Architecture and Construction

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

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)

Walking Roman London

Visitors to London may be interested in the Secret City Tour, a walking tour of London's Roman past, including the remains of the Roman fort and Roman city wall, built around 200 CE.

Peterborough home of Roman "rich and famous"

A farm in Itter Crescent, outside Peterborough, England, has held a secret for nearly 2,000 years, a secret revealed by the recent discovery of "a substantial, two-floor courtyard limestone Roman villa with rooms floored with mosaic on the sides of a cobbled courtyard," on the site.

"Y-shaped" Roman structure stumps archaeologists

Archaeologists are puzzled about the discovery of a winged-shaped building which appears to be unique in the Roman Empire in Norfolk, England. The 3rd century structure can be seen in aerial photographs. (photo)

Historians use tree rings to find old buildings in Wales

A building being used as a cow shed in Wales may date to the 1300s, making it the oldest domestic building in Wales. The date is being determined by studying the tree rings in the roof rafters.

Roman mosaic corridor to go on display in Gloucestershire

Victorian excavations at the site of the Chedworth Roman Villa in Gloucestershire, England led to some surprises, including a 35m (115ft) long Roman mosaic floor, "one of the longest in-situ corridor mosaics in the country." Soon the mosaic will be displayed for the public. (photo)

Phantom Time Hypothesis wipes out 300 years of the Dark Ages

The debate among historians of the Middle Ages over the years 600–900 CE has come to a boil with the Phantom Time Hypothesis (PTH), a chronological theory that contends that the 300-year period was created by Holy Roman Emperor Otto III.

13th century Scotland is closer than you think

Medieval Scotland can be closer than you New York, for instance. A home inspired by a 13th century Scottish castle is up for sale in New City, New York, just an hour north of Manhattan.

Ancient stone may hold the fate of modern London

The Stone of Scone and the Tower Ravens may have some competition. A fight has broken out over the fate of London's Stone of Brutus. A development company wants to relocate the stone, while tradition holds that, "So long as the Stone of Brutus is safe, so long will London flourish."

Medieval Barn Is Saved

Built in 1426 to store grain, the medieval Harmondsworth Barn is as large as a cathedral nave, and still has the marks from the carpenters and masons who constructed it. English Heritage has added it to its national collection which includes Stonehenge and parts of Hadrian's Wall.

“Ornament of the World” depicted in video on Moorish Spain

A medieval German traveler once described Granada, in Moorish Spain, as the “Ornament of the World.” A video posted on the Moroccan Design website showcases the beauty and enlightment of the region.

Wroxeter’s Roman Town House copes with tourist increase

When Channel Four TV challenged a team of builders to construct a Roman town house, it never expected the crowds of visitors to converge on the site, leading English Heritage to require emergency repairs. The Roman Town House was the subject of the Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day program. (video)

"Monks Trod" permanently closed

A medieval byway between two Welsh Cistercian abbeys, and walked by monks in the 12th century, has been damaged by modern traffic. The city councils of Powys and Ceredigion have banned all access, even walkers, from the path to preserve the ancient track.