1001 CE to 1100 CE

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.

Boat burials might help solve mystery of Viking trading center

To most historians, Steinkjer was just a name mentioned in the Norse Sagas, but new evidence discovered in two boat graves in Lø, Norway, may have solved the puzzle of the mysterious trading center.

Viking Shield: Viking Age replicas and gifts.

Viking Shield specializes in all your Viking needs. They offer a full range of weapons, clothing, armor, jewellry, games, feasting gear, and art.

Medieval Treasures From Hildesheim on display at the Met

"Smack in the middle of the Metropolitan Museum, there’s a nugget of compressed light called  Medieval Treasures From Hildesheim," begins a review of the new exhibit at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The review, by Holland Cotter, is from the Art & Design section of the New York Times.

The stonemasons of Lincoln

Medieval cathedrals are awe-inspiring. Equally inspiring are the stonemasons and carvers who originally built the structures and who keep them maintained to this very day. The BBC has a short video on the stonemasons of Lincoln Cathedral, where construction began in the 11th century.

Early Christian grave found in Iceland

Archeologist Margrét Hallmundsdóttir believes that a skeleton discovered in 2012 in Hrafnseyri, Iceland, dates to around 1000 CE, the year of the country's conversion to Christianity. The grave was found in the vicinity of a church, dating to the same time period.

11th century Byzantine graves found in Turkey

Three tombs, believed to be those of a man, woman and child, dating to the 11th century, have been discovered near the city of Komana in northern Turkey. The site of the excavation was known in the  Byzantine era as a "temple city," the first so described from the time period.

Viking voyages to southern Newfoundland proved

"Provocative" new evidence shows that Vikings may have sailed south from their settlement in northern Newfoundland to Notre Dame Bay, where they may have encountered native inhabitants of the island.

Reenactor creates replica of Bayeux Tapestry

A medieval reenactor in England has completed a 2:1 scale replica of the Bayeux Tapestry. The embroidery is 40 feet long and took 18 years to complete.

Lincoln Castle may hide Roman townhouse

The Lincolnshire County Council is sponsoring the restoration of Lincoln Castle in England. So far, archaeologists have found the remains of the Norman foundations of the castle and a previously-unknown Anglo-Saxon church. They expect to reach the Roman era soon in which they expect to find a Roman townhouse.

Song Dynasty murals revealed in Tibet

Experts renovating an ancient Buddhist temple in Lhasa, Tibet have discovered a number of murals dating to the Song Dynasty (960 to 1279). "This discovery is crucial for us to reconstruct the way of life of that period. We will do our best to restore the murals to their original state,they will no doubt become a national level artefact," said Chen Zujun. (photos)

11th century water reservoir found in Bangladesh

Archaeologists working on a site at Gopalpur village in Bangladesh were surprised to find a thousand-year-old brick-built water reservoir. The area was part of the Bharendra region and under the rule of Pala dynasty, according to team leader, Swadhin Sen, associate professor of the Department of Archaeology of Jahagirnagar University.

The Godwine Charter returns to Canterbury

Somewhere between 1013 and 1018, Godwine sold his swine pasture in Kent, England to Leofwine the Red for 40 pence and two pounds rent and an allowance of corn. How do we know this? The sale was recorded in the Godwine Charter, an "exceptionally rare" document which recently made its way home to the Canterbury Cathedral Archives.

Our great big European family

Great Britain and continental Europe are just one, big family - at least genetically - according to a new study by Graham Coop, a professor of evolution and ecology at the University of California, Davis in PLoS Biology.

New Battle of Hastings book neglects sources, says History Today reviewer

Marc Morris, author of The Norman Conquest, finds some of the facts in a new history of the subject by John Grehan and Martin Mace "uncomfortable." The Battle of Hastings 1066: The Uncomfortable Truth places the site of the famous battle at a different location, Caldbec Hill. His review is on the History Today website.

Viking "compass" may have calculated latitude

In a new study in the Proceedings of The Royal Society A, researcher Balázs Bernáth and his team propose that Viking-era sun compasses, whose "lines don't quite match scientists' interpretations," may have had another purpose: calculating latitude. (photo, diagram)

Exploratory excavations at Clare Castle considered "exciting"

For nine days in the spring of 2013, volunteers joined archaeologists to work on four investigative trenches on the grounds of Clare Castle in Suffolk, England. The result was the discovery of human remains, leading experts to believe that a previously-unknown church existed on the property, possibly before the construction of the castle.

Houses scheduled to grace Fulford battlefield

The "most likely candidate" for the site of the Battle of Fulford, according to English Heritage, is Germany Beck, an area scheduled to be developed into a community of 600 new homes, approved by the City of York Council.

William and Kate's housing plans delayed by proposed archaeological dig

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge may have to delay their move into Anmer Hall, the Georgian mansion given to them by the Queen as their new country home, due to two archaeological digs scheduled to take place on the property.

Coin hoard found in Estonia

A hoard of silver coins dating to the 11th century was found in a wetland in Jõgeva, Estonia. The coins are believed to have been placed there as a deliberate sacrifice.

Medieval castles repurposed in Syrian civil war

Fortresses constructed during the Middle Ages by crusader knights are being used and fought over by both government and rebel forces who see their strategic advantages. The war has already destroyed many historic sites in the country, such as Aleppo's 11th-century minaret.

New Exhibitions Centre to host Viking ship at British Museum

The British Museum will introduce the world to its new World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre with its premiere exhibit focusing on Vikings, and will include the largest known Viking ship. In addition to exhibit space, the UK£135 million project, scheduled to open in March 2014, will provide research, testing, conservation and storage space. (photo)

Umayyad Mosque minaret destroyed in Syrian fighting

The iconic minaret of the Umayyad Mosque complex in the Syrian city of Aleppo has collapsed during fighting between rebels and government troops. The minaret dates to the 11th century.

Secrets revealed at Warwick Castle

Centuries-old Warwick Castle has revealed some new secrets. Time Team presenter Tony Robinson was among the first to see four new rooms  opened to visitors as part of Warwick Castle Unlocked. (video)

Did "Solarsteinn" lead Vikings west?

Experts have long speculated that a Norse Solarsteinn, or sunstone, was used to help Viking mariners find their way west through cloudy weather, and the discovery of such an artifact on a sunken, 16th century English warship may prove it.

"Whispers in stone" on Norwich Cathedral walls

"Just about everything that would have been important to the citizens of Norwich during the Middle Ages" has been found scrawled on the walls of Norwich Cathedral report volunteers from the Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey, who are cataloging the grafitti. (photos)

Battle of Hastings cancelled again

Officials from English Heritage have cancelled the 2013 re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings set for the weekend of 12 and 13 October. The reason given was that the weather damage to the field from last year's torrential rains, and continuing bad weather have left the field in need of being re-seeded.