701 CE to 800 CE

Solving Charlemagne's brainteasers

Charlemagne liked a challenge, and he believed that the youth of his empire should be challenged as well. For that reason he commissioned an English scholar named Alcuin to compile Problems to Sharpen the Young, a collection of puzzles and brainteasers.

German penny brings 34,000 Euros

A tiny silver penny, minted in the time of King Pippin III of the Franks, was recently sold at auction for EU€34,000.

Scottish reporter soaks up German history in Aachen

Take a tour of Aachen, Charlemagne's 8th century capital, with a reporter from the Inverness Courier, from the city's nasty-tasting hot spring water to Frederick Barbarossa's 12th century chandelier.

Islamic grafitti may help solve Qur'an mystery

A 7th century inscription in stone by an Arabic traveler may help solve a mystery about the Qur'an pondered by scholars for centuries: Why was the text seemingly written without diacritical marks?

Study of graves gives new insight into early Norse life

New research on excavations of early pagan Norse burial sites has given scholars a new understanding of the lives of the Vikings, especially in regard to their funeral practices.

WebPress blog covers Early Medieval Scotland

Senchus: Notes on Early Medieval Scotland is a WordPress blog devoted to articles on early Scottish life and history. It is the ongoing project of Tim Clarkson, an “independent scholar” with a PhD in medieval history.

Lakenheath dig reveals 450 Saxon graves

Over 400 graves dating to the Saxon period have been discovered at the site of a road project near the RAF facility Lakenheath in Suffolk, England.

Eighth-century minaret discovered in Iran

A team of Iranian archaeologists has discovered an eighth-century minaret in the country's northeastern city of Damqan. The architectural remains are the oldest yet discovered from the Tarikkhaneh Mosque.

Rome's "She-Wolf" may be medieval in origin

News has rocked Rome that the famous Lupa Capitolina statue, that for centuries has been a powerful symbol of the city, may not be Etruscan in origin but medieval.

Voyage of the Sea Stallion in Smithsonian

The July 2008 issue of Smithsonian Magazine features a cover story on last year's voyage of the Viking replica ship Sea Stallion. The ship is scheduled to return to Denmark this summer.

Britain Before the Domesday at Pennsic

Baroness Eithni ingen Talorgain invites Pennsic War attendees to take part in "Britain before the Domesday," a day of activities celebrating early medieval Britain.

The mystery of the missing skeletons

Dozens of skeletons, thought to be Muslim and dating from the 8th or 9th centuries C.E, have been removed from the site of excavations near the Temple Mount according to the Israel Antiquities Authority who have deemed the incident "a serious mishap."

Sherwood's "Thynghowe" may be Anglo-Saxon mound

Husband and wife Lynda Mallet and Stuart Reddish discovered a mysterious mound three years ago in Sherwood Forest, Nottingham, England with the help of 19th century maps. Now they believe the site may have been an Anglo-Saxon gathering place.

Combs and shears honored Anglo Saxon dead

Archaeologists have long believed that Anglo Saxon burial customs required elaborate displays, but new evidence points to the use of more common devotions such as combs, razors and other household items.

Will Lindisfarne Gospels return north?

The flack over the return of cultural treasures to their native lands has started again, this time over the Lindisfarne Gospels, the priceless 8th century manuscripts currently residing in the British library in London.

8th century kiln found in Vietnam

Archaeologists working in Vietnam's central province of Quang Ngai have discovered an ancient brick kiln dating to the 8th century CE.

Viking halls may help rewrite Norwegian history

Norwegian historians are rethinking the distribution of power in Viking Norway after the recent discovery of two massive Viking halls in Borre. The halls date to around 700-800 C.E. (photos)

New research project to illuminate "Dark Age" Scotland

The National Museums of Scotland are launching a new project to shed light on the so-called Dark Ages to educate people about the surprisingly sophisticated cultures of the Picts, Gaels, and Norse.

Beowulf for Children

Just in time for the release of the new Beowulf film comes a...ahem...slightly different retelling of the tale, by Rathflaed DuNoir, The Black Bard of Meridies.

Viking symposium in Melbourne, November 24, 2007

On November 24, 2007, the University of Melbourne in Victoria will present Vikings and Their Enemies: A Symposium from 9.45am - 5.30pm at the Wood Theatre.

Beowulf in performance

Benjamin Bagby offers a performance of the Anglo-Saxon classic epic Beowulf accompanied by a six-string Anglo-Saxon harp.

12 medieval graves found at Aldbourne

Archaeologists working on a dig at Crowcastle in Aldbourne, England have discovered 12 graves dating back to the 8th century. The remains were unearthed during excavation for a housing development.

Nicholas Howe, Anglo-Saxon scholar, dies in Oakland, California

Nicholas Howe, one of the world's leading scholars of Anglo-Saxon studies, died of complications arising from leukemia September 27, 2006 in Oakland, California. R. M. Liuzza of the University of Tennessee has posted an obituary on the Old English Newsletter website.

History Channel explores the Dark Ages

On Sunday March 4, 2007, the History Channel will premiere a two-hour program on the history of the Dark Ages. Long characterized as barbaric and uncivilized, the program will attempt to dispel the myths and explore the real and varied history of the period.

"Sunstones" aid in Viking navigation

Hungarian researchers report that viking sailor used special crystals they called "sunstones" to aid in navigation. These stones helped polarize sunlight that was obscured by clouds and fog common to sea travel in Arctic climates.

Tara Brooch: a national treasure

Writing for Now Online, Michelle Lynch looks at the famous Tara Brooch, one of the great treasures in the National Museum of Ireland that "makes the heart sing."

Blue Lady Tavern chronicles life in an 8th century Saxon town

Leofwen Taverner of Eoforwic, modernly known as Nan Hawthorne, is an historical novelist and member of Regia Anglorum who writes a wonderful and detailed diary of her persona, presented to our modern eye as a blog.

Blue Lady Tavern

Leofwen Taverner of Eoforwic, modernly known as Nan Hawthorne, is an historical novelist who writes a wonderful and detailed diary of her persona, presented to our modern eye as a blog. Installments talk about the daily goings-on, from the pedestrian to the sublime, in an 8th century CE town in Saxon England.

Today in the Middle Ages: October 10, 732

Charles Martel's forces won the Battle of Tours fought on October 10, 732. Gibbon and other traditional historians credit his victory with saving Christian Europe from Muslim domination.

8th Century Moravian Parchment Discovered

Researchers working in a Benedictine monastery in Rajhrad, Czech Republic, have made an accidental - and priceless - discovery: a fragment of an 8th century CE document, one of the oldest in Moravia.