801 CE to 900 CE

Saxon artifact puzzles experts

Microscopes, X-rays and CAT scans have, so far, been used to identify a recent discovery of a Saxon object from an archaeological dig at The Meads in Kent, with no results. The circular silver, bronze and wooden disk is believed to be a mount, but no one is sure. (photos)

Climate cause of tough times for Norse settlers

New geochemical research by the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada shows that Norse settlers in 9th century Greenland and Iceland faced enormous challenges. The study followed temperature changes through analysis of mollusk shells.

Debate over Initial Settlement of Iceland

Who were the first European settlers to come to Iceland? Were they truly Ingólfur Arnarson his wife Hallgerdur Fródadóttir, as told in Íslendingabók (Book of Icelanders)?

Plea made to acquire Staffordshire Hoard

In January 2010, a public appeal was made to raise money to build buy the Staffordshire Hoard, considered the "most important find ever" from the Anglo-Saxon era. The appeal was made to raise UK£3.3m to pay the finder of the Hoard and the owner of the land.

The fleur-de-lis: not just for the Saints

Many Americans recognize the fleur-de-lis only as the team logo of the Super Bowl-winning New Orleans Saints, but the symbol has a long, rich history.

Eliseg’s Pillar still a mystery

Little seems to be known about the origins of Eliseg’s Pillar, a Dark Ages monument in Wales' Pant y Groes, the Valley of the Cross. The original pillar was kncoked down during the English Civil War, and re-erected in the 18th century.

Staffordshire horse head on display

A two-inch tall, gold filigree horse head is one of the latest pieces from the Staffordshire Hoard to be displayed at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent, England. (photo)

300 early medieval graves found near Paris

Archaeologists working in Noisy-le-Grand, a suburb of Paris, have discovered two burial grounds dating to Merovingian and Carolingian times. The site is believed to contain more than 300 graves.

Staffordshire Hoard booklet on sale at British Museum

The British Museum has published a small book on the Staffordshire Hoard. The 48-page book can be purchased from the British Museum Shop online for UK£4.99, with £1 going to Staffordshire museums to purchase and display items from the Hoard.

Pictish throne marks beginning of early Scottish research project

A throne, commissioned by distillers Glenmorangie and National Museums Scotland, and patterned after stone designs by the ancient picts, has become the symbol of a new research project to study Scotland's early history (photo)

New book looks at role of women in Carolingian society

History professor Valerie Garver knows that women faced challenges in the medieval world, but believes that they still played an important role in the world of Charlemagne. Garver's book, Women and Aristocratic Culture in the Carolingian World has been published by Cornell University Press.

Visitors invited to view processing of Anglo-Saxon grave finds

Visitors to the town of Sittingbourne, England have a rare opportunity to watch the processing of artifacts from an Anglo-Saxon burial site. (photos and video)

Abbasid Period village found in Qatar

A joint team of French and Qatari archaeologists is excited about the discovery of a 9th century town, "a remarkable village of 220 houses, two forts and two mosques," buried for centuries beneath the sands of northwest Qatar.

Viking video available on Hulu

A 40-minute film: Vikings: Journey to New Worlds is available for free download on the video website Hulu.

Well-preserved Kaupang found in western Norway

A team of Norwegian archaeologists has discovered a well-preserved Kaupang (Viking trading post) in Lærdal, Sogn og Fjordane County in western Norway. The site includes the remains of more than 30 buildings. (drawing)

Rare Anglo-Frisian Solidus coin brings UK£9,000

A rare 9th century Anglo-Frisian Solidus coin found in a field in near Salisbury, England, has brought UK£9,000 at auction. (photo)

Pre-Islamic stupa marks site of Buddhist temple

A coral stupa, a mound-like structure supposedly containing relics of the Buddha, has been discovered in Raa atoll Agolhitheemu, in the Maldives Islands off the coast of India. The stupa may prove that the site was once a Buddhist temple which was destroyed when Islam came to the island.

"The Secret of Kells" brings illumination to life

A 12-year-old boy fights off Vikings to help complete the Book of Kells in a new animated adventure from Cartoon Saloon. The film was scheduled for release late winter 2009.

Beowulf - now with klezmer!

Just when you think you've seen - or read - it all, comes this review by New York Times theater critic B Neil Genzlinger of Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage, a new production by Jason Craig, at the Abrons Arts Center, accompanied by klezmer music.

Vikings were "model immigrants"

A three-day conference at Cambridge University may shake up traditional views of Vikings. The new study will show that, far from marauding barbarians, the Norse were "more cultured settlers who offered a 'good historical model' of immigrant assimilation."

The spiritual life of the Vikings

Recent discoveries of Viking burial sites have led researchers to rethink previously-held beliefs about the lives of the Norse, especially in regard to their spiritual life.

9th century shipwreck reveals perfectly-preserved porcelain

The remains of a Chinese ship carrying earthenware jars, painted bowls and gold cups dating to the 7th - 10th centuries, has been discovered off the southeast coast of Sumatra. The lavishness of the artifacts leads experts to speculate that the items might have been gifts from the Tang Emperor.

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.

Mouse migration - Viking style

An article in a Royal Society journal suggests that modern British mice may have "Viking" genetics - or at least may have traveled with the Scandinavian invaders on their journeys of conquest.

Vikings needed women!

New research may show that the Viking raids of the 8th through 11th centuries may have been triggered by a shortage of marriageable women, possibly brought on by the Norsemen themselves.

Russian archaeologists find Khazar capital

Archaeologists from Astrakhan State University believe they have discovered the long-lost capital of the Khazar kingdom in southern Russia. The Khazars were a semi-nomadic people who converted to Judaism between the 8th and 10th centuries.

Monastery discovery sheds new light on the Picts

Long dismissed as savages who hindered the advancement of civilization in Scotland and the North of England, the Picts are now being seen as a sophisticated culture "capable of great art, learning and the use of complex architectural principles."

How to Make a Viking Spoon

On Instructables, Morfmir shows step-by-step instructions for making a wooden spoon with Viking era reproduction tools (or modern equivalents).

Games played role in the Viking afterlife

A team of Swedish and English archaeologists have excavated a 9th century Viking ship burial which has shed new light on the life and beliefs of the pre-Christian Norse.

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.