801 CE to 900 CE

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)

Anglo-Saxon tools for the re-enactor

Daegrad Tools in Sheffield, England offers a wide range of Anglo-Saxon tools and equipment, extensively researched, including knives, tools and crafting items such as spindles and looms. The website features close-ups of the tools.

The case for women Vikings

On her blog Bones Don't Lie, mortuary archaeologist Katy M. Meyers discusses proof of Viking women warriors in the 9th and 10th centuries in the form of swords found in female burial mounds. (photos)

Will linguistic research pinpoint 9th century battlefield?

Keith Briggs, a visiting research fellow in linguistics at the University of the West of England, believes he has discovered Hægelisdun, the site of the 869 CE battle between the East Anglians and the Vikings which led to the death of St Edmund. His research involves the use of linguistics.

Viking Longship presentation at Toledo Museum of Art

"Dragons of the North: The World of Viking Longships" is the title of a presentation being given at the Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio on March 16 at 7:30 pm. Admission is free.

Grant awarded to search for Viking "court circle" in Sherwood Forest

Several years ago, the Friends of Thynghowe, an amateur history group, was instrumental in discovering a Viking Thing in England's Sherwood Forest. Now the group has received a grant to search a wider area.

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.

Silver coins reveal previously unknown Viking ruler

The coroner in Lancashire, England has declared a hoard of Viking silver "treasure." The hoard, discovered by a metal detector enthusiast, consists of 201 coins, including some identifying a previously unknown Viking ruler of northern England, as well as jewelry. (photo)

Japanese train yard reveals luxury lodgings

A site excavated at a train yard in Japan is thought to have been a facility that provided food and lodgings to Korean and Chinese enyoys. The facility is mentioned in ancient manuscripts and dates to the 8th or 9th century CE.

Pierced skull leads to 1,000 year old murder mystery

As the saying goes, "Bows don't kill people, arrows do." Such seems to be the case for a burial in Galway, Ireland. Evidence of a shallow grave and an arrow found in the victim's skull has led researches to conclude that the man may have been murdered.

Help identify the Staffordshire Hoard "mystery object"

It's beautiful, but what is it? Archaeologists are asking that question about three gold and silver pieces from the Staffordshire Hoard that fit together. Guesses include a saddle fitting and the decorative terminal to a parchment scroll. (photos)

99 Danish thanes

For those old enough to have grooved to German popstar Nena's 99 Luftballoons, this video will make your day. Nena showcases her bardic chops with a retelling of Beowulf to the tune of her signature song.

Viking settlement discovered beneath market square in Dublin

Arcaheologists have discovered the remains of a Viking settlement beneath Temple Bar, the cultural area of Dublin. Originally on an island, the settlement is believed to have been destroyed by floods in the 10th or 11th century. (photos)

Churches in Sudan shed light on saints and pilgrims

A series of well-preserved medieval churches in central Sudan are giving researchers new information into the world of medieval pilgrimages and veneration. Inscriptions at one site show that pilgrims came from as far away as Catalonia.

Nat Geo to explore Staffordshire gold

On Monday November 7, 2011, the National Geographic Channel will present two, hour-long programs on the Staffordshire Hoard, the Viking treasure discovered in 2010 in England. The programs are scheduled for 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. (EST).