701 CE to 800 CE

What's correct? Ax Chaucer

African-American dialect has often been criticized for the use of words such as "ax" instead if "ask," but critics may want to check their Chaucer, who used "ax" in his writing. Shereen Marisol Meraji of All Things Considered has the audio story.

Rare Celtic "pillow stone" discovered in North Devon

In 2012, 15-year-old Jack Lawrence discovered an odd stone in the rubble from a wall once part of Shutes Cottage in West Down, England. The stone bears the inscription "Guerngen" and is believed to have been a "pillow stone," placed at the head of a grave.

"How we have heard of the might of the kings"

The Old English poem Beowulf has been the subject of many translations over the centuries, especially the first word hwæt. Now Dr George Walkden, a University of Manchester lecturer, believes he knows what the poem's first line really says.

Cross fragment leads to search for Anglo Saxon village

The discovery of part of a stone cross, dating to Anglo Saxon times, has excited archaeologists from Altogether Archaeology excavating St Botolph’s field in Frosterley in Weardale, England. “This is not the kind of thing that happens every day," said Paul Frodsham, historic environment officer at the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership.

"Rare, multifunctional oven" found in England

"It's almost certainly a rare, multifunctional oven, with a shelf like a pizza oven for bread, and you could have finished off the malting process for barley and dried grain," said Dr John Jolleys about the discovery of a 1,300-year-old Anglo-Saxon oven in Sedgeford, England. (photo)

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)

Illumination meets graffiti to celebrate the Lindisfarne Gospels

Dutch graffiti artist Niels Meulman, AKA Shoe, is no stranger to medieval manuscripts, having been inspired by such works as the Irish Gaelic poem Pangur Bán, so it isn't surprising that he has been chosen to help celebrate the return of the Lindisfarne Gospels to the north of England as part of an exhibition.

"Spectacular" Viking jewelry puzzles experts

Archaeologists working with volunteers have discovered several spectacular pieces of Viking-made jewelry on a farm in Zealand, the largest island in Denmark. The finds include a "heart-shaped animal head with rounded ears and circular eyes," and a "central wheel cross in relief, with inlaid gold pressed into a waffle form." (photo)

Viking Shield: Viking Age replicas and gifts.

Viking Shield specializes in all your Viking needs. They offer a full range of weapons, clothing, armor, jewellry, games, feasting gear, and art.

Vikings "stole by the armload"

Sometimes Vikings are just Vikings. Studies of jewelry created by Viking artists show that objects gold and jewels used in the objects originated in the churches and monasteries of Ireland. Now Dr Griffin Murray of the Department of Archaeology at UCC asks that Irish loot be returned - in the form of a temporary exhibition.

The tug-of-war over the Lindisfarne Gospels

The Lindisfarne Gospels are a British national treasure and should be part of the national collection, says the British Library. The Lindisfarne Gospels were written in the North and dedicated to St Cuthbert. They belong in Durham, says the Northumbrian Association. Who will win?

Double Viking ship burial discovered in Estonia

A team of workers laying electrical cable through the village of Salme on the island of Saaremaa in Estonia were stunned to stumble across a early Viking era ship burial containing the remains of warriors and their possessions. More extraordinary was the discovery of a second, larger ship a mere 30m (98ft) from the other.

Lindisfarne Gospels on display in Durham

Until September 30, 2013, the Lindisfarne Gospels book will be on display in Durham University's Palace Green Library as the centerpiece of  an exhibition of artifacts from Anglo-Saxon England. In conjunction with the exhibit will be performances and family activities.

Archaeologists seek lost Pictish kingdom

A team of archaeologists from Aberdeen are looking for a lost kingdom -- not in some exotic country, but in their own backyard. The experts are seeking Fortriu, "one of the most powerful Kingdoms of the 'painted people,'” now believed to have been located in the Moray Firth area.

Scientists find that same bacterium caused Justinianic plague and Black Plague

In 2011, DNA evidence confirmed that the infamous Black Plague that ravaged Europe in the 14th century was, as had been suspected for many years, caused by the Yersinia Pestis bacterium. Now a team of scientists have used skeletal microbiology and DNA testing to show that a 6th through 8th century pandemic was caused by the same bacterium.

Experts use mathematics to study Pictish language

A new study, presented to the Royal Society A, by Rob Lee, Philip Jonathan and Pauline Ziman describes the Pictish inscriptions found on stones in Scotland as a language apart from Celtic Ogham. The characters on the stones are considered to "part of a lexigraphic writing, containing symbols that represent parts of speech.

Tempers flare over Byzantine archaeological dig

The municipal council of Thessaloniki, Macedonia is listening to arguments between executives of the construction company rebuilding the Venizelos metro station and archaeologists working on the "very significant Byzantine antiquities" discovered during construction about whether to remove the artifacts or to coexist with them.

St Oran's Cross to return to Iona

St Oran's Cross, one of the world's oldest celtic crosses, will be restored and returned to Scotland's island of Iona in time to see the celebration of the 1450th anniversary of the arrival of St Columba. The 8th century cross weighs over a ton and will stand nearly 15 feet tall. (photo)

Additional Staffordshire finds declared treasure

Over 80 additional artifacts found in the area of the Staffordshire Hoard have been declared treasure. The gold and silver items were discovered near the original site when a field was ploughed. (photo)

The forging of Frankish swords

In a scholarly paper, an abstract of which was published recently at Medievalists.net, K.F. Werner examines techniques for forging Frankish swords from 700-1000 CE. Werner disputes the generally-accepted techniques.

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.

"Epic parties" marked spectacular Anglo-Saxon feasting hall

1,300 years ago, a "spectacular Anglo-Saxon feasting hall" was abandoned in Kent, England. Recently a team of archaeologists from the University of Reading marked the end of their excavations of the site with a candlelight ceremony surrounding the building which knew so many "epic parties."

Anglo-Saxon Portraits on the BBC

BBC Radio 3 The Essay offers a series of 15-minute portraits of great Anglo-Saxons in an audio podcast. The series features acclaimed historians.

Psychological profiling by the Vikings

Dr Tarrin Wills, from the Centre for Scandinavian Studies, believes that Vikings used their understanding of human psychology to "profile" possible trouble-makers. He recently presented his research at the British Science Festival.

How the English changed the Danes

There are documents a plenty on how the Vikings influenced the culture of England, but a new study looks at ways that Danish Norse were influenced by the English they conquered. According to Ph.D candidate Marie Bønløkke Spejlborg, it was the English who inspired Danes to organise themselves into cities."

Port near Birka larger than previously believed

Marine archaeologists working at a port near the ancient village of Birka, Sweden believe the port was larger than previously believed and may show evidence of the exensive trade system of the Norse.

Saxon "paupers' cemetery" found under British construction site

The remains of a 9th-10th century church and its graveyard have been discovered during construction along the Ipswich, England waterfront. 300 graves, consisting largely of very old and very young bodies, were found, exceeding the expectations of researchers who knew that a church might exist on the site.

Nigg cross-slab removed for restoration

The Nigg cross-slab, an 8th century, intricately-carved Pictish stone from Easter Ross in Scotland, has been taken to Edinburgh for restoration work at a cost of UK£180,000. Upon completion of the restoration, the stone will be returned to display at Nigg Old Church. (photos)

Anglo-Saxon artifacts found at Polesworth Abbey

Excavations at Polesworth Abbey near Tamwoth, England, have yielded a variety of exciting artifacts including a brooch and decorates ceramic tiles. The site was originally a Benedictine nunnery founded in the 9th century.

Byzantine shipswreck found off the coast of ancient Phanagoria

Russian Archaeologists are excited by the discovery of an 8th century Byzantine shipwreck discovered under Taman Bay in the Bacl Sea. The merchant ship, called the "most valuable artifact in 12 years" still held only one amphora in what must have once been a large cargo.