801 CE to 900 CE

Danelaw gravestone auctioned for UK£4,300

An unnamed London company recently purchased a 9th century, Anglo Saxon gravestone, engraved with a Celtic cross, for UK£4,300 at an auction by Duke's Auctioneers of Dorchester, England. The stone was original discovered "during road construction in the early 20th Century at Little Eaton, Derbyshire."

9th century pumpkin patch revealed in Rome

Experts from the Vatican are excited by a pumpkin patch - one that was part of a Benedictine monastery surrounding the Basilica of St Paul’s outside the Walls.

Social media may help choose patron saint of England

There are two camps in England when it comes to who would be the best patron saint, St Edmund or St George, and both are being promoted in a surprising way: Facebook. While George has been the preferred saint since Richard the Lionheart, Edmund is gaining support.

Jewelry leads to expansion of knowledge of Vikings in England

Fifty years ago, little was known about Viking settlements in England, where they were and who lived in them, but the discovery of Nordic metalwork and jewelry in the past twenty years, thanks largely to the development of the metal detector, has opened up a whole new world of understanding. Jane Kershaw of OUPblog has the story. (photos)

Viking gold "part of the big jigsaw of the history" in Ireland

Metal detector enthusiast Tom Crawford had a good day recently when he discovered a Viking gold ingot and a medieval silver ring brooch in a farmer's field in County Down, Northern Ireland. The ingot dates to the 9th and 10th centuries, while the brooch is somewhat later. (photo)

Stone from medieval church found in Welsh stream

An archeologist taking a walk in the woods discovered an inscribed stone that likely belonged to a nearby medieval church in Wales.  The decoration on the stone dates to the 9th or 10th century. The stone features an unusual cross only seen in two other stones.

Perthshire community pitches in to excavate Pictish longhouse

Residents of Perthshire, Scotland will have a unique opportunity in June 2013 to re-discover their own heritage when archaeologists will undertake the excavation of a Pictish longhouse. In addition to the chance to help in the dig, the project will include workshops, guided walks, presentations, and demonstrations.

Bored Viking Carved Outline of His Foot on Ship Deck

Two foot outlines, a right and a left, were recently noticed on removable deck planking on the Viking Gokstad Ship.

UK£57,395 needed to "save" additional pieces of Staffordshire Hoard

In 2009, the Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Birmingham City Council campaigned to keep the 3,500 artifacts of the Staffordshire Hoard in their cities. Now the councils are teaming up again to raise the money to purchase an additional 81 pieces discovered in November 2012. (photos)

Could Winchester bones be Alfred the Great?

Archaeologists have exhumed the remains from an unmarked grave at St Bartholomew's Church in Winchester, England, hoping they have found the bones of the Saxon king Alfred the Great who died in 899.

Cologne excavations reveal rich Jewish history

For years, archaeologists have concentrated on Roman excavations in western Germany, largely ignoring its medieval past, especially when it came to Jewish history. Now the discovery of over 250,000 artifacts in Cologne, is revealing new insights into "one of Europe's oldest and biggest Jewish communities."

Medieval textile sources online

Manchester University in England has created a searchable website of sources for medieval textiles and clothing. The lexis of cloth and clothing in Britain c. 700-1450: origins, identification, contexts and change collects documentation from "diverse academic disciplines: archaeology, archaeological textiles, art history, economic history, literature, languages."

King Edmund under the tennis court?

King Edmund of England, later St. Edmund after being shot by Viking raiders in the 9th century, might be buried under the tennis courts at Bury St Edmunds, once the Abbey graveyard. After Richard III, some historians would like to know.

Unidentified Winchester bones could be exhumed for testing

The recent discovery of the remains of Richard III have led experts to wonder if an unmarked grave in Winchester, England might hold the bones of King Alfred the Great.

The case for the "blood eagle"

While the image of the Vikings has been rehabilitated in the past few years, showing them as peaceful farmers and artisans, some evidence of cruel and bloodthirsty behavior does exist. In Smithsonian's blog Past Imperfect, Mike Dash looks at the more brutal side of the Norsemen, and the fact of torture such as the "blood eagle."

Book of Kells now online

The Trinity College Library in Dublib, Ireland has announced that the Book of Kells is now available to view, thanks to the library's Digital Resources and Imaging Services. An iPad app of the book is also available.

Viking valkyrie to be showcased in Denmark, Britain

In December 2012, metal detector enthusiast Morten Skovsby got lucky near the village of Hårby, Denmark.  His detector hit on a thumb-sized silver figurine depicting a Valkyrie, the only known 3D Viking representation of the battle maiden. (photos)

Tiny coin tells story of post-Roman York

The discovery of a tiny silver coin has had a big impact on archaeologists studying medieval York, England.

Residents hope to raise UK£3m to save Cornish church

Residents of south east Cornwall are hoping to raise the UK£3m needed to save the priory at St Germans, a 9th century church in dire need of modernization. The fundraising efforts hope to attract such organizations as the Heritage Lottery Fund to their cause.

Should Viking loot be returned?

Scandinavian museums proudly display artifacts plundered throughout Europe by the Vikings, but now some museum curators ask if these stolen treasures should be returned to their original countries.

Anglo-Saxon Portraits on the BBC

BBC Radio 3 The Essay offers a series of 15-minute portraits of great Anglo-Saxons in an audio podcast. The series features acclaimed historians.

Operation Nightingale unearths thoursands of artifacts on Salisbury plain

A team of volunteers from Operation Nightingale, a project to give soldiers recovering from injuries in Afghanistan a chance to gains new skills and interests, has unearthed an "astonishing" haul of artifacts on the Salisbury Plain.

Irish crannog reveals early medieval treasures

A road crew excavating near Enniskillen, County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland has unearthed a crannog, complete with human remains and a wealth of artifacts dating to the 9th century. Items found included a carefully-crafted, fine-toothed nit comb. (photo)

Anglo-Saxon artifacts found at Polesworth Abbey

Excavations at Polesworth Abbey near Tamwoth, England, have yielded a variety of exciting artifacts including a brooch and decorates ceramic tiles. The site was originally a Benedictine nunnery founded in the 9th century.

Modern Europe needs a Holy Roman Empire

In an article for the New York Times, Istvan Deak opines that what the European Union really needs is a unifying force, such as the Holy Roman Empire, led by a modern Charlemagne.

Experts use modern technology to preserve Viking grave goods

In 1904, archaeologists discovered a Viking grave, containing wooden artifacts including a richly decorated ceremonial wagon, at Oseberg near the Oslo fjords. Since then, the wood fibers have begun to disintegrate, causing worry among officials at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo, who have decided to use state-of-the art technology to save the artifacts.

Scholar discovers "missing link" in early Gregorian chant sources

Researchers have long believed that no manuscripts of early Italian Gregorian chant survived, but Holy Cross professor Daniel DiCenso believes he has found the Monza manuscript, a source dating to the mid 9th century.

Scotland's first bullaun stone discovered on Isle of Canna

Scottish archeaologists are excited about the discovery of a bullaun or "cursing stone" linked to an early Christian cross on the Isle of Canna. The small, round stone, marked with a cross, dates to around 800 CE. (photo)

Ancient Arabic manuscripts reveal abnormal weather patterns

Modern scientists hope to study global weather patterns with the help of ancient scholars. Using writings from 9th and 10th century Iraq, a team of scientists from the Universidad de Extremadura hope to learn about climate change by comparing ancient and modern data.

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)