1101 CE to 1200 CE

Remains of 12th century tolbooth found in St. Andrews

In 12th century Scotland, the "tolbooth or praetorium was the office from which the provost and baillies organised the running of the newly-created burgh." Now archaeologists believe they have found the remains of the tolbooth in St. Andrews.

Inscribed 12th century slate may have been used to ward off evil

Archaeologists have discovered a rare incised slate while digging at Nevern Castle in England. The slate dates to between 1170 and 1190.

Discoveries at Ribãt da Arrifana offer insight into 12th century Islam

For ten years, archaeologists have been excavating the Islamic convent/fortress near Aljezur, Portugal. recent discoveries include "a mosque, 21 burials and a funerary head stone with an Arabic inscription," all of which have added to the impressive site.

The mystery of the medieval tunnels

Hundreds of narrow tunnels called "Erdstalls" can be found throughout the Bavarian region of Germany and Austria. While most experts agree that they are medieval, no one knows why they were built or how they were used. This has led to the Erstalls being called "Central Europe's last great mystery."

Medieval chess piece found in Iceland

A 12th or 13th century chess piece has been found in Iceland. The piece is carved from herringbone and looks  similar to the Lewis Chessmen.

Sackler Gallery receives collection of Tibetan Buddhist Art

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington D.C. has announced that it has received a collection of Tibetan Buddhist art from collector Alice S. Kandell. Objects in the collection date from the 12th through 20th centuries CE.

Medieval Scotland determined to have had thriving pottery industry

A new study of 12th century monastic and castle sites in southern Scotland shows that the country's pottery industry was larger than previosuly believed, and it was much less dependent on foreign imports. (photo)

Wanted: Key keeper for 12th century castle

Cadw, the Welsh government's historic environment service, is looking for a caretaker for Newcastle, a 12th century castle near Bridgend.

Armor reconstruction based on 12th century cathedral

The beautiful Cathedral of Monreale in Sicily was the inspiration for a reconstructed set of 12th century armor and military equipment by Patryk Nieczarowski. The armor is that of a Siculo-Norman miles. (photos).

12th century manuscript missing from Spanish cathedral

Pilgrims to the cathedral Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain might have been guided there by the Codex Calixtinus, a 12th century guidebook which has mysteriously disappeared from the church.

Bury Mount wins British renovation award

In the 12th century, Bury Mound, in Northamptonshire, England, held a castle. Now the vacant mound has become the country's best renovation project for 2011.

Bodies found in well tell story of Medieval persecution

Seventeen skeletons found in a well in Norwich, England are the suspected victims of an anti-Jewish massacre. DNA and other analysis has shown that the six adults and eleven children were part of the same family and date to the 12th or 13th century.

Rare unicorn idol found in India

A rare unicorn idol from the 12th or 13th century was found in Udupi, India. While the animal appears horse-like overall, it is actually a chimera of several different types of animals. The idol may be associated with Naga Bermar, a local fertility god.

Douglas Adams does Genghis Khan

Medievalists, Mongols and fans of writer Douglas Adams will be delighted to discover the short story The Private Life of Genghis Khan, which is available on Adams' website. PG-13 (language)

Cooling climate may have forced Vikings out of Greenland

Researchers have added "climate change" to the list of possible reasons that the Vikings suddenly abandoned Greenland around 1400. Analysis of  lake sediment cores has revealed that there was a sharp cooling trend from about 1100 onwards.

360 degrees of Westminster Abbey

Delighted by the royal wedding and dazzled by the venue? If so, you may want to visit the BBC's 360 degree virtual tour of Westminster Abbey.

Buckton Castle built during time of "complete anarchy"

Buckton Castle in Cheshire, England was occupied for only 100 years, according to archaeologists from the  University of Salford, who have been working on the ruin. The castle was built to protect the area from Scottish invaders.

Norway's Borgund stave church one of the "10 most beautiful"

Egan reports that the Budget Travel Magazine is featuring an article on the "10 most beautiful churches." Among them is the 12th century Borgund stave church in Borgund Norway, a well-preserved example of "the integration of Christianity with Norse culture."

"Inscrutable" Lewis Chessman on display in Stornoway, Scotland

"The enigma of the Lewis Chessmen has intrigued and puzzled those who have viewed these inscrutable faces in the last 200 years or so," said Alex MacDonald, convener of Western Isles Council in Scotland about an exhibit of more than 30 of the game pieces.

Cardigan Castle to receive UK£4.7m grant

The Heritage Lottery Fund has agreed to provide UK£4.7m for conservation work to the building and grounds at Cardigan Castle. The 12th century castle was once home to Welsh princes.

Norman church beneath Bath Abbey

The beautiful Bath Abbey was not the original church on the site, according to archaeologists who recently discovered the remains of a Norman cathedral. Also found at the site was evidence of the home of a medieval abbot.

English jeweler proves love for craft of the Middle Ages

Jamie Hall, an apprentice jeweller from Derby, England, has something to prove. He wants to show that he is a really good jewelry-maker, one who can forego the technology of the present for the techniques of the past, specifically the early Middle Ages.

Monastic documents of Durham Cathedral online

Scribes and early medieval English scholars will want to visit the Durham Cathedral Muniments website and view a collection of documents comprising the "most important medieval archive in the British Isles outside the Public Record Office."

Crusader "rest stop" found in Bulgaria

In the 12th century, crusaders were known to have stopped at the Byzantine city of Blismos along the old Roman road in modern Bulgaria. Now archaeologists believe they have found the city near the village of Zlatna Livada.

Curator's favorites from British Museum online

James Robinson, Curator of of Late Medieval Collections at the British Museum, shares photos and information on some of his favorite pieces on the International Center for Medieval Art's online exhibition.

Looted Viking hoard recovered in Sweden

Swedish authorities have recovered over 1,000 silver coins illegally excavated in Gotland. The coins were part of a hoard of over 2,000 coins from the 11th century of Danish, German, and English origin.

Rare Norman castle to receive tourism boost

Residents of Doncaster, England hope that improvements to Conisbrough Castle, one of the few Norman castles left in the country, will attract more tourists to the area. To that end, they have been awarded UK£60,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Tall al-Shir dig reveals centuries of construction

Workers at the Tall al-Shir archaeological dig in Syria have so far uncovered three layers of history dating back to the Roman and Greek eras. A recent find including walls from the late Byzantine period.

Norfolk frescoes chronicle medieval past

The discovery of medieval frescoes during repairs to a crumbling English country church has given experts a glimpse in the village's medieval past. The wall paintings at St Mary's at Houghton-on-the-Hill date to around the 12th century.

12th century Royal Court possibly found in Abergwyngregyn

Archaeologists working on a site in Abergwyngregyn, North Wales may have discovered the remains of a Royal Court dating to the 12th century. The area has links to Prince Llewellyn.