Archive - Dec 2012 - Story

New timeline for Stonehenge proposed

Archaeologist Timothy Darvill, of Bournemouth University in England, believes previous studies of the timeline for Stonehenge have it backwards. His new theory was published in the December issue of the journal Antiquity.

Falkirk historian to team with Historic Scotland to promote Antonine Wall

In 2008, the Antonine Wall, which runs between the firths of the Forth and Clyde in Scotland, was added to UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. Now Historic Scotland hopes to team with citizens from the Falkirk district to promote the area as a tourist destination.

December 30th

Next Baron of Jararvellir announced

Their Majesties King Yngvar and Queen Luce of the Kingdom of Northshield have announced the name of the next Baron of Jararvellir: HL Robert the Stout.

Amanda de Spencer made Pelican in Artemisia

At Their Kingdom Collegium in the Barony of Loch Salann, Their Majesties Timmur and Saige of the Kingdom of Artemisia offered elevation to the Order of the Pelican to Amanda de Spencer.

New Year magic in the Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, the period after Christmas was a time for looking ahead to the new year. Practices included superstitions and methods to predict weather for the coming year. The clergy accepted some of the age-old rituals, but were loathe to allow others. A recent article for Phys.org looks at Christmas Day fortune telling.

December 29th

Stephen D. Winick's mummer's primer

Savor the holiday season with Huffington Post folklorist and columnist Stephen D. Winick who describes the history of mumming and his participation in the centuries-old tradition in a recent article. (photos)

"World's biggest shipwreck collection" revealed under Bosphorus

Since 2006, construction workers in Istanbul have worked along with archaeologists to uncover layer after layer of Byzantine history buried beneath the city and the Bosphorus Strait. Now the transit and tunnel project has revealed the "world's biggest shipwreck collection ever found."

December 28th

Silver hoard linked to Kett's Rebellion

A small hoard of silver found in 2011 by metal detector enthusiasts Steven Clarkson and Mark Turner has been linked to Kett's Rebellion, the 1549 uprising against "rich robber barons who had stolen the common land, leaving the peasants to starve." (photo)

Remains of celebrated de' Medici condottieri exhumed

Gino Fornaciari, professor of forensic anthropology and director of the pathology Museum at the University of Pisa, leads a team of scientists who recently exhumed the body of Giovanni de' Medici, considered one of the greatest warriors of the age. The team plans to study the body to better understand Renaissance surgery.

December 27th

Inability to adapt not the cause of demise of the Vikings

One of the theories about the demise of Viking settlers on Greenland was that the Norse were unable to adapt to the island's harsh climate, but Danish and Canadian researchers believe that was not the cause.

Roman cemetery discovered in Somerset

Construction workers laying a four-mile (7km) long water main between Banwell and Hutton, England uncovered a Roman cemetery. Experts believe the cemetery was associated with a nearby Roman villa.

December 26th

Scots celebrate rediscovery of David's Tower

For centuries, the 100 ft. (30.5 metre) tall David's Tower dominated the skyline of Edinburgh, Scotland until it was destroyed during the Lang Siege of 1573. Long forgotten, the demolished tower was rediscovered in 1912 and feted today, 100 years later. (video)

December 25th

Scone Palace archway restored

In September 2010, the historic, 16th-century arch leading to the grounds of Scone Palace in Scotland was destroyed when a delivery truck misjudged the size of the arch's opening. Now, after two years, the arch has been restored. (video)

The complexity of identifying Richard III

Archaeologists, historians and royalists are waiting with bated breath for the determination of the identity of a skeleton found in Leicester, England. The skeleton is believed to be that of King Richard III, but they may have a long wait for the test results.

December 24th

The elite archers of the Mary Rose

Scientists from the University of Swansea have concluded that among those lost with the sinking of the Mary Rose, King Henry VIII's flagship, in 1545, were elite longbowmen. The conclusion was made after the study of over 100 skeletons found on the remains of the ship.

Bayeux Tapestry professionally made, claims expert

New research debunks the theory that the Bayeux Tapestry was woven by nuns across England, and shows that the cherished artifact was not a tapestry at all but an embroidery created by a team of professionals under one manager.

December 23rd

Town and Gown unite for East Oxford Community Project

Oxford University and members of the community have joined forces to excavate and document a medieval nunnery at Minchery Farm Paddock near Oxford. Littlemore Priory, a nunnery established in around 1110 was closed by Cardinal Wolsey in 1525.

Mosaic floors highlight Byzantine excavations in Turkey

“During these excavations, we found the ruins of a church and mosaics that are believed to date from the late Roman and Byzantine periods,” said Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Abdullah Kılıç about recent excavations in Isparta, Turkey. (photo)

December 22nd

Norse myth courtesy of Snorri Sturluson

Much of the Norse mythology we recognize today comes courtesy of the writing of 13th century Icelandic chieftain Snorri Sturluson. Nancy Marie Brown takes a look at Snorri on her blog God of Wednesday.

Concert based on Hawick Missal presented in Scotland

For the first time in nearly five centuries, the people of Scotland will listen to the music of 12th-century century monks from the recently discovered fragment of a missal for Holy Week. The performance will kick off a two-year music and arts project celebrating the creativity of Scotland. (photo)

December 21st

What made Rome great?

Evan Andrews of the History Channel online discusses the innovations that made Rome great in his article 10 Innovations That Built Ancient Rome.

December 20th

Adopt a spire in Milan

Philantropists around the world have been invited to "adopt" a spire of the 14th century cathedral in Milan, Italy. For the gift of 100,000 euros (UK£80,000), donors will receive the right to have their names inscribed on one of the church's 135 spires.

Ancient Japanese warrior found still wearing his armor

A skeleton of a man wearing metal armor has been found in Gunma, Japan. The armor dates to the early 6th century and is very well preserved.

December 19th

Henry VIII's Crown - An Update

A  new 11-minute video from Hampton Court Palaces provides details of the behind-the-scenes construction of the replica crown worn by Henry VIII.

Additional pieces added to the Stafforshire Hoard

Archaeologists have returned to the field where the Staffordshire Hoard was found to look for more pieces. Several gold pieces fit in with items already identified.

St. Ursula pilgrim badge donated to Museum of Lancashire

Metal detector enthusiast Paul King was thrilled while trying out new equipment to discover a silver pilgrim badge depicting one of the companions of St. Ursula. Now he will see his find on display at the Museum of Lancashire in Preston. (photo)

December 18th

Cards fit for a king - or princess

A complete set of silver playng cards, created in Germany in 1616, was acquired through auction in 2010 by entrepreneur Selim Zilkha. Legend tells that the set was owned by a Portuguese princess who fled Napoleon in 1807. (photos)

University of Exeter app to bring Anglo-Saxon poetry to smart devices

Like Anglo Saxon poetry? The University of Exeter will soon have an app for that! An article for Phys.org writes, "The University of Exeter's Modern Languages department is working in collaboration with Antenna International to create the App which will reveal the secrets of medieval literature to a new audience."

December 17th

Should Viking loot be returned?

Scandinavian museums proudly display artifacts plundered throughout Europe by the Vikings, but now some museum curators ask if these stolen treasures should be returned to their original countries.

Three elevated to Pelican at Adamastor's Yule

Her Majesty Aryanhwy, Queen of Drachenwald, reports that She has offered elevation to the Order of the Pelican to three of Her subjects. The announcements were made at Adamastor's Yule.