1301 CE to 1400 CE

The legend of the Grateful Dead

Zombies are not just the stuff of modern movies and flash mobs. A medieval legend popular in Germanic northern Europe tells of armed zombies who rise from the grave to protect the righteous.

1000 years in Sicily: from Roman villa to monastery

For over 1,000 years, a farmland estate in the northeastern Sicilian village of Torrenova was in constant use, according to archaeologists from the University of Vienna. The land is believed to have hosted a Roman villa in late antiquity and a monastery throughout the Middle Ages. (photo)

Welsh manuscript to go up for auction

A very rare 14th century manuscript written in medieval Welsh will be put up for sale by Southeby's auction house. The manuscript is only one of two medieval Welsh documents known outside of the UK.

Best Irish Horse Harness Ever

A "virtually complete" horse harness of leather and metal pendants was brought to light from a well at Caherduggan in County Cork.

Trepanned skulls found in Spain

Two skulls were found in Spain with holes drilled in them. The skulls were found in a cemetery that dates to the 13th and 14th centuries.

Welsh castle fails to deflect 80's TV star

Knight Rider and Baywatch star David Hasselhoff has been visiting castles in Wales. Welsh news outfit the Caerphilly Observer tracked the star as he visited Caerphilly Castle, Cardiff Castle, and Castell Coch.

Medieval English Alabaster Sculptures from the Victoria & Albert Museum

Art Services International has brought an exhibition of Medieval English Alabaster Sculptures from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London to the United States.

Pathologist finds answers to medieval mysteries

French pathologist Philippe Charlier has used high-tech imagery and DNA analysis to answer questions about Joan of Arc, Napoleon, and a mistress of King Henri II of France. He is now turning his attention to Richard the Lionheart.

Medieval Estonian documents go online

The oldest written documents in Estonia are now online thanks to a joint project between the Estonian State Archives and the Estonian History Museum. The oldest documents data from the mid 13th century.

Four sisters to break Durham guilds' ban on women

"It is something we value and respect and feel honoured and proud to be among the first women freemen to be sworn in," said Karen Crawford about her acceptance into the City of Durham (England) Freemen's ancient craft guilds, a 700-year-old tradition that up until now banned women.

Volcanoes key to "Little Ice Age"

A new study, led by Gifford Miller at the University of Colorado at Boulder, US, may show that a series of volcanic eruptions around 1300 may have led to the Little Ice Age, which dropped temperatures in Europe in the 1500s.

Lincolnshire hobbyist strikes gold with silver seal matrix

Metal detctore hobbyist Devin Warmsley had a great day December 7, 2011 when he discovered a 14th century silver gilt seal-matrix worth between UK£5,000 and UK£20,000, according to the British Museum. (photo).

Cow shed appears to be oldest Welsh house

Experts working on a project to date Wales' oldest buildings by studying tree rings believe they may have found the country's oldest house. A cow shed in Llanrwst, Conwy has timbers dating to before 1402, the date of the previous oldest house. (photo)

Medieval healing spring to be excavated

St. Ann's Well, a medieval healing spring in Nottingham, England, has been scheduled to be excavated sometime in 2012. The site, under a demolished pub, was once believed to have magical healing powers.

William Wallace letter to be display at Scottish Parliament

Historians in Scotland have long hoped to reclaim a letter written by the French king giving safe conduct to William Wallace to speak with Pope Boniface VIII. Now the 700-year-old letter will be loaned to the National Records of Scotland for display at the Scottish Parliament.

Wakehurst yew saw reign of Richard II

An ancient yew tree, dating to the 14th century, has been identified at Wakehurst Place in West Sussex. The tree is believed to have been part of a large landscaped garden, and was planted just after the Black Death.

Historians use tree rings to find old buildings in Wales

A building being used as a cow shed in Wales may date to the 1300s, making it the oldest domestic building in Wales. The date is being determined by studying the tree rings in the roof rafters.

"The Mourners" at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is currently hosting the exhibition The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy, one of the masterpieces of late medieval sculpture in Europe. The exhibit will run January 21, 2012 through April 15, 2012.

Ogle Castle up for sale for nearly UK£2m

Those with an extra UK£1.79m may wish to purchase Ogle Castle, near Ponteland in Northumberland, England, one of the oldest inhabited buildings in the country. Bo Boanas, owner of the castle, says he doesn't believe the building is haunted, despite its violent past. (photo)

Medieval mystery writer researches by doing

Writer Jeri Westerson of Menifee, California loves the Middle Ages, particularly the world of Crispin Guest, her "ex-knight turned detective on the mean streets of fourteenth century London." Scott Butki, of the Seattle P-I has an interview.

Rappin' to Chaucer with Baba Brinkman

Canadian Baba Brinkman is a performer - and a scholar of medieval literature. He combined both in a recent one-man show, The Canterbury Tales Remixed, which set the Chaucer’s 14th-century work to original hip-hop songs. Catherine Rampell of the New York Times, has a review.

“Ornament of the World” depicted in video on Moorish Spain

A medieval German traveler once described Granada, in Moorish Spain, as the “Ornament of the World.” A video posted on the Moroccan Design website showcases the beauty and enlightment of the region.

York Cause Papers: ecclesiastical history online

With the help of grant money, the York Cause Papers, records from the Church Courts of York from the 1300 to 1858, are now available online.

King Richard II's timepiece found in Australian shed

In the 1970s, children playing in the shed of a Queensland, Australia cattle station happened upon a brass quadrant marked with the badge of King Richard II. Now the instrument is scheduled to be auctioned with an estimated price tag of US$233,000-$311,000. (photo)

"Treasure of the Shishman Dynasty" found in Bulgaria

Bulgarian archaeologist Nikolay Ovcharov has discovered 18 gold coins minted during the reign of 14th century Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Alexander. The coins were found during the excavation of the medieval fortress Urvich near Sofia.

Heraldic quadrant up for sale in England

A brass quadrant bearing the arms of Richard II is going up for auction in England. The late 14th century piece is similar to one housed in the British Museum.

14th century hand cannon demonstrated

In a 9-minute video, members of the Springfield Arsenal, LLC go "medieval" by demonstrating a 14th century 3-Barrel Rapid-Fire Pole Cannon, a black powder device fired by striking against a surface.

Medieval corpses help construct plague genetic code

An international team of researchers has reconstructed the genetic code of the Black Death using DNA extracted from the teeth of medieval corpses buried in a graveyard in London's East Smithfield. Their research has been published in the science journal Nature.

Knight learns lesson in 14th century ghost story

On the blog Puremedievalry, Sirthopas, a graduate student at Trinity College in Dublin, has posted a 14th century ghost story - in Middle English. Fortunately, he also includes his translation.

Creating a Gothic fitted dress

In a September 2011 article on the Fabric-Store.com website, Nicole Novembrino discusses the history and structure of the Gothic fitted dress, featured prominently in images from the mid-1300s until the mid-1400s.