At which point, alarm bells should start faintly ringing. Hancock may be a very long way from being a nutcase, but he has ticked off most of the elements on the nutcase's itinerary. Footage of modern- day "druids" celebrating some solstice or other didn't do him any favours. "I don't think today's Druids can provide the hard evidence I'm looking for," he said, which is putting it mildly.
He noticed how the motif of the plumed serpent arises in Ancient Egyptian, Olmec and Mayan art. (The Egyptian plumed serpent looks more like a plumed newt to me, but we'll let that pass.) So they must have a common root, yes? Well, maybe. The Mayans may have built temples which were able to predict a solar eclipse in 1991 (he doesn't say how), but these temples also predict the end of the world on 23 December, 2012. The Mayans thought they could stave this off by taking a bloke up to the top of a pyramid, slicing open his chest with a flint knife and waving the still-beating heart around. I have always wondered why New Agers, happy to pick 'n' mix with ancient beliefs, have never openly recommended ritual human sacrifice. I can think of dozens of good candidates right now.
Anyway, next week he'll deal with his big discovery: the sunken pyramid off the coast of Japan, on ground last above sea-level 10,000 years ago. And the Easter Island statues. I wondered when he'd get round to them.
In the distant future, anthropologists will posit a connection between Ancient Egypt and Andrew Lloyd Webber, because both of them had a thing about cats. Omnibus (BBC1) took an entertaining look at the hold cats have on our imagination. "A cat makes you think," said Hemingway, who couldn't write without one in the room. "The visible soul of the home," said Jean Cocteau. "Cat lovers are f...ing loopy," said my wife. But at home, not on the telly.
The programme was tough enough to remind us that it is quite all right to visit appalling violence on cats in cartoons, but never on dogs. Add to that the link between cats and female sexuality (Eartha Kitt is not called Eartha Pupp, and Emma Peel didn't dress up in a dogsuit), and you have a sinister mixture. Marianne Faithfull is a cat lover; and it was clever of the makers to end with her singing "I'll be your mirror", which, in the end is what cats really are for us. I wonder what LIoyd Webber's cat looks like.
Thomas Sutcliffe is away
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars
TVNetflix gets cryptic
TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth
Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
- 3 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 4 Lana Del Rey rape video: Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage
- 5 Winnie the Pooh banned from Polish playground for being 'inappropriate hermaphrodite'
Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
Downton Abbey season 5 episode 6 - review: Thomas and Lady Edith show sad signs of the times
Angelina Jolie confirms retirement from acting: 'I've never been comfortable on-screen'
Lana Del Rey rape video: Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'