Guardian

Medieval crozier and ring found at Furness Abbey

Furness Abbey, one of the most powerful and richest Cistercian abbeys" in England, was the home of well-fed, well-heeled monks and abbots. Now it is the site of several rare archaeological finds including a silver-gilt crozier and a jewelled ring in remarkable condition. (photo)

The power of Botticelli's Venus

In a recent ArtBlog posted by The Guardian, Jonathan Jones ponders Botticelli's enduring masterpiece, The Birth of Venus, painted in 1484, and tries to discover if it is the ancient religion that makes it so compelling.

New excavations may shed light on York's Saxon past

Archaeologists have long known about the Roman and Viking heritage of York, England, but little of its Saxon past, but new excavations of York Minster may shed some light on the unknown era.

Up Helly Aa 2012

The Vikings returned to Scotland recently for Up Helly Aa, the celebration of Nordic influence in Scotland's Shetland Islands. The Guardian newspaper offers a slideshow of photos from the event.

Vikings invade England in the 21st century

Recent Nordic archaeological discoveries in Great Britain have sparked a new interest in all things Viking. In an article for the Guardian, arts and media correspondent Vanessa Thorpe looks at new trends, based on old tales that are driving current British culture.

Roman baths discovered in London

Builders of a new office block in the Southwark district of London will not see their dreams realized until they have determined what to do with the remains of a Roman bath house, complete with cold plunge bath and hypocaust heating system. (photo)

Interactive history of the British house

The Guardian website offers an interactive history of the British house in its "British architecture guides" section. The site includes homes from the Saxon era to contemporary, with options to zoom in for more detail and description.

Gladiator amphitheatre and training school unearthed near Vienna

A team of archaeologists has discovered the remains of a Roman amphitheatre, on par with the Colosseum in Rome, near Vienna, Austria. The site, they believe, was also a training school for gladiators.

Hampton Court Roundels Restored

Damaged by years of exposure to the weather, four of the most seriously deteriorated Hampton Court roundels have been restored and will be shown to the public.

Lewis chessmen key players in British Museum manga

The British Museum acts as a backdrop for a new manga publication by Hoshino Yukinobu. Professor Munakata's British Museum Adventure stars "a portly ethnographer-cum-archaeologist who solves crimes and explains civilisations."

Author believes rats didn't cause 14th century plague

A lack of "great heaps of dead rats in all the waterfront sites" has led The Black Death in London author Barney Sloane to conclude that the rodents were not the cause of plague in 14th century England. "The evidence just isn't there to support it," he said.

Fake 'gladiators' outside Roman sites run afoul of local authorities

Re-enacting can be a lot of fun, but it can also be lucrative if you happen to live near the Colosseum or other prominent Roman tourist attractions. Unfortunately, not all of the costumed characters are upstanding in their dealings.

Museum of London hosts gladiator games

Sports enthusiasts flocked to London to cheer for the latest specticle of athletic prowess recently when the Museum of London hosted a face off between Londinium and Camulodunum - their gladiators, that is. The competition took place at the city's Guildhall, site of the Roman amphitheatre. (photo)

Viking tooth filing may have intimidated enemies

Long before grills and gold caps, Vikings used tooth decoration as a way to intimidate their enemies. Evidence can be seen in the intricate horizontal patterns filed into the teeth of Viking warriors found buried in Dorset.

Banging heads in Asterix comics

European academics are concerned about the amount of violent brain traumas in the popular Asterix comics series, most dealt out by Asterix and Obelix themselves.

Shakespeare and Olympics share billing in 2012 London

In 2012, England will celebrate hosting the Olympic Games, but the year will also include a huge celebration of the works of William Shakespeare. Vanessa Thorpe of the Guardian offers a rundown of cultural events involving Shakespeare.

Bath: "a knockout site"

On a recent tour of English Heritage sites, Charlotte Higgins of the Guardian visited the newly revamped Roman Baths Museum in Bath, England. She blogged her impressions.

Grants and donations will keep archaeological treasures in the UK

Grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund charity, as well as public donations, will keep recent archaeological treasures in the United Kingdom. Funds of over UK£1 million will allow such items as a hoard of Roman coins and four gold Iron Age torcs to be acquired by local museums.

Dürer star charts auctioned

On March 30, 2011, the world's oldest printed star charts, created by German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer, were auctioned by Sotheby's auction house in London. The woodcuts were first printed in 1515. (photo)

Historical mistakes in "The Eagle"

In an article for the Guardian, culture reporter Charlotte Higgins explores mistakes made in the recent film, The Eagle, based on the book The Eagle of the Ninth, about the search for the lost legionary standard of the Roman Ninth Legion.

"Colour, bling, excess" at Wroxeter Roman house

A new reconstruction of a Roman house at Wroxeter, England has raised more than a few eyebrows, especially when the bright red and yellow building can be seen from a mile away. (photo)

"Iron ring" tops list of British tourist attractions

During the Middle Ages, Edward I built his "iron ring" of fortresses to protect his kingdom from unrest in Wales. Now, these castles are bringing tourists to the country in record numbers.

Town of Bobbio may help redefine Mona Lisa

Research by Carla Glori seems to point to the norhtern Italian town of Bobbio as the backdrop for Leonard da Vinci's painting of Mona Lisa. Glori also believes that Bianca Giovanna Sforza is the real subject of the painting.

Tudor labyrinth revealed by Luftwaffe photo

In 1944, a Luftwaffe cameraman photographed a ruined house in Northamptonshire, but what was revealed in the photo was much more important. The house was surrounded by an elaborate garden containing a Tudor labyrinth, a symbol of the owner's Catholic faith. (photo)

Insert Tab A into Slot B

Anyone who has tried to assemble a piece of furniture from Ikea or Wal-Mart knows that describing the instruction manual as "medieval" is far too kind. However, a researcher at the University of Warwick in England thinks medieval builders had a superior system for conveying construction information on everything from Gothic churches to Tudor houses.

Medieval stained glass: the light of God

Writer and science teacher Andy Connelly finds inspiration in the stained glass of medieval cathedral. He discusses the science of stained glass in an article for The Guardian.

Ognissanti Crucifix determined a genuine Giotto

For centuries, a 14th century, painted cross, housed at the Ognissanti church in Florence, was considered to have been produced in a workshop, but prolonged restoration efforts have proven that the five-metre-high cross is a genuine Giotto. (photo)

Norfolk frescoes chronicle medieval past

The discovery of medieval frescoes during repairs to a crumbling English country church has given experts a glimpse in the village's medieval past. The wall paintings at St Mary's at Houghton-on-the-Hill date to around the 12th century.

Re-enactors meet for Battle of Hastings anniversary

Each year, re-enactors gather on the fields of Hastings, England to re-create the 1066 Battle of Hastings in Battle where King Harold was defeated by William, Duke of Normandy. (slideshow)

Terracotta finial may give insight into medieval London

A tiny fragment of the grandeur that was medieval London has been discovered on the bank of the Thames. A medieval terracotta roof finial, in the shape of an animal, dating to the 13th century, was found by an amateur archaeologist.