1101 CE to 1200 CE

Medieval tithe barn unearthed at Croxton Kerrial dig

Project leader Tony Connolly of the Framland Local Archaeology Group has been hoping to find the "lost" 12th century manor house at Croxton Kerrial, near the Lincolnshire border in England. This summer's excavations have revealed several structures including a tithe barn.

Medieval linen found in Northampton tanning tanks

Several scraps of linen dating to the Middle Ages have been found at the base of a timber and stone-lined tanks, believed to have been used for tanning, in the St John's Street excavation in Northampton, England. (photos)

Location of Llanllyr nunnery discovered in Wales

Sometime in the late 12th century, Rhys ap Gruffudd founded a daughter house to the convent of Strata Florida in the Aeron Valley of wales. Researchers have known about the Llanllyr nunnery, but never its precise location - until now when excavations in Ceredigion have revealed the convent as well as a cemetery and Tudor mansion.

Newstead Abbey to receive grant from World Monuments Fund

In 1540, the Byron family, ancestors of the famous Lord Byron, was given Newstead Abbey near Nottingham, England. Built in the 12th century, the abbey has since fallen into disrepair, and it has become the recipient of UK£40,000 from the World Monuments Fund to save the crumbling structure.

Viking sword has colorful history

Auctioneers at Christie's have announced that they will offer for auction a double-edged Viking sword associated with the battles of Hastings, Stamford Bridge and Bannockburn. The sword is expected to bring between UK£80,000 to £120,000. (photo)

New BM digitization includes medieval "comic book"

Among over 1000 new manuscripts placed online by the British Museum is The Guthlac Roll, a history of St. Guthlac told in graphic novel style "using a series of images in roundels with labels." Mark Strauss of i09 offers his views on the manuscript.

Remains of King Erik the Holy to be studied

A team of scientists from Uppsala University in Sweden will be studying the remains of King Erik the Holy, a medieval Swedish king later canonized as Saint Erik. Researchers hope to discover more about the 12th century monarch including how he lived and his origins. (photo)

The dangerous secret of Byzantine frescoes

Researchers looking at the wall paintings of the 12th century Byzantine monastery Enkleistra of St. Neophytos in Cyprus, found something they didn't expect: asbestos. Their discovery has been published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.

And it even worked after dark!

In another argument against the barbarism of the Vikings, researchers have discovered that a small compass could have worked with other tools, such as a pair of crystals and a flat, wooden slab, to navigate when the sun was low in the sky or even below the horizon.

Lionheart: "A bad son, a bad husband, a selfish ruler, and a vicious man?"

Richard the Lionheart is a beloved figure in English history, but the name has sparked controversy with many historians who found the king to be not so virtuous. On his history blog for The Telegraph, Dr Dominic Selwood tries to debunk some of the myths surrounding King Richard I.

Medieval archway found under Cardigan Castle floor

NPS Archaeology, working on an 18-month excavation at Wales' Cardigan Castle, has unearthed a stone archway dating to the 12th century beneath the floor of the castle. The archway is believed to have led to the tower of the original castle.

Accidental Medieval Siberian Mummies Discovered

Just 29 km from the Arctic Circle, near Zeleniy Yar in Siberia, a group of bodies dating back to the Middle Ages have been found in shallow graves.

Crowdsourcing funds Leiston Abbey dig

Crowd funding and sourcing have reached the archaeological community on the grounds of 12th century Leiston Abbey in Suffolk, England where amateurs funded experts for a two-week project in exchange for a chance to participate.

Carrickfergus Castle dig "full of surprises"

"We can see the whole 750 years of garrison life here in the castle, from medieval wall foundations to a late Victorian munitions rail that was used to bring munitions in from the pier beside the castle right into the inner ward," said QUB assistant excavation director Ruairí Ó Baoill.

Bread oven and sewing kit found in Northampton dig

An archaeological excavation in Northampton, England, has thus far revealed the remains of a bread oven, a 13th century well, a 15th century sewing kit and trading tokens, leading experts to believe that there was a settlement in the area. (photos)

Winter storms reveal leg bones of monk

Alas, poor monk, whose eternal rest was disturbed by the discovery of his leg bones protruding from a cliff along the sea shore of Monknash, South Wales. The remains are believed to be from a young Cistercian monk who lived at the nearby 12 century abbey. (photo)

Walking Acre

"The Old City incorporates a multitude of forts, synagogues, mosques and churches, as well as a labyrinth of alleyways that date back centuries to the early Ottoman era and before. And there are plenty of the eight-centuries-old remains of an era when the Crusaders ruled this part of the world," writes Barry Davis in a recent touristy article about Isreal's city of Acre for the Jerusalem Post.

Excavations at Cardigan Castle reveal part of original structure

Wales' Cardigan Castle, built in the late 12th century, was the site of recent excavations by NPS Archaeology revealing a section of the structure dating to the 1170s. Archaeologists also found over 9,000 artifacts including medieval pottery and rusted arrowheads. (photos)

A violent end for the Finnish swordsman

In November 2013, archaeologists working near Hyvikkälä, Finland discovered the grave of an unknown swordsman dating to the Middle Ages. Recent tests showed that the well-fed, fit individual died a violent death from skull injuries.

Jotunvillur code cracked

The ancient Norse 'jotunvillur' code, dating back to the 12th or 13th century, has been cracked by Norwegian runologist  K Jonas Nordby of the University of Oslo. The key was an unassuming wooden stick, found at the the Bergen Wharf in Norway and covered with runes. (photo)

Spanish medieval vineyard study opens "window to the past"

In the 10th century, Zaballa, Spain was a quiet village that cultivated vineyards on terraces. Then the rich folks arrived in the form of a manor monastery which created a "highly significant rent-seeking system," and then a "veritable factory, a specialised estate in the hands of local lords who tried to obtain the maximum profits possible." The town was abandoned in the 15th century.

Structural survey of Barnard's Castle "challenging"

Four years ago, the walls of 12th century Barnard Castle's came tumbling down, but no one has accepted the responsibility for their collapse. Now, with the help of a UK£50,000 grant, a structural survey of the Durham, England site has been scheduled.

The mystery of Longforth Farm continues

In a feature article for Current Archaeology, Matthew Symonds discusses recent discoveries at Longforth Farm with Bob Davis of Wessex Archaeology. Longforth Farm is a huge medieval complex near Wellington, England. (photos, map)

Multi-period grave swords puzzle experts

Archaeologists working at the site of a 12th century crusader grave in Hyvikkälä, Janakkala, Finland were puzzled to find the remins buried with two swords from different historical periods.

3D laser mapping may help preserve Leaning Tower of Pisa

The campanile of the cathedral of the city of Pisa, Italy has been leaning since its construction in the 12th century. Now, a new handheld 3D mapping system developed by CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, may "preserve" the Leaning Tower in bits if the ultimate catastrophe happens. (photos, video)

Mystery of the disappearing manor solved

Once upon a time, a medieval manor house graced the countryside of Leicestershire, then it disappeared. Today the land is a sheep pasture, at least until archaeologists reveal what lies beneath the field.

Crusader hospital identified in the heart of Jerusalem

For centuries, a huge, 150,000 square feet building in the heart of Jerusalen was used as a fruit and vegetable market. Now the deserted site has been identified as the largest hospital in the Middle East during the Crusader period.

"Lost" medieval village found beneath Southwell

Archaeologist Matt Beresford is hoping that his team will find conclusive evidence that a "lost" pre-Norman village may be found beneath the streets of the Nottinghamshire town of Southwell. The project was being funded by a UK£5,800 Heritage Lottery grant. (photos)

Priory and brewhouse excavation tell story of monks' lives

The land under social services and government buildings in Bicester, England once belonged to a community of monks who worked the land and may have partaken of as much as "10 pints of beer a week."

Medieval rogues

Rogues, vagabonds, and wandering poets... characters from D&D or perhaps a videogame? In the medieval underworld of the Islamic Middle East, these shady characters made up the Banu Sasan, "a hidden counterpoint to the surface glories of Islam’s golden age." Mike Dash has the feature article for Smithsonian's Past Imperfect blog.