV series, which reveals the Crusades through Arab as well as European eyes. (Penguin, BBC Books)

BARBARIANS

BARBARIANS

The book of the TV series. A completely fresh approach to Roman history, it uncovers the impressive cultural and technological achievements of the Celts, Goths, Persians and Vandals. Doing away with the propaganda, it reveals the Romans from a non-Roman perspective (BBC Books)

TV SERIES


ARMADA

ARMADA

A trilogy on BBC2 which won the Royal Television Society award for Best Documentary Series. I wrote, produced, directed and narrated.

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Land of the Eagle

Land of the Eagle

I wote and narrated this 8-hour series for BBC and PBS. It was awarded Best Script at the Telluride Film Festival and ran for the whole of one Thanksgiving, notching up 26 million views

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CRUSADES

CRUSADES

A four-part award-winning series produced and directed with David Wallace, in which Terry Jones explored the first four crusades

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It Ain't Necessarily So

It Ain't Necessarily So

John McCarthy, an Islamic Jihad hostage for five years, investigates the historical truth about ancient Israel. 6 x 30 minute films written and directed for ITV, produced by Ray Bruce at CTVC.

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Kings and Queens of England

Kings and Queens of England

Six programmes which I wrote and presented on UKTV History. I am now assisting its development as a course at Moscow University Philology School

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Terry Jones' Great Map Mystery

Terry Jones' Great Map Mystery

Terry explores Wales using the first map showing roads and discovers that it conceals the information for a Royal coup. Written and directed for BBC Wales

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WARHORSE

WARHORSE

Four films on the History Channel tracing the history of how a prey animal became a weapon and the status symbol of societies based on war

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Single films


Son of a Gun, or how Sam Colt changed America:

The revolver created the image of the rugged, self-sufficient Westerner but he was umbilically tied to the new urban factory. The "Wild West" only lasted 15 years, but the cultural effect of its iconic weapon would remake American identity. I wrote, directed and narrated for the BBC and Sony Home Video

watch
Son of a Gun, or how Sam Colt changed America

Before Columbus:BBC Timewatch

Following the 19th century reports of "Welsh speaking Indians" in North Dakota, this follows the legend of a Welsh prince to the Mandan of North Dakota, who send an investigator to Anglesey.

View film
Before Columbus

Evidence of Vikings: BBC Timewatch:

Were the Vikings bloothirsty savages, or was that propaganda. And was the fiercest saga warrior simply driven mad by bone deformations?

Watch film
Evidence of Vikings: BBC Timewatch

Lords of the Maya:BBC Timewatch

The excavation of a burial inside a Mayan pyramid reveals the life and death of their cities

See the film
Lords of the Maya

The Terror:

Celebrating the bi-centenial of the French Revolution, this BBC film looks at why the revolutionaries did not end slavery until Robespierre insisted.

Watch film
The Terror

Ireland's Opportunity:

One of two films I made for the BBC for the bi-centenary of the French Revolution. The IRA was its longest surviving revolutionary movement

Watch film
Ireland's Opportunity

And God Blew:

My first venture with Terry Jones, in which he examines great historical events blown totally off course by dramatic weather events, and with the help of leading historians unveils the purpose of the hidden hand.

See film
And God Blew

Drake's Last Voyage: BBC Timewatch:

Why did Francis Drake'e final voyage lead to disaster? The film uncovers new evidence of the reason for a tragic end

See the film
Drake's Last Voyage: BBC Timewatch

Form the Heart of the World: The Elder Brothers' Warning:

The documentary in which the Kogi appeared from their mountain to give their memorable wake-up call to industrial civilization

Watch film
Form the Heart of the World: The Elder Brothers' Warning

ALUNA:

The Kogi demonstrate the interconnections of the living world in a desperate plea to our reckless industrial civilization to recognise the foundations of life.

See film
ALUNA

GLADIATORS: The Brutal Truth:

Terry Jones makes a practical investigation of the role of gladiatorial combat in Roman culture, and discovers why the "barbarians" put a stop to it,

Watch now
GLADIATORS: The Brutal Truth

The Story of One:

The journey from the number one to the number zero, and beyond. Devised for BBC1 by the team behind "Walking with Dinosaurs" and presented by Terry Jones, I was the historical advisor and co-writer.

Watch video
The Story of One

The Surprising History of Sex and Love:

Presented by Terry Jones. Originally a 90 minute commission from Discovery Channel US. They dropped it with horror when they saw the rough-cut. The problem was not sexual content but the evidence that the Israelites worshipped a goddess. It was shown in this shorter version by Discovery UK, and won the Royal Television Society Southern Region award. Terry believed it was his best documentary.

Watch film
The Surprising History of Sex and Love

Chapters and Articles


'Finding Sea Level: The concept of harmony in the culture of the Kággaba (Kogi) people of Colombia' in Campion, N., The Harmony Debates: Exploring a Practical Philosophy for a Sustainable Future, Sophia Centre Press, 2020

'The Black Line of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta; a Red Line for a mountain' in Gunzburg, D. and Brady, B., Space, Place and Religious Landscapes: Living Mountains, Bloomsbury, 2020

'Alone in the Ruins'History Today, September 2, 2016

'The Law of Sé: Linking the Spiritual and Material', translation and commentary of speech by Gil, R., in B.T, Hoffman, Art and cultural heritage: law, policy and practice,   Cambridge University Press, 2006

'The making of the Heart of the World: representation and the Kogi', Public Archaeology, Jan 1, 2005

''Lessons from History', History Today v.54 (7), 2004

'The Voyages of H1'. The Mariner's Mirror, 2001

 'Back to the Heart of Lightness' The Ecologist, Jan 1, 2001

'Longitude: The Hidden Evidence' , History Today, Jan 1, 2000

FORTHCOMING:

Ereira, A. and D. Mukhortov, Kings and Queens of England Come to the Russian Classroom, Editorial URSS, Moscow

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Education broadcasts


Education broadcasts

From 1965 until 1985 I produced weekly history series for BBC Schools Radio and BBC Schools TV for pupils aged 11 to 16. In this time I directed over 200 programmes on radio and TV, both drama and documentary, working with, and learning from, many remarkable actors and writers. In 1978 The Battle of the Somme, which I wrote, produced and narrated, was awarded the bi-annual Japan Prize for
Best Educational Radio Programme.

The programme was about the first day of the battle. The men who took part in the recording were Prussian infantrymen from the German 2nd Army and Yorkshiremen from the Bradford Pals (16/18 West Yorkshire Regiment), the regiment with most casualties. Its power came from the feeling that they had been waiting to speak. When I tried to contact them to let them know of the award, every one of them had died.

"But it turned out all right in the end, didn't it?"  (Final words, from one of the Bradford Pals)