1201 CE to 1300 CE

Norman involvement in 11th century Spain

In his 2007 dissertation for the University of Nottingham, Norman and Anglo-Norman Participation in the Iberian Reconquista c.1018 – c.1248, Lucas Villegas-Aristizabal considers the contribution of the Normans, especially Crusaders, in the Christianizing of the Iberian Peninsula.

The scribes behind the Middle English masters

“The clerks of the London Guildhall form the invisible link between medieval authors like Geoffrey Chaucer and their first audiences, the original owners of the medieval manuscripts we study today,” said Professor Linne Mooney of the University of York.

Intricate silver and carnelian ring found in North Yorkshire

A 13th or 14th century ring was discovered near Ripon, England in 2010 by metal detectorist Lindsey Holland. The silver and carnelian ring is expected to be declared treasure, making it available to be acquired by a museum. (photo)

"The seal of Tristan of Treago" found in Cornwall

Metal dectorist John Fereday was "so excited that his hands were shaking" when he discovered a 13th century silver seal on a farm near Newquay in Cornwall. "Medieval seals are very rare in Cornwall and silver ones are rarer still," said liaisons officer Anna Tyacke.

Crusader sword pommel: "one of the most significant relics of the Middle Ages ever discovered in Scotland"

A metal detectorist has discovered the pommel of a 13th century sword in a farmer's field in Selkirkshire, Scotland. Experts believe the bronze pommel belonged to a Norman noble involved in the Last Crusade.

Phalluses scrubbed from medieval fresco

After a three-year restoration project, the 13th century Tree of Fertility fresco in the small Italian town of Massa Marittima was ready to view, but art experts had some problems with the restoration work when they noticed that testicles and phalluses hanging from the tree had been removed.

"Wonderful" medieval walls found near Llanrwst, Wales

Drainage work at a hotel near Llanrwst, Wales has unearthed three 13th century walls believed to have belonged to the cloister of a Cistercian abbey.

New Welsh Pilgrim's Way inaugurated by 127 mile walk

The new Pilgrim's Way walking path in Wales was christened recently when 80 walkers began the 127-mile (204km), 12-day trek from Basingwerk Abbey in Holywell, Flintshire to Bardsey Island in Gwynedd. (slideshow)

13th century fulling mill found in Barrowburn

A team of archaeologists from Coquetdale Community Archaeology has discovered the remains of a 13th century cloth mill on the River Coquet near Barrowburn, England. Experts believe that the mill was built by monks from the Newminster Abbey in Morpeth.

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.

Walters Art Museum features digitized Islamic manuscripts

The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland has begun a project to digitize its collection of Islamic manuscripts. A gallery of images, including covers and bindings, is available on the museum's website.

"Elegant" local Vale Ware aquamanile found in Cosmeston, Wales

A fragment of a locally-made pottery aquamanile, used by dinner guests to wash their hands, has been discovered at an archaeological dig of a manor house near Cosmeston, Wales. The fragment dates to the 13th century. (photo)

Rebels fight King John in "Ironclad"

In Ironclad, a new film from director Jonathan English, a small group of Knights Templar strive to hold King John to his signature on the Magna Carta by defending Rochester Castle. The film debuted July 26, 2011. (photos)

Sex and politics in the Middle Ages

In his dissertation, Henric Bagerius of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, explores sexuality and politics in the late medieval Iceland, and redefines sex as less of a personal relationship and more of an exercise in power.

Geoffrey Chaucer: standup comedian

Three men walk into a bar... you all know the rest. Or do you? British standup comedian Bill Bailey gives the story a medieval twist in this YouTube clip.

Pottery sheds light on medieval Welsh manor

The discovery of elaborate, locally made pottery is giving insight into a southern Welsh manor and the medieval village surrounding it.

Welsh castle receives grant for visitor center

In 1282, Earl Henry de Lacy began building a castle in Wales. Now Denbigh Castle will undergo an extensive facelift, complete with a new visitor center, thanks to a UK£600,000 grant. (photo)

Reading Dante

Is medieval poetry worth reading? A.N. Wilson thinks so, and shares thoughts in an article for the New Statesman: "Dante, a poet for all seasons."

Cotswold dig reveals life in the 13th and 14th centuries

An archaeological team from Cotswold Archaeology is leading a dig at Cowl Lane in Winchcombe, England, revealing "more than 40 rubbish pits containing medieval pottery, animal bone and metalworking evidence."

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.

Violent trauma marks Stirling skeletons

The area near Stirling Castle in Scotland was a dangerous place in the 13th - 15th centuries. Evidence of this can be seen in the recent discovery of five skeletons buried at the castle which exhibit signs of having suffered "brutally violent" deaths.

Lost medieval village of Norton excavation yields treasures

Archaeologists from Oxford Archaeology North who are excavating Lodge Farm near Runcorn, England, believe they have found the medieval village of Norton.

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.

14% of medieval parents chose "William" for their boys

Prince William of England has something in common with many medieval boys: his name. A new study shows that "William" was the most popular name for boys in the 13th century.

Economics of the Middle Ages

Planet Money, which features podcasts about modern economics and news of the economy, recently offered an edition focused on medieval economics, particularly feudalism and guilds.

Tomb of St Francis of Assisi re-opens

A special Franciscan mass will celebrate the re-opening of the restored tomb of St Francis of Assisi in Umbria, Italy. The saint died in 1226. (photo)

Visit Acre: "the crusaders' hip and happening capital"

Looking for the perfect summer vacation? Why not plan a truly period trip to the City of Acre. Robyn Young and Tom Hall of BBC History offer travel trips.

Mass grave at Bedlam discovered

Archaeologists working at the site of London's latest Crossrail project have discovered a mass grave of hundreds of skeletons. The grave is at the location of St Bethlehem hospital, the first facility for mental patients. (video & photos)

Historic Cornwall pub destroyed by fire

"People come from all over the world to see the Pandora," said Mylor, England resident Cordelia Folland after a fire ripped through the 13th Century thatched Pandora Inn March 24, 2011.