701 CE to 800 CE

Irish stone crosses subject of thesis

In her 1991 Master's Thesis, The Role of the High Cross in Early Christian Ireland: 8th to 11th Centuries, Jill Quattlebaum discusses the early Christian Church in Ireland and the importance of the stone cross as its symbol. The thesis is available to read online.

Viking artifacts links

Researchers of all things Viking may want to visit the Vikverir website which features a links page of museums throughout Scandinavia which have posted photos of their collections.

Lindisfarne Gospels online for the first time

The British Library has announced that digitized copies of two "iconic treasures" from the Anglo Saxon era have been added to the library's Digitised Manuscripts site: the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Old English Hexateuch.

A bit of history for pop music lovers: Beowulf

What do you get when you mashup an eighth-century Anglo-Saxon poem with a twentieth-century antiwar pop song? A very amusing music video, sort of a "Cliff's Notes" version of the epic tale.

Papyrus manuscripts offer glimpse of "ordinary life at the dawn of Islam"

Scholars have debated the existence of the Prophet Muhammad, but Petra Sijpesteijn, professor of Arabic language and culture at Leiden University, believes proof exists on Egyptian papyrus manuscripts.

Medieval religious building reflects modern conflict

In the 8th century, the caliphs of Cordoba, Spain constructed the magnificent great mosque. After their conquest, 13th century Christians rechristened the building a cathedral. Now the two cultures have begun to clash again over tourist signs.

Silver coins prove global trade in 8th century Germany

"The discovery of Arabic coins at the coast of the Baltic sea proves that there was global trade more than 1,200 years ago," said Greifswald historian Fred Ruchhoeft about the discovery of 82 Arabic coins in a northern German field.

Lost Viking settlement of Linn Duchaill may have been found

A team of archaeologists believes it has found Linn Duchaill, Ireland's lost Viking settlement, near the village of Annagassan, 70 kilometers north of Dublin. The outpost was mentioned in the Annals of Ulster, a 15th century account of medieval Ireland.

Pre-Viking settlement found on Isle of Man may have "international importance"

Archaeologist Harold Mytum believes that a pre-Viking settlement at Port y Candas on the Isle of Man was probably the home of an important leader who could "support the craftsmen who would have worked making tools, weapons and bronze jewellery."

Ancient Bulgarian burial mound found

Archaeologists have unearthed a burial mound they suspect belongs to pre-Christian Bulgars of the Pliska period. Little is known about the people of this time and place.

Faddan More Psalter most important Irish discovery since 19th century

The fragments of a vellum manuscript of a book of psalms dating to the 8th century has excited the archaeological community in Ireland who have called it the “most important day in the history of the museum since 1868 when the Ardagh Chalice came in."

"Gospel" guitar

Craftsman Larry Robinson, who designs and crafts custom inlayed musical instruments, has created a true work of art in a guitar, decorated with inlays based on the Lindisfarne gospels. The Lindisfarne Project is chronciled on Robinson's blog. (photos)

Archeologists find gate in Danevirke

Archeologists in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein are excited over the discovery of a five-meter (16 feet) wide portal through the Danevirke, a 30-kilometer (19-mile) stone wall built across Norhtern Germany by the Norse in the 8th century. (photos)

Computer science project uses new tech in service of ancient art

Computer scientists at the University of Kentucky will turn their attention to a pair of medieval manuscripts this summer.

Saxon stone monument up for auction agitates scholars

An elaborately carved Anglo-Saxon stone is up for auction in a move that has upset scholars of the period.  Nick Evered bought his house eight years ago with the stone already in it, and decided to sell it in order to be relieved of responsibility for the ancient artifact. The Evereds' home sits on the site of the hermitage of eighth-century St.Pega, Britain's first female hermitic saint.

Lives of Celtic pilgrims and monks online

Dr. Deborah Vess of Georgia College & State University has created an online overview of Celtic monasticism illustrated with photographs of monastic and pilgrimage sites.

Mayan History Preserved in Floors

Maya commoners of their Classic Period --  "illiterate farmers, builders and servants" -- preserved their history by burying their old possesions in the floors of newly built homes. 

National Geographic Channel to air program on Staffordshire Hoard

On Sunday April 25, 2010, the National Geographic Channel will repeat Lost Gold of the Dark Ages, a program on the discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard, the amazing golden treasure found recently in the English Midlands.

Evidence of pre-Islamic society found in Ghana

Archaeologists working on a site near the village of Yikpabongo in the western African country of Ghana have discovered dozens of clay figures depicting people and animals dating from the 7th to 13th centuries. They believe the artifacts are evidence of a pre-Islamic society.

Mel Gibson considers film about Norse warriors

For his next project, filmmaker Mel Gibson may be returning to a childhood dream. "The very first idea that I ever had about making a film, my first thought ever about being a filmmaker was when I was 16-years-old, and I wanted to make a Viking movie," Gibson told journalists at a press event.

Vikings attacked in self defense, says Norse scholar

The latest effort to revamp the reputations of the Norse come from Robert Ferguson in an article for the December 2009 issue of BBC History Magazine. Ferguson writes that Vikings raided in reaction to a threat to Denmark by Emperor Charlemagne.

The origins of Yule

In a Yuletide card, courtesy of Revival Clothing, we learn the origins of "Yule" from its pagan Germanic beginnings through its joining with the Christmas festival during the reign of Haakon the Good. The article includes a bibliography.

Graveyard reveals medical secrets of medieval Ireland

The history of medieval medicine in Ireland got a major boost with the discovery of a previously unknown medieval church and graveyard in Ballyhanna, County Donegal. Among the surprises was evidence of successful brain surgery performed around the year 800.

New book looks at role of women in Carolingian society

History professor Valerie Garver knows that women faced challenges in the medieval world, but believes that they still played an important role in the world of Charlemagne. Garver's book, Women and Aristocratic Culture in the Carolingian World has been published by Cornell University Press.

Travel Skotland at your own risk!

Medieval Scotland may not have been as welcoming to Norse travelers as one would think. According to a 13th century Viking travel guide, the country was "full of dangerous natives who speak an incomprehensible language and the is weather awful." The 13th century chronicle warned Icelandic merchants away from the area.

Staffordshire hoard will "reshape understanding of the Dark Ages"

The recent discovery of over 1500 Anglo-Saxon artifacts near Staffordshire, England is having an amazing impact - and not just on the archaeological community. Thousands of everyday citizens are lining up to get a look at the 7th to 8th century treasure, and displaying a new curiosity about their Anglo-Saxon heritage.

The Vikings: History and Culture

William Short, SCA member and author of the book Viking Weapons and Combat Techniques will speak at the Fayetteville Free Library in Fayetteville, NY, on, October 29, 2009. The presentation will include a discussion of Viking fighting techniques and weapons.

Kells beauty "in the (crossed) eyes of the creators"

The intricate and precise artwork of the manuscripts of 7th and 8th century England and Ireland, including the Book of Kells, has amazed artists and scholars for centuries. Now paleontologist John Cisne believes he knows how it was done. (photo)

8th century Islamic vase links Japan to the Silk Road

Researchers in Nara, Japan are excited by the discovery of shards from an Islamic vase dating to the 8th century at the former location of the Heijokyo palace.

Beowulf meets Alien in "Outlander"

The Outlander, a film released in January 2009, follows the wreck of an alien space craft in 8th century Norway, releasing a futuristic soldier and a bloodthirsty monster into the Viking world. The trailer is available on YouTube. (video)