1201 CE to 1300 CE

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.

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.

The Knights Templar mystery linked to the Shroud of Turin

Two of the great mysteries of the Middle Ages were linked recently when the Vatican announced that the renowned Shroud of Turin was hidden for over 100 years after the Crusades by the Knights Templar. (video)

Earthquake takes lives, damages treasures in central Italy

Tragedy struck central Italy April 7 when a 6.3 magnitude earthquake toppled ancient and modern buildings in the medieval city of L’Aquila. Over 200 people lost their lives, and the earthquake damaged nearly all the historic buildings of the town. (video)

Crusader castle project could prove value of new technologies

Archaeologist Katharina Galor believes technology might just help eliminate hours of tedious recording and cataloging during a dig, and she plans to test her theory at Apollonia-Arsuf, a crusader castle in Israel.

Sherwood "infested" by Robin Hood?

According to a 15th century history book, Robin Hood may not have been as popular with the common people as believed. According to art historian Julian Luxford, Robin and his merry men "infested" Sherwood Forest with their thieving ways.

Vikings were "model immigrants"

A three-day conference at Cambridge University may shake up traditional views of Vikings. The new study will show that, far from marauding barbarians, the Norse were "more cultured settlers who offered a 'good historical model' of immigrant assimilation."

Santa Clara University showcases medieval garden

In honor of its namesake St. Clare of Assisi, Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California has created a medieval garden dedicated to the saint who was "was often compared to a plant or garden." The university's website includes a great deal of information on medieval gardens.

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)

13th century midden yields shoe soles

A batch of leather shoe soles dating from the 13th to 18th centuries was found in 2005 in a hollow tree trunk in an ancient trash dump in Lyon, France. The soles are well-preserved.

California monks reconstruct 800 year old building

Monks at the Abbey of New Clairvaux in Vina, California are rebuilding an 800 year old chapter house transported from Ovila, Spain to California in 1931 by William Randoph Hearst.

Rare face-mask jug found in Scotland

An archaeological dig at the site of the former Rothesay Council Chambers in Scotland has unearthed a rare 13th century ceramic jug. (photo)

Submerged island and sunken galley may hold clues to Venetian dominance

Italian archaeologists are undertaking a project to raise an entire island which has been submerged in the lagoon of Venice since the 16th century. Among the artifacts they hope to recover is a remarkably preserved 13th century wooden galley.

Light show marks 800th anniversary of Cambridge University

The home to "some of the most significant scientific breakthroughs in history - including the splitting of the atom and the discovery of the structure of DNA," Cambridge University in England celebrates its 800th anniversary with worldwide events and an "exuberant" atmosphere.

Westminster Chapter House to undergo renovation

The Chapter House of Westminster Abbey is crumbling, its stonework decaying and pocked with WWII shrapnel scars, its stone carvings damaged, but there is relief in sight in the form of a £2m restoration program to repair the 13th century octagonal building.

Oldest extant Medieval Roll of Arms bought by British Library

Hrolf Jamesonreports that the British Library has acquired the the Dering Roll, the "oldest extant Medieval Roll of Arms." The document was purchased for UK£194,184.

International banking - medieval-style

A team of researchers from England's Reading University are studying the credit crunch -- not the recent one, but the "medieval credit crunch" from the time of England's King Edward I.

Lost church of Bix Gibwyn found in Oxfordshire

Archaeologists are hoping that they have found the location of the "lost" church of Bix Gibwyn, an 800-year-old structure that was abandoned in the late 16th century. The research team has discovered three medieval graves which could pinpoint the site of the church.