Weights important tool in Viking trade

Much of the trade during the Viking Age was international in nature, leading merchants to depend on the balance weight scale and its weights as an important tool. In Ireland, these weights were often made of small, decorative items, apparently broken off of larger objects, usually from churches or monasteries.

Hobby Lobby president purchases world's oldest Jewish prayer book

“This is the oldest Jewish prayer book known to exist in the world,” said Steven Green, the president of the retail chain Hobby Lobby, on the purchase of a 9th century parchment manuscript. Green, a collector of religious artifacts, plans to donate the book, along with his collection to the new Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.

Roman Child's Lead Coffin Unearthed

Dating to about the third century CE, a small lead coffin was recently unearthed in Leicestershire, England. It is presumed to be a Christian burial due to its east-west orientation and is less than a meter long. (photo, video)

Quivers and Quarrels: Fall issue

The Nostalgia Fall Edition of Quivers & Quarrels -- wherein we explore the origins and evolution of combat and target archery in the SCA, from the first garden stake arrows and Freon can helms to the exciting game we play today -- is now available online in the SCA's e-newsletter site.

Were headless skeletons slaves of Vikings?

In the 1980s, a number of graves were discovered on an island in the Norwegian Sea, some without their heads. New research may show that the headless burials were slaves to their dead Viking masters.

SCAdians gather in Dunn Meadow

The sound of rattan against steel competed with harp music as members of Mynydd Seren, the Indiana University Chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism, displayed their skills in Dunn Meadow. Alec Priester of the Indiana Daily Student has the story. (photo)

Stonehenge's "Avenue" discovered

Archaeologists have long known of the existence of the "Avenue," an ancient pathway leading to Stonehenge, but a modern road had obscured it. Now workers dismantling the A344 have found two ditches believed to be remnants of the original approach.

Roman chainmail found in Harzhorn

German archaeologists are excited by the discovery of well-preserved Roman chainmail during excavations near Kalefeld in the Northeim district north of Göttingen, the first such armor recovered from a Roman-Germanic battlefield. (photo)

History from Below

In an article posted on ManyHeadedMonster website, Chris Briggs, Lecturer in Medieval British Social and Economic History at the University of Cambridge, discusses the possessions of the peasantry of England and Europe during the later middle ages (1200-1500). The Future of History from Below is the 16th piece in an online symposium.

Ariella of Thornbury offered Knighthood in AEthelmearc

Master Broom reports that Baroness Ariella of Thornbury has been offered elevation to the Order of the Chivalry. The writ was delivered by Their Majesties Timothy and Gabrielle of the Kingdom of AEthelmearc at Their Crown Tournament.

Tracking the sea beasties

Modern maps rarely include wondrous sea monsters in their depictions of bodies of water. Author Chet Van Duzer laments this fact in his new book Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps. Tanya Lewis of LiveScience has a review.

Tudor tombs re-created by historians and scientists

Archival experts are teaming up with scientists to re-create two Tudor monuments using a combination of cutting-edge technology and document research. The two tombs, both victims of Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, are those of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk and Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, illegimate son of Henry VIII. (photo)

Heather Dale takes Texas

Canadian folk singer and songwriter Heather Dale lives a long way from Texas, but she traveled south recently to perform at Copperas Cove Public Library. Cove Herald reporter Erik Papke spoke with Heather's fans who gathered for the performance.

Lincoln Castle excavations yield interesting finds

Construction of a new museum to house a copy of the Magna Carta at Lincoln Castle in England has halted after the discovery of the remains of a church, human skeletons and other artifacts. Among the finds was a sarcophagus, believed to contains the bones of "somebody terribly important." (photos)

Two offered peerages at An Tir July 2013 Coronation

THL Finn Grim, Court Reporter, reports that, at Their July 2013 Coronation, Their Majesties Ieuan and Gwyneth of the Kingdom of An Tir offered elevation to the Peerage to two of Their subjects.

Tindal and Etain new AEthelmearc Heirs

Edward and Anastasie report that Sir Magnus Tindal was the victor of the October 12, 2013 Crown Tournament in the Kingdom of AEthelmearc. His Highness was inspired in His endeavor by Lady Etain ingen Dalaig.

"The greatest hall under heaven" unearthed in Denmark

Much of the action in the epic poem Beowulf takes place in the great hall. Now archaeologists in Denmark believe they have discovered the great royal feasting hall described in the poem as "the greatest hall under heaven."

Cameron and Amalie new Heirs to Midrealm Throne

At Their recent Crown Tournament, Their Majesties Cellach and Vukasin of the Middle Kingdom observed the victory of Sergeant Cameron Smyth over all opponents. His Highness was inspired by Lady Amalie.

Siegfried Brandboern new Prince of Ealdormere

Liadin Chu reports that Sir Siegfried Brandboern was the winner of the October 27, 2013 Crown Tournament in the Kingdom of Ealdormere. Sir Siegfried was inspired in his endeavor by Mistress Ragni Dzintara.

"Traditional methods" used to preserve Hadrian's Wall

"Hadrian's Wall is under constant pressure from the weather, from visitors, from livestock and other factors, and we need to work hard to protect and to conserve this icon of world heritage," said Bryan Scott, from the Hadrian's Wall Trust about the recent grant to rebuild parts of the wall.

"Hadrada’s Last Stand" added to CalonSound Project

Johann Steinarsson sings his song Hadrada’s Last Stand as the latest entry in the CalonSound Project.

A Walsingham Pilgrimage

The village of Little Walsingham in North Norfolk was the site for a major pilgrimage during the 14th and 15th centuries. What still exists today of that ancient site? Take a virtual trip back to this shrine. (photos)

Ammunition tells of attack on Mingary Castle

Archaeologists excavating Mingary Castle in west Ardnamurchan, Scotland have recovered a musket ball and canonball in the moat of the castle, speaking of an attack sometime in its past. Mingary is considered to be "the best preserved 13th-century castle in Scotland."

3-D London before the Great Fire

Students and competitors of Crytek's Off the Map contest have developed a game-quality video of London, starting in Pudding Lane, with great detail (photos and video).

Technology traces Roman beads to Egypt

A team of scientists from the Institute of Nuclear Chemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany has analyzed glass beads found in former Rhaetian settlements in Bavaria, and concluded that the beads, dating from the 1st through 4th centuries, must have originated "somewhere near a soda lake like those in Wadi El Natrun in Egypt." (photo)

New scientific techniques to be employed on Rothwell ossuary

Holy Trinity Church in Rothwell, England has a secret: a medieval ossuary lies beneath its floor. Now a team of scientists from the University of Sheffield hopes to learn some of the secrets using the latest scientific technology. (video)

Mystery of the disappearing manor solved

Once upon a time, a medieval manor house graced the countryside of Leicestershire, then it disappeared. Today the land is a sheep pasture, at least until archaeologists reveal what lies beneath the field.

Soil samples help analysize death of Danish child

Analysis of soil samples has revealed the suffering of a 13th century Danish child in the days before his death, according to chemist Kaare Lund Rasmussen from University of Southern Denmark. The 10-13 year-old child from Ribe had been treated with mercury, causing great suffering.

Lindisfarne Gospels turn over a new leaf

It's a time for celebration in Durham, England, as a page is turned in the 1,300-year-old Lindisfarne Gospels. Carefully-regulated, early visitors viewed two pages of the open book: the Canon Tables, but for the remainder of the exhibition, the book will be opened to a portrait of St John the Evangelist. (photo)

BBC's Horrible Histories: "Mary the First" music video

Lighten up your weekend with a bit of historical humor! The BBC presents an amusing (and yet educational) music video of the story of Mary Tudor.