1301 CE to 1400 CE

A day of swords in Anchorage, Alaska

Lisa Maloney of the Anchorage Press joins David Teague and company for a class in the art and science of German longsword. The techniques are dervived from manuscripts and writing from the 14th and 15th century.

14th century 'fede’ ring found in farmer's field

Metal detectorist James Goldswain found treasure in a farmer's field when he uncovered medieval silver gilt ring, known as a fede, or faith ring, near Bishopsbourne, England. (photo)

Black Death bacteria thought to be extinct

 The type of bacteria which caused the European "Black Death" plague in the mid-1300s has been identified as Yersina pestis, according to a news report on CNN.com.  That particular strain of bacteria no longer seems to exist, although a different form still affects people in a number of countries.

Artifacts reveal early history of Elsyng Palace

Excavation of one of Henry VIII's palaces has revealed that the site was an affluent home long before Henry VIII moved in. Elsyng Palace is located in Enfield, England.

Previously unknown medieval archbishopric discovered in Bulgaria

Bulgarian archaeologist Nikolay Ovcharov has discovered two archbishop's seals during excavations of the city of Perperikon, a crucial urban center during the Middle Ages and the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires. The two lead seals belonged to Constantine, Archbishop of Archidos.

Author believes rats didn't cause 14th century plague

A lack of "great heaps of dead rats in all the waterfront sites" has led The Black Death in London author Barney Sloane to conclude that the rodents were not the cause of plague in 14th century England. "The evidence just isn't there to support it," he said.

Earliest known map of Great Britain available online

A collaborative project by Queen's University Belfast, King’s College London, and the Bodleian Libraries offers an innovative approach that explores the ‘linguistic geographies’ of the Gough Map, the earliest surviving geographically recognizable map of Great Britain.

14th century Byzantine tombs found in Tyre

Archaeologists have discovered five marble Byzantine tombs dating to the 14th century in the city of Tyre in southern Lebanon. (video)

700th anniversary of Battle of Bannockburn to be marked with a celebration

Stirling, Scotland is gearing up to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, which saw Robert the Bruce's victory over the English on 24 June 1314.

Revamped Oystermouth Castle welcomes visitors

For the first time in over a hundred years, visitors are welcome to visit Oystermouth Castle in Swansea, Wales. The castle received a UK£1M facelift including a 30ft (10m) high glass bridge. (photo)

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."

Did Giotto paint the shroud of Turin?

A new book by an Italian art historian claims that the Shoud of Turin is neither a biblical relic nor a medieval hoax, but a creation of the famous Rennaissance artist Giotto.

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.

Bridging the centuries at Hammerhaus

Take a 16-room "mini-castle" near Austria. Fill it with interesting and unusual contemporary decor, and you have the Hammerhaus. Photographer Andreas Meichsner of The New York Times has a slideshow.

The ambitions of William Wallace

Dr Reuben Davies, from Glasgow University recently made a "startling" discovery in the Exchequer rolls for 1304-1305 of King Edward I: Scotland's Protector, William Wallace, "falsely sought to call himself King of Scotland".

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.

Morgan Library to explore medieval costume

This summer, the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City will sponsor an exhibit of over fifty illuminated medieval and Renaissance manuscripts and early printed books showcasing fashionable clothing in Northern Europe.

Battle of Wisby re-enactment

In 1361, the Battle of Wisby took place in Gottland, Sweden. For the 650th anniversary, April 29, 2011, re-enactors brought the battle to life. (photos)

Bannockburn dig may have produced pottery owned by the army of Robert the Bruce

A recent excavation at Bannockburn, Scotland has uncovered several green-glazed pot sherds near the site of the camp of Scottish king Robert the Bruce, leading experts to speculate that the pottery may have belonged to the army.

"Senchus fer nAlban"

In the 7th century, seventy lines of text were created to record the number of men in western Scotland for the purpose of military service and tax collection. The Senchus fer nAlban (History of the men of Scotland) includes resources for the population of Dál Riata, the Kingdom of the Gaels on the west coast of Scotland. (photos)

Students tweet Chaucer

Users of Twitter may wish to follow students from LMU's English 433 class as they tell stories on the way to Canterbury!

The sturdy skull of Simon of Sudbury

During the Peasants' Revolt in 1381, Simon Theobald, once Lord Chancellor of England and Archbishop of Canterbury, was beheaded outside the Tower of London. Now his mummified skull is being given the scientific treatment.

Fleas found guilty of spreading plague

A team of researchers, based at the University of Mainz in Germany, have confirmed that fleas were responsible for spreading the plague that wiped out over half of the population of 14th century Europe.

Neighbours from hell, in the 14th century

BBC news magazine recently carried a 14th century 'Asbo' (English acronym for Anti-Social Behaviour Order) -- a complaint from one London neighbour against another about her 'creative' waste disposal,  that piped her privy straight into a nearby gutter.

Discoveries of "Bulgarian Indiana Jones" on display in Sofia

The National Archaeology Institute museum in Sofia, Bulgaria is hosting a display of over 50 eartifacts discovered in the country in 2010. Among the finds were a 14th century gold earring and an 8th century silver coin.

Medieval Irish fishery victim of budget cuts

Archaeologists from the University College Dublin are unable to resume research on 14th century fishweirs near the Fergus Estuary in County Clare, Ireland which have been threatened by weather. The team blames budget cuts by the Irish Heritage Council. (photo)

14th century manuscript returns to Bangor Cathedral

Sunday worshippers at Bangor Cathedral in Wales were given a rare treat recently: they were permitted to view the Bangor Pontifical, "a 14th Century bishop's manuscript, containing blessings and text of plainchant." The manuscript had been absent from its home for preservation and digitalization. (photo)

14th century tales of Jean Froissart online

Steve Muhlberger (Duke Finvarr de Taahe of the Kingdom of Ealdormere) of the Department of History at Nipissing University has posted several tales, in English, written by Jean Froissart in the 14th century. The stories, which include romance, poetry and history, were aimed at an aristocratic audience.

Huge copy of the Koran to be digitized

A 500-year-old, handwritten copy of the Koran, owned by the University of Manchester's John Rylands Library, has been scheduled to be digitized and available online. The manuscript is the size of a large-screen television, and it is too fragile to be displayed. (photos)

"Season of the Witch: a 14th-century road movie with 21st-century cuss words"

Season of the Witch, the new Nicolas Cage costume drama set in medieval Europe, tells the story of two crusaders and the witch girl they are hired to transport to her doom. Jeannette Catsoulis of the New York Times has a review.