1001 CE to 1100 CE

Hastings 2016 to offer "more action than a Hollywood blockbuster"

Mark your calendars. Re-enactors will return to Battle Abbey on 14 October 2016 for the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

Liao Dynasty nomadic campsite found in China

A team of archaeologists has discovered the remains of an ancient campsite for nomadic emperors from the Liao Dynasty (907-1125) in north-east China's Jilin province. One of four seasonal camps, the site is believed to have been an administrative centre during the reign of the nomadic Khitans.

No sale for Hastings sword

A recent Christies auction failed to sell a medieval sword, purported to have been a trophey taken by Humphrey De Bohun, a kinsman of William the Conqueror, from the Battle of Hastings. The owner had hoped the sword would bring up to £120,000. (photo)

"Great warrior" unearthed from Russian burial site

An 11th century burial site near Omsk in south western Siberia has revealed the remains of Bogatyr, meaning "great warrior," who lost an arm in his final battle. The "giant," measuring 5'11", was buried with amazing grave goods. (photos)

Green Vikings

Artifacts unearthed from an 11th century Viking settlement near Cork, Ireland show evidence that the settlers were good at recycling and land reclamation. A new report, Archaeological Excavations at South Main Street 2003-2005 by Ciara Brett and Maurice F Hurley, has been published by the Cork City Council.

Discovery of large church to shed light on early Czech religious history

Excavations at Prague’s historical Vyšehrad fort have recently revealed a large church, dating to the 11th century. The discovery of such a large building is expected to shed light on the nation’s early Christian history, and "help fill some blank spots on the map of early mediaeval Prague."

Viking longboat to draw visitors to the public library

In 1838, the remains of a Viking longboat were discovered at Stanley Ferry, near Wakefield, England, at a natural crossing point for the River Calder. Now the 1,000-year-old vessel will be on display at the Wakefield Library. (video, photos)

Vikings! At a theater near you October 7, 2014!

On Tuesday October 7, 2014 at 7:00 pm, the British Museum and More2Screen will present an exclusive private view of the BP exhibition Vikings: life and legend at select cinemas around the world. Tickets and locations are available online.

Re-enactors endanger Battle of Hastings site

Regular re-enactments of the Battle of Hastings witnessed by hordes of spectators may be endangering the archaeology of the historic site, but work by a team from the University of Huddersfield, led by Dr. Glenn Foard, is working to discover genuine artifacts from the battlefield.

An end to the Bayeux Tapestry

Professor Robert Bartlett of the University of St. Andrews believes that there should be a better ending to the reknowned Bayeux Tapestry than the death of King Harold and the defeat of his army. Now a community project from the British island of Alderney offers an alternative: the coronation of William the Conqueror. (photos)

Vikings return to Australia

A horde of medieval Vikings descended on Lismore, New South Wales recently  when members of the Rognvald's Lith joined with the Lismore Medieval Re-enactment Society to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Leah White of the Northern Star has the story.(photo)

"Only individual ever recorded related to the Norman invasion" found in East Sussex

Skeleton 180 might be a very remarkable individual: the only person recorded related to the Norman invasion of England. Buried in a medieval cemetery, 180 was believed to have died at the Battle of Lewes in 1264, but scientists have now placed his death around 1066.

Norse Power: Smells like... carnage!

Re-enactors who want that authentic Viking smell should get themselves a can of Norse Power Deodorant For Men. Developed by scientists for Visit York and the Jorvik Viking Centre, the deodorant claims to "help recreate what a Viking probably smelled like."

Vikings invade British Museum

Not since the 11th century have Vikings made such a big splash in England as with the opening of the new BP-sponsored exhibition at the British Museum in London, Vikings: life and legend. The exhibit opened march 6, 2014 and will close June 22. (photos)

Viking mass grave findings generate book and museum exhibition

In 2009, a Dorset County, England road project uncovered the remains of 50 decapitated skeletons, later identified as Viking. Now the mass grave is the subject of a book, Given to the Ground: A Viking Age Mass Grave on Ridgeway Hill by members of the team that subsequently studied the remains. (photos)

Excavations show connections between Paganism and early Christianity in Ireland

Recent excavations at Caherconnell, County Clare, by the Caherconnell Archaeology Field School are shedding light on the transition from Paganism to Christianity in 5th century Ireland. Burials found in stone cists show that mourners used a combination of both religions to honor their dead.

Yorkshire Museum covets Bedale Hoard

In 2012, a "nationally significant" Viking hoard, including a gold sword pommel and silver neck ring, was discovered in Bedale, North Yorkshire. Now the Yorkshire Museum hopes to buy the collection which is valued at UK£51,636.

Life of King Sawlu told on tablet

Archaeologists working at a site near Mandalay, Burma are excited by the discovery of a 900-year-old stone tablet describing the life of little known Burmese king Sawlu. The tablet acknowleges that the king "ruled the nation by the teachings of Lord Buddha" and mentions a monastery built by donations from Sawlu's wife. (photo)

Govan stone: Viking treasures in Scotland

The Scottish town of Govan, near Glascow, has long been known for its shipbuilding, but lying in a churchyard are some of its lesser-known masterpieces: a collection of 31 recumbant stones carved with classic Viking patterns. The stones, including five massive "hogbacks," dating from the 9th century. (photos)

"Staggering find" links British Isles and Norway

Curator Barry Ager of the British Museum discovered a rare Viking artifact lately in an unexpected place: the storeroom of the British Museum. The ornate, gilded brooch, spotted by Ager "in a lump of organic material excavated from a Viking burial site at Lilleberge in Norway," turned out to be a rare piece of jewelry. (photo)

Sweyn Forkbeard, the "murderous" King of England

Sweyn Forkbeard, England's shortest-reigning monarch, is mostly forgotten today, due mainly to his short time as king (less than five years) and his "murderous character." Sweyn declared himself King of England on Christmas Day 1013 and established Gainsborough as his capital.

Lewis-Gibson Genizah Collection: "a unique and vibrant window into a lost age"

In 1896, twin sisters Agnes Smith Lewis and Margaret Dunlop Gibson brought a collection of Hebrew and Arabic manuscripts from Egypt and deposited them at the United Reform Church's Westminster College in England. Recently Oxford and Cambridge Universities teamed to buy the collection at auction for UK£1.2m.

King Harold and the roundabout

Traditionally it is believed that King Harald was killed on the spot where Battle Abbey now stands, but new evidence, promoted by Channel 4's Time Team, place his death in the Battle of Hastings at a mini roundabout on the A2100.

Technology uncovers medieval defences and settlements in Poland

New studies using LiDAR (aerial laser scanning), electrofusion and magnetic prospection, soil analysis and other technologies have revealed new perspectives on six medieval sites in Poland: Chełm, Rękoraj, Rozprza, Stare Skoszewy, Szydłów and Żarnowo.

Abu Raihan al-Biruni and the discovery of America

In a feature article for History Today, S. Frederick Starr of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, looks at the claimants to the discovery of the New World, including Abu Raihan al-Biruni, an Islamic scholar from Central Asia, who "may have discovered the New World centuries before Columbus – without leaving his study."

Scottish Thing identified

Experts working on excavations at Dingwall's Cromartie Memorial car park have confirmed that the site was the location of an 11th century Thing, or Norse parliament. The structure may have been built at the instruction of Thorfinn the Mighty.

Mathematics used to measure sociability of the Vikings

Pádraig Mac Carron and Ralph Kenna from Coventry University's Applied Mathematics Research Centre recently published an article in the European Physical Journal on the social relationships of Vikings, showing them to have more complex social networks than previously believed.

Were headless skeletons slaves of Vikings?

In the 1980s, a number of graves were discovered on an island in the Norwegian Sea, some without their heads. New research may show that the headless burials were slaves to their dead Viking masters.

Medieval handbell re-created

Archaeologists know what early medieval handbells looked like from the "rusty shadows in the museum case" that still exist, but not what these bells sounded like. Now a team of experts from the National Museum of Scotland has re-created such a bell, "used by Scottish monks more than 1,000 years ago." (photo)

Arabs slam Vikings in historic texts

"They are the filthiest of all Allah’s creatures: they do not purify themselves after excreting or urinating or wash themselves when in a state of ritual impurity after coitus and do not even wash their hands after food," wrote Arab writer Ahmad ibn Fadlan about his encounter with Vikings in areas around the Caspian Sea and the Volga River.