1201 CE to 1300 CE

Leicestershire artifacts help tell story of pilgrims' lives

Lead flasks, discovered by metal detectorists, are helping historians understand the history of medieval pilgrims in Leicestershire, England dating from the early 13th century through to the 16th century.

13th century cross may have served as Christian advertisement

A 13th century stone cross, once thought to be a gatepost in Dartmoor, England, may have served as a signpost for parishoners to attend church, according to Win Scutt of City College Plymouth. The cross was constructed from a two-meter long block of granite.

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)

Remains of Pere el Gran found in Tarragona, Spain

A team of archaeologists at the Santa Maria de Santes Creus monastery in Tarragona, Spain have used non-intrusive methods to investigate the tomb of Pere el Gran (1240-1285), one of the country's most important rulers. (video)

Search for tomb of Genghis Khan continues

Traditionally, the grave of Mongol leader Genghis Khan, who died in 1227, was kept secret to keep enemies from desecrating it, and for years archaeologists have sought to find it. Now a new expedition hopes to discover a veritable "Mongolian Valley of the Kings."

New theories abound on Lewis Chessmen

David Caldwell of the National Museum of Scotland does not believe the recognized theory that the famous Chessmen of Lewis belonged to a merchant passing through Scotland. Caldwell thinks the owner was a noble who lived in the area, and that the pieces may not have been "chessmen" at all.

Astrolabe: "world's first popular computer"

Author and software designer Tom Wujec takes a step back in time to discuss the medieval astrolabe. The video and transcript of the discussion is available on the TED website.

Crusader-era marble hoard found in Akko

A hoard of over 350 pieces of rare, antique marble has been discovered beneath a cellar floor in the Israeli coastal city of Akko. The hoard dates to the 13th century, and is believed to have been collected from nearby destroyed buildings.

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)

Medieval pine trees found in Norway

Norwegian scientists were surprised recently to find that dendrochronological dating showed fallen pine trees they were studying as part of climate research had died in the 14th century. Resin secreted by the dying trees is responsible for the "mummification."

Controversial Wallace statue returned to creator

For more than ten years, a 13-foot, sandstone statue of William Wallace held a place of honor at the Wallace Monument in Stirling, Scotland, but last year it was returned to sculptor Tom Church "to make way for a new visitor centre." (photo)

Organic chemist claims to have reproduced the Shroud of Turin

An Italian scientist claims to have reproduced the image on the Shroud of Turin using only materials and techniques known in the Middle Ages. Luigi Garlaschelli, who will present his findings at a conference, said, "The result obtained clearly indicates that this could be done with the use of inexpensive materials and with a quite simple procedure."

13th century Perth Charter restored

The year-long project to restore the Royal Charter of the city of Perth, Scotland has been completed. The status of Royal Burgh was given to Perth in 1210 by King William the Lion of Scotland. (photo)

Freer Gallery of Art acquires 13th century Japanese tea jar

The Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art has acquired a rare 13th-14th century tea jar "widely revered as an icon of Japanese tea culture." The jar, originally made in China, has been used to store tea for over five centuries. (photo)

Mongolian games celebrate "manly sports"

An annual festival dating to the 13th century is considered the Mogolian "Olympics." The event features the "manly sports" — horse racing, wrestling and archery. Louisa Lim of NPR has the story. (audio)

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.

Monastery of the Bulgarian Patriarch and French ring found in medieval capital

A team of archaeologists, led by Professor Nikolay Ovcharov, has discovered the walls of what they believe is the the Monastery of the Bulgarian Patriarch in the 13th century in Veliko Tarnovo, the country's medieval capital.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure-dome decree

Marco Polo, in his travel notes, wrote of Kublai Khan's massive capital, Xanadu. Now Chinese archaeologists believe they can reconstruct a layout of the city. The basis for their claim is a three-month long excavation of Yuan Shangdu, which they think is the historic Xanadu.

13th century Jewish remains returned to earth in Spain

Negotiations between the Spanish government and Jewish leaders concluded recently with the reburial of more than 100 medieval Jews whose final resting places were disturbed during construction of a school in Toledo, Spain.

Blackberries in disguise: Making a girdle book slip-cover

Looking for a way to disguise your modern devices (cellphones, blackberries, etc.)? Consider making a girdle book, a period leather cover used to attach books to a belt. Crispin Sexi (Jaysen Ollerenshaw), offers instructions online on how to make one.

Palace of the Khan discovered by satellite

A Russian information satellite may have located the remains of the palace in the the ancient Bulgarian capital of Volga-Kama Bolghar. The city existed from the 7th through 13th centuries, until the empire was overthrown by the advance guard of Genghis Khan's army.

Workers puzzled over medieval document found in cabinet drawer

Staff at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario are scratching their heads over the discovery of a mid 13th century legal document found at the bottom of a university filing cabinet.

13th century shoe found in Magdeburg

Archaeologists have discovered a well-preserved sheepskin shoe dating to the 13th century at a dig near Magdeburg, Germany. “Shoe finds of this type from the Gothic period occur very seldom in Central Europe,” said Heiko Breuer, an antiquities restoration expert from the State Museum for Prehistory Saxony-Anhalt in Halle. (photo)

Medieval stained glass inspires mosaic artists

What to do with thousands of fragments of medieval pottery? Make them into a mosaic work of art mirroring a 13th century stained glass window, of course! That is what Emma Biggs and Matthew Colling have done at St Mary’s Church, in Castlegate, England.

New Norse settlement found in Canada

Canadian archaeologists are thrilled by the discovery of the remains of a medieval structure, which they believe may be Norse in origin, near Nunavut on southern Baffin Island. If true, this will be only the second Viking structure found in the New World.

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.

Britain' Queen participates in ancient Easter custom

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain recreated a custom dating to the 13th century recently by handing out "Maundy Money," a tradition of doling out coins to pensioners. (video)

Palace of the Great Khan may lie beneath Khara Khorum

In the 13th century, Kublai Khan, grandson of the great Genghis Khan, moved the ruling city of China to Beijing, but prior to the time, the Mongolian capital, Khara Khorum, was an international city of great renown. Now archaeologists believe they know the whereabouts of the Palace of the Great Khan.

Digital Maciejowski Bible online

The Medieval Tymes website is hosting a digitized copy of the Maciejowski Bible, a 13th century manuscript commissioned by King Louis IX (Saint Louis) of France and executed by unknown scribes.

Magna Carta Viewer offers in depth look at England's historic past

Visitors to the British Library's Treasures in Full: Magna Carta website are invited to enjoy an in-depth look at the document through the use of Magna Carta Viewer, a Shockwave plugin, which can be downloaded free from the Adobe website. The site also includes a simple, clickable website that allows viewers to zoom in for a closeup look.