Sir Kenneth Branagh wins awards with "Scottish play"

Kenneth Branagh, who has stirred audiences with his portrayals of such diverse characters as Henry V and Gilderoy Lockhart, has won over ciritcs in a new version of Shakespeare's Macbeth, which garnered three prizes at the Manchester Theatre Awards.

Vikings invade British Museum

Not since the 11th century have Vikings made such a big splash in England as with the opening of the new BP-sponsored exhibition at the British Museum in London, Vikings: life and legend. The exhibit opened march 6, 2014 and will close June 22. (photos)

Retired professor saves 8th century Indian mint

Manmohan Kumar, a retired professor from Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, India, was concerned about urbanization engulfing historic archaeological sites near Haryana. His pleas motivated a team from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to explore the area, where it unearthed the remains of an 8th century mint. (photos)

Viking mass grave findings generate book and museum exhibition

In 2009, a Dorset County, England road project uncovered the remains of 50 decapitated skeletons, later identified as Viking. Now the mass grave is the subject of a book, Given to the Ground: A Viking Age Mass Grave on Ridgeway Hill by members of the team that subsequently studied the remains. (photos)

Old Nieszawa virtually rebuilt

The original Polish town of Nieszawa, on the Vistula River, only existed for 35 years before it was demolished and rebuilt 32 km upstream, but now it lives again - virtually - thanks to a two-year non-invasive investigation including geophysics and aerial prospection.

The "peaceful conquest" of Roman Britain

Everyone knows that the transition from Roman Britain to Anglo-Saxon England was a brutal time -- everyone but Dr Andrew Millard, from Durham University, whose new study in the Journal of Archaeological Science, shows a more peaceful process. (maps)

Candelabra might be key to medieval Spanish navigation

In 1970, a diver off the coast of Spain found a rare 10th century bronze candelabra. Since then, experts have studied the artifact as verification of a trade routes between Spanish cities and southern France, a topic about which little is known.

Second oldest church "a big surprise"

Archaeologists in Mainz, Germany have discovered the second oldest church and the only surviving Carolingian cathedral in Germany. Within the walls of the city's Church of St John lie the remains of a 9th century structure whose walls "stretch from the basement to the roof."

Ludus on the Danube

For over 100 years, archaeologists have been stydying Roman Carnuntum, on the Danube River near Vienna, but only recently were they aware of the existence of a ludus, or gladiator school, covering 30,138 square feet (2,800 square meters). The new research has been used to construct a 3D model of the site. (photos)

Ancient barley virus carried by Crusaders

A team of British scientists from the University of Warwick has been able to sequence the genome of ancient RNA thanks to the study of ancient barley from Egypt. The fossilized grain contained the Barley Stripe Mosaic Virus, believed to be a modern disease, which may have been transported to Egypt by Crusaders in the Seventh Crusade.

Murder declared in Scotland

An unidentified 20-year-old man has been found murdered in Kirk Ness in East Lothian, Scotland, but the murderer will not likely be found. The victim, fatally stabbed four times in the back, was killed in the 12th or 13th century.

Vikings gather for Ragnarok

How did you spend Ragnarok? If you are British, you might have celebrated at the JORVIK Viking Festival where warriors fought the Norse gods in an epic battle. Festival director Danielle Daglan spoke with NPR's All Thing's Considered about the event. (podcast)

Dark ages less barbaric than Roman, says historian

Dominic Selwood is a lawyer, writer and historian. He is also a blogger on a mission: to take the "dark" out of the Dark Ages. Selwood recently blogged on the subject for The Telegraph with Why the so-called 'Dark Ages' were just as civilised as the savage Roman Empire.

Early Saxon graves unearthed in Cambridgeshire

Archaeologists in the English village of Haddenham have uncovered nine burials dating to the Early Saxon period (6th century CE) in the car park of the Three Kings Pub. The graves, of both men and women, contained a wealth of grave goods including a spear and shield and a beaded necklace. (photos)

From the Laurel King of Arms: Silent Herald Deputy Applications Sought

The Laurel Sovereign of Arms invites interested candidates to apply for the job of Silent Herald Deputy, overseeing the Heralds who translate auditory information for non-hearing attendees at Court.

Christians in Denmark by 9th century

New studies of the Domskirke in Ribe, Denmark show that Christians may have lived in the area 100 years before Denmark officially became a Christian country. Excavations at the site have unearthed over 70 Christian burials dating to the mid-to-late 9th century.

Illegal metal detectorist tears Roman gold from ground in Germany

Investigators in Germany are untangling the case of a metal detectorist who illegally dug up more than EU€1 million worth of Roman gold in a forest in southern Rheinland-Pfalz. The perpetrator may already have sold some of the pieces on the Black Market. (photos)

Ken Theriot Celebrates “Outlaws and Bystanders”

Sir Kenneth MacQuarrie of Tobermory introduces his new album of historical and SCA-focused music, written by himself and his wife, Mistress Adelaide de Beaumont.

Removing hair - not flesh - in the Renaissance

Ladies, no more spending your hard-erned money for salon waxing. Simply follow the renaissance recipe for hair removal: arsenic, cat dung and vinegar. Read the article by Rose Eveleth in Smithsonian.

Next Baron and Baroness of Innilgard announced

Aeschine of Arran, Seneschal of the Barony of Innilgard, reports that Their Majesties Alfar and Angharat of the Kingdom of Lochac have announced the names of the new Baron and Baroness of the Barony of Innilgard.

Count Walrick de Blakeney new Prince of the Outlands

Conrad von Zollern reports that Count Walrick de Blakeney was victorious in the March 8, 2014 Crown Tournament in the Kingdom of the Outlands.

Conor and Isa new Prince and Princess of the West

Baron Khevron reports that Duke Conor Weisszhan was the victor of the March 22, 2014 Crown Tournament in the Kingdom of the West. His Grace was inspired in his endeavor by Duchess Isa von Speyer.

"Oldest graffiti in Scotland" found in Mingary Castle

The builders of Mingary Castle on the Ardnamurchan peninsula in Scotland may have been illiterate, but they left their mark on history through their graffiti. The markings, discovered recently in the castle's chapel, were probably inscribed when the chapel was first built, between 1265 and 1295. (photo)

Anglo-Saxon artifacts discovered near Maidstone

A metal detectorist from Medway History Finders has uncovered a collection of Anglo-Saxon artifacts dating to the 6th century near Maidstone, Kent, England. The hoard, valued at more than UK£40,000, includes silver brooches with red garnets and hairpins. (photos)

Rocket cats?

Proof that gun powder technology captured the imagination of 16th century military minds can be found in a manual written by artillery master Franz Helm of Cologne, Germany who proposed strapping rockets to the backs of cats in order to "set fire to a castle or city which you can't get at otherwise." (photos)

Kolskeggr skialdarbriótr fra Einknnir new Lord of the Mists

Hirsch reports that Kolskeggr skialdarbriótr fra Einknnir was the victor of the April 5, 2014 Coronet Tournament in the Principality of the Mists, Kingdom of the West. His Highness was inspired by Katla von Walravensijde.

Stefan's Florilegium updates for March 2014

THLord Stefan li Rous reports that he has posted updates to Stefan's Florilegium for March 2014.

Position Opening: Laurel Principal Sovereign of Arms

The Board of Directors of the Society for Creative Anachronism are seeking applicants for the position of Laurel Principal Sovereign of Arms.

1,500-year-old Christian church unearthed near Tel Aviv

Construction work for a new neighborhood at Moshav Aluma, 30 miles south of Tel Aviv, has unearthed the foundations of a 6th century Byzantine church. The remains of the basilica and its artifacts discovered include "a cistern, a pottery workshop, cooking implements, oil lamps and central halls with a pair of side aisles divided by marble pillars."

Medieval superpowers of the Swahili Coast

Great civilizations of the Middle Ages were not located solely in Europe or Asia. Some of the world superpowers grew up along the coasts of Africa. In a feature article for i09, Annalee Newitz takes a look Songo Mnara, a city that thrived from the 10th to 15th centuries. (photos)