Architecture and Construction

Anything related to the design or construction of buildings, roads, aqueducts, etc.

Volunteers encouraged to help excavate Roman bath house

Archaeologists from the Grampus Heritage team are encouraging volunteers to take part in excavations to uncover a Roman bath house at the Derventio site near Papcastle, England. “This is genuinely a once in a lifetime opportunity because I don’t believe you will see something like this again in my lifetime.," said Mark Graham, project manager.

Archaeologists explore Vindolanda's water system

In 1930, Prof Eric Birley first recorded the pipework for the water supply at the Roman fort Vindolanda in Northumberland, England. Recently his grandson, Dr Andrew Birley, continued the legacy by identifying the spring-head and piping system for the fort.

"Significant" archaeological find revealed by Cowgate fire

In 2002, a devastating fire badly damaged the World Heritage site of Cowgate in Edinburgh's Old Town, but the clouds of smoke has a silver lining with the recent discovery of street frontages and tenements dating to the 16th century beneath the fire site.

Early Byzantine fortress and settlement found in Bulgaria

An archaeological team led by archaeologist Ivan Hristov has discovered a 5th century Byzantine town and fortress on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Experts believe the town was destroyed by an Avar invasion which sealed the area in the way Vesuvius sealed Herculaneum.

Community unites to rebuild 13th century clocktower

In May 2012, disaster struck the small Italian town of Finale Emilia in the form of two powerful earthquakes which destroyed the town's 13th-century clock tower. Now teams of volunteers from across Italy are coming together to help reconstruct the historic Torre dei Modenesi. (photos)

"Oldest" Jewish toilet found in Cologne, Germany

“This is the window through which feces are going to get out” reads the Hebrew inscription on what experts believe may be the oldest Jewish toilet ever found. The inscription was discovered on a stone lintel of a 13th century house near the city's medieval synagogue.

16th century trader's house reconstructed in Wales

St Fagans: National History Museum near Cardiff, Wales is richer now with the addition of a 16th century Tudor building, meticulously rebuilt, and now open to the public. The trader's house was originally used for the storage of goods for sale in the busy port town.

Channel Islands' Roman fort "probably the best in Britain"

Archaeologists working on the oldest standing building in the Channel Islands, a small Roman fort, are pondering the possible decision to turn the building into a visitor center.

Photographer documents decline of Italian villas

Once the grand homes of Italian nobles in the Renaissance, the villas of northern Italy still hold hints of their grandeur. Photographer Thomas Jorion documented these lost treasures in a gallery show entitled Forgotten Palaces. (photos)

Unearthed Roman road changes historians' maps

The patrons of the Stockwell Arms, in Colchester, England, probably never dreamed that they were having a pint atop the remains of a 1st century Roman road. The road was revealed recently after reconstruction of the pub.

Robin Hood's grave up for sale

Long to own a real piece of English history? The Kirklees Estate, near Halifax, West Yorkshire, purported burial place of Robin Hood, is for sale for something over UK£7 million. The site includes several farmhouses, 750 acres of farmland and woods, and a medieval Cistercian priory.

Wolsey's Gate "tagged" with graffiti

Wolsey's Gate, a Tudor tower built by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in Ipswich, England, was the subject of vandalism recently when the 16th century brickwork was covered by graffiti.

Early Shakespeare theater found

Archaeologists from Museum of London Archaeology report that they have discovered the remains of a playhouse where Willianm Shakespeare staged some of his earliest plays. The Curtain Theatre north of the river Thames in Shoreditch pre-dated the Globe.

Town councillor recruited to translate mysterious text

Workmen renovating a medieval house in St Katherine’s, England, have enlisted the help of a former mayor to translate the ancient text discovered on the ceiling. The writing is believed to be Latin.

Luxury home once birthplace of opera

Paolo and Gabriella Mazza of Florence, Italy combined a work project with a new home when they purchased La Camerata, as the 3,444-square-foot (320 square meters) theater, believed to have been designed by Renaissance architect Filippo Brunelleschi. (slideshow)

Stunning locations mark Morrocan Roman ruins

Most tourists of Roman sites rave about the beauty of Rome or Hadrian's Wall, but most ignore Roman Morocco. In an article for The Star Online, Paul Schemm looks at several Roman sites in Morocco.

"Historic" Byzantine site discovered in Israel

Israeli archeologists believe they may have discovered the site of a 6th century Byzantine church and stone quarry mentioned in a text by historian Procopius of Caesarea.

Restoration of famed "Gates of Paradise" complete after 33 years

Restoration is complete for Lorenzo Ghiberti's masterpiece, the bronze and gilt doors that he created for the Florence Baptistry in 1452. Michaelangelo called them the Gates of Paradise.

Hadrian's Wall Heritage receives UK£500,000 grant

The central section of Hadrian's Wall in northern England has been listed on the Heritage at Risk register for some time, but now a grant of UK£500,000 from the SITA Trust will allow Hadrian's Wall Heritage to repair and preserve the important historical site.

Rome on the Rhine

If you believe the press, most important Roman activity took place in either Italy or Britain, but archaeologists and historians know a different story, as evidenced by the treasures of the Roman-Germanic Museum in Cologne, Germany. Deutsche Welle has a review. (photos)

Fighting threatens historic Timbuktu

Fighting following a military junta in northern Mali is threatening the historic architectural and cultural center of Timbuktu, on the edge of the Sahara Desert. The city's 60 private libraries are a repository for over 700,000 ancient Islamic manuscripts.

A walk through Birka

The PBS NOVA series has posted a website featuring short video clips on various aspects of Viking village life. The site focusses on "Birka, a medieval Viking village that archeologists recently excavated near modern-day Stockholm."

Medieval monastery town to be built in Germany

A team of researchers and historians have begun a decades-long project to build a Carolingian monastery town near Messkirch, Germany using only techniques and materials from the 9th century. (photos)

English Brick Coloration: 1500-1650

A study of patterned bricks shows that not all English buildings were of one color. Exteriors and interiors used limewashes as well as different colors of bricks (or even glazed bricks!) to enliven the surface.

Hurricane reveals Roman city

A destructive sea storm early in 2012 in Burgas, Bulgaria, on the Black Sea, caused damaged to the waterfront, but also unearthed a previously unknown Roman city. Archaeologists will seek funding for further investigation.

"Best preserved medieval timber barn in England" bought by English Heritage

English Heritage has purchased Harmondsworth Barn, the "Cathedral of Middlesex," for UK£20,000. The barn, originally used for storing grain, "resembles the nave of a large church." It was built in 1426. (photo)

Cow shed appears to be oldest Welsh house

Experts working on a project to date Wales' oldest buildings by studying tree rings believe they may have found the country's oldest house. A cow shed in Llanrwst, Conwy has timbers dating to before 1402, the date of the previous oldest house. (photo)

12th century artifacts found in central Prague

The Národní třída metro station in the center of Prague, Czech Republic, is the site of an archaeological dig that has so far revealed evidence of townhouses dating back to the 12th century. (photos)

16th century secular frescoes found in Slovenia

A rare set of frescoes depicting secular themes have been found in a house in Slovenia. The frescoes depict men and women wearing the latest fashions.

Medieval village for sale. Bargain at EUROS 3,500,000

For sale: One "complete and original medieval village" near Florence, Italy with "30 dwellings, many of which are overgrown by thick vegetation." Asking price? A mere EUROS 3,500,000. (photos)