1101 CE to 1200 CE

Lewis Chessmen ad campaign angers Scottish politicians

An ad campaign by the British Museum in which the famous Lewis Chessmen are referred to as "Norwegian" has angered Scottish Members of Parliament.

Crucifixion nail found in Templar stronghold

Archaeologists working at a fort on Ilheu de Pontinha, just off the coast of Madeira, have discovered a carefully-preserved nail dating to the first or second century CE, leading to speculation that it might be a relic related to Christ.

Magdeburg excavation reveals remains of Barbarossa's adviser

Excavations at Magdeburg Cathedral have revealed the grave which experts believe is that of Archbishop Wichmann von Seeburg, a key adviser to Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbaross, who died in the late 12th century. (photo)

12th century leper hospital explored in England

A team of young archeologists is excavating the site of the St Mary Magdalen leper hospital in Winchester. A BBC video chronicles the recent finds at the site. (video)

12th century poem calls French "arrogant cowards"

A century after the Norman Conquest, the relationship between the French and the English was anything but cordial, if you can believe a 396-line poem written by an Anglo-Norman cleric.

Robin Hood movie scheduled to premiere in May 2010

The latest film version of the Robin Hood saga is scheduled to debut in theaters May 14, 2010. The film is directed by Ridley Scott and stars Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett.

Broken pipes wreak havoc with medieval remains in York

A broken water main near the medieval burial site in York city centre washed human remains into the street on Christmas Day. The flooding occurred next to All Saints Church, where parisoners have been buried since the Nomrna Conquest.

Website offers detailed photos of Novgorod leather

From Legio Draconis: a website with photos of the amazingly-preserved leather from Novgorod, Russia including sheathes, pouches and incredibly, whole boots and shoes, dating to the 12th and 14th centuries.

Cross slabs discovered after church fire

The recent devastating fire at St. Brandon's Church in Brancepeth, near Durham City, England was a tragedy, but one with "a silver lining." what the fire revealed were 20 medieval tombstones dating to the 12th and 13th centuries. (video)

12th century shipyard found on Skye

Boat timbers dating to 1100 have been discovered at Loch na h-Àirde, Scotland, leading experts to believe that the loch was "almost certainly the focus of crucial maritime work, whether boat building, repair and maintenance or as an inland harbour."

Buy Ewloe Castle for as little as UK£80,000?

Ewloe Castle, a Welsh structure built in the 13th century by Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, is scheduled to be auctioned December 8, 2009. Starting bid? UK£80,000. (photo)

Samurai armor at the Met

Fighting heroically, while looking good and living well, seems to be the theme of an exhibit at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Art of the Samurai: Japanese Arms and Armor, 1156-1868 runs through January 10 , 2009. (photos)

Experts look to art for new information on the Crusades

The discovery of two Crusader-era murals in a church in Syria may offer archaeologists insight into the history of Christianity during the Middle Ages. The murals are the first found in the Middle East which depict heaven and hell as subject matter.

The St. Albans Psalter to be displayed in Germany

The St. Albans Psalter, one of the world's best examples of manuscripts from the Romanesque period, is a cherished possession of the the Dombibliothek Hildesheim in Hildesheim, Germany. The removal of its binding has enabled the Dom-Museum Hildesheim to display individual leaves from the book in a special exhibit which will run December 9, 2009 until January 24, 2010. (photos)

12th century sgraffito pottery found in Bulgaria

Archaeologists working on excavation of a fortress on Trapezita Hill in the central Bulgarian town of Veliko Tarnovo have discovered a fragment of a 12th century vessel using the sgraffito technique. The very rare fragment bears the name and image of a person.

Genetic studies show crusaders influenced religion in Lebanon

A new study shows that some Lebanese men carry genes traceable to Western Europe, a heritage, say researchers, from Crusaders who established settlements and castles in the country in the 11th through 13th centuries.

Dig shows Irish monks strove to be "green"

Archaeologists working on a dig at the Cistercian Bective Abbey in Co Meath, Ireland believe they have evidence of the country's first environmentalists. The abbey monks, dependent on handouts from their neighbors, worked hard to become as self sufficient as possible.

Grant will fund dig at Cumbrian abbey

Officials at English Heritage Lottery have announced that the Holm Cultram Abbey in Abbeytown, England has received a grant for UK£48,000 to carry out an extensive at the Cistercian abbey.

Facial hair of the Middle Ages

On her medieval history page, Karen Larsdatter shares research and links on beard styles of the Middle Ages -- from peasants to princes -- from 12th century to the 15th.

Dover Castle Great Tower gets "Versace-esque bling"

It took two years and cost UK£2.45m, but English Heritage's project to recreate the opulence of Henry II's England has paid off. A team of experts has restored Dover Castle's Great Tower to its creation in 1179 after the visit of the French king to the shrine of Thomas Becket. (photos)

Ageless Artifice

This company sells body care products (salves, powders, etc.) made from original historical recipes and packaged in reproduction containers. Each item comes with the original recipe.

"Ring-pull on a Coke can" really medieval treasure

18-year-old Conor Sandford of Kilmore, Ireland believed he was picking up a soda can ring from the hole on his father's farm. What he actually found was a 12th century silver ring, "very well-preserved, and it was relatively unworn." (photo)

Khukhragarh Fort excavations shed light on 12th century Indian empire

Archaeologists working in the Bero region of Jharkhand, India have discovered the remains of Khukhragarh Fort, a 12th century stronghold of the Nagvanshi rulers. The discovery was the first concrete evidence for the existence of the dynasty.

Pre-Mongol burial artifacts found in Detinets, Russia

Engineers working on a construction project near Detinets, Russia, the site of the citadel of the ancient Novgorod, have found fragments of medieval sarcophagi and stone crosses believed to date to the 12th-13th centuries.

Murder of Thomas a Becket subject of medieval Spanish paintings

An important link between the joined histories of England and Spain remains covered by wooden panels in a ruined church in Soria, Spain. The panels depict the murder of St. Thomas a Becket, an act that sat heavily on the shoulders of king Henry II of England. (photo)

"Lost" 12th century church found in Swyddffynnon, Wales

A team of archaeologists using a geophysical survey have discovered what is believed to be Capel y Groes, a grange chapel built in 1165 and connected to nearby Strata Florida Abbey. The church was last recorded on maps in the mid 19th century and considered "lost" since that time.

Dog Skeletons Indicate Medieval Custom of Sacrifice

A discovery of multiple buried dog skeletons in a medieval town outside Budapest suggests that the custom of animal sacrifice was much more widespread in early Christian Hungary than previously thought.

Relics of saints found in German altar

Experts at the British Museum were surprised - and thrilled - to discover the relics of 39 saints in a 12th century portable altar. The altar, first acquired by the museum in 1902, was opened for the first time recently and revealed bones wrapped in tiny bundles.

Take a tour of the "world's only continuously lived-in fort"

What would it be like to live in a 12th century hill fort in India? Ask the 5,000 residents who still inhabit the fort in Jaisalmer in the western part of the country. The BBC's Sanjoy Majumder takes visitors on a narrated tour with a slideshow.

Persian pottery shard inscribed with Rubaiyat found in Jerusalem

Archaeologists working in the Old City of Jerusalem have discovered a piece of Persian pottery dating to the 12th-13th centuries. The shard is inscribed with a quotation from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. (photo)