Creating ornamental works from precious and semiprecious stones

Irish reliquary becomes Viking jewelry box

"Ranvaick a kistu thasa" or in English, "Ranvaik (a female name) owns this casket" reads a runic inscription on the base of a jeweled, Irish reliquary on display in the Danish National Museum. While the casket dates to the 8th century, the inscription was added two centuries later, demonstrating one small effect of Viking raids. (photo)

Roman treasure found in the Hague

Archaeologists working on the site of road construction in the Hague, Netherlands were surprised to discover a treasure hoard in a Roman pot. The extent of the treasure was revealed recently at the annual De Reuvensdagen archaeological conference. (photo)

Gold torc found among coin hoard

In 2012, a hoard of nearly 70,000 coins, dating to the first century BCE, was discovered by metal detectorists on the Island of Jersey. Recently, while separating the coins, experts were surprised to find an intact gold torc. (photos)

Mystery of the Viking pot: Solved

In September 2014, metal detectorist Derek McLennan discovered over 100 artifacts in a field near Dumfries, Scotland. Among them was a 1,200-year-old Viking pot, heavy enough to contain something, but too fragile to open. Now archaeologists have been able to determine what is in the pot with the help of a CT scan. (photos)

Dressing like an Anglo Saxon

Toby Martin, of the University of Oxford, has published a series of abstrats on papers and presentations on his university blog pertaining to Anglo Saxon dress and jewelry. PDFs are available on request.

Evidence of Germanic tribes discovered in Poland

An archaeological team from the Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw recently discovered evidence of habitation by Germanic people from the turn of the fourth and fifth century CE in a cave in the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland. (photo)

Staffordshire Hoard teaches lesson in Anglo-Saxon metallurgy

Gold was believed to have magical powers in Anglo-Saxon society, which may have led to discovery of special processes to make the metal appear "more golden than gold." These findings are part of a new study of the Staffordshire Hoard which "showed goldsmiths knew how to remove alloyed metals such as copper and silver from the surface of objects."

"One of the most important Viking hoards ever found in Scotland" unearthed near Dumfriesshire

September 2014 was a great month for British metal detector enthusiast Derek McLennan. The retired businessman discovered "one of the most important Viking hoards ever found in Scotland" in a field in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. (photos)

Beauty from tragedy in Roman Colchester

Experts working on the restoration and preservation of the Fenwick Treasure, found in the summer of 2014 under a floor of a house in the town center of Colchester, England, believe that the hoard of jewelry had been hidden during the Boudican revolt of 61 CE. In the future, the treasure will be displayed at Colchester Castle Museum. (photos)

Viking silver found in Scotland

Retired Ayrshire businessman Derek McLennan has made good use of his metal detector. In 2013, he discovered Scotland's biggest haul of medieval silver coins. Now he has unearthed a new hoard of more than 100 items, including a 9th century Christian cross and possibly the largest silver Carolingian pot ever discovered. (photos and video)

Roman finery found under Colchester department store

Construction work at Williams & Griffin department store in Colchester, England has led to the remarkable discovery of a wealthy Roman woman's jewelry collection, considered to be "one of the finest of its kind ever discovered in Britain." (photos)

Extraordinary finds at "Pompeii of the north"

Archaeologists marvel at discoveries from the Binchester Roman Fort near Bishop Auckland in northern England, a 2nd century site which has been dubbed the "Pompei of the north." (photos)

Sutton Hoo brooch replica added to exhibit

In the 1840s, a ploughman in Suffolk, England discovered what remained of an Anglo-Saxon gold brooch, and traded it for a set of teaspoons. Recently, as part of the 75th anniversary of the discovery of the Sutton Hoo ship burial, a replica of the brooch, complete with gold, silver, bone and garnet stones, has been included in the exhibit. (photo)

Medieval invention still ticking

Since the early 16th century, watches have been an elegant fashion statement. David Thompson, former Curator of Horology for the British Museum, looks at the history of the watch in a feature  article on the British Museum blog. (photos)

Roman intaglio re-used by medieval jeweler

Metal detectorist Philip Jackson made a rare and interesting find recently when his equipment pinpointed a silver pendant in a South Derbyshire field constructed around a Roman intaglio (a carved stone). (photo)

Runed Thor's Hammer found in Denmark

Archaeologists from the National Museum of Denmark have declared a small torshammere (Thor’s Hammer Amulet) found recently on the Danish Island of Lolland, the only such amulet with a runic inscription. (photos)

Treasures of Scotland revealed

2013 was a "magnificent" year for archaeologists in Scotland. The recent annual Scottish Treasure Trove report, covering 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014, by Queen's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer (QLTR) Catherine Dyer shows a variety of items including gold jewelry, coins and a Roman wine dipper. (photos)

Viking amulet features detailed dress

Experts in Denmark are intrigued by the recent discovery of a Viking Age amulet/figurine by a metal detectorist in a field near Revninge. The small silver figurine, possibly representing Freya the goddess of fertility, wears a marvelously-detailed Viking dress. (photo)

The Great Audley's mourning ring found in Norfolk

In his will, Hugh Audley, known as The Great Audley, 16th century philosopher, land owner and money lender - and owner of the land where Buckingham Palace now stands - left 11 mourning rings, designed to be worn by his mourners. Such a ring, linked to him, has been discovered in a south Norfolk field. (photo)

Master Ark's Jewellery

Master Ark has been creating authentic Medieval jewelry for over 25 years. His cloak clasps, pennanular brooches, fibulas, Thor's hammers, brooches, and pendants are worn throughout the Known World.

You can now keep current with what Master Ark is doing by following his Facebook page.

"Stunning" Roman bracelet on display in Furness

Trade between the Roman and the British locals may be enbodied by a single silver bracelet, dating to the second century, discovered recently by a metal detectorist near Dalton-in-Furness, England. Probably traded by a Roman soldier visiting the town, the "stunning" bracelet is now on display at Barrow's Dock Museum in Furness. (photo)

Illegal metal detectorist tears Roman gold from ground in Germany

Investigators in Germany are untangling the case of a metal detectorist who illegally dug up more than EU€1 million worth of Roman gold in a forest in southern Rheinland-Pfalz. The perpetrator may already have sold some of the pieces on the Black Market. (photos)

Anglo-Saxon artifacts discovered near Maidstone

A metal detectorist from Medway History Finders has uncovered a collection of Anglo-Saxon artifacts dating to the 6th century near Maidstone, Kent, England. The hoard, valued at more than UK£40,000, includes silver brooches with red garnets and hairpins. (photos)

Maiden crown artifacts found in Danish church

The discovery of the remains of a "maiden crown" in Roskilde Cathedral in Denmark have shed new light on women's fashion of the time. A maiden crown was worn by an unmarried woman in the Renaissance. The recently-discovered headpiece consisted of small flowers made of copper wire and silk thread. (photos)

Yorkshire Museum covets Bedale Hoard

In 2012, a "nationally significant" Viking hoard, including a gold sword pommel and silver neck ring, was discovered in Bedale, North Yorkshire. Now the Yorkshire Museum hopes to buy the collection which is valued at UK£51,636.

Metallurgy conference to focus on personal adornment

The Historical Metallurgy Society AGM will hold its annual conference May 31 - June 1, 2014 at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, England. The them of this year's conference will be Metals used in Personal Adornment.

"Staggering find" links British Isles and Norway

Curator Barry Ager of the British Museum discovered a rare Viking artifact lately in an unexpected place: the storeroom of the British Museum. The ornate, gilded brooch, spotted by Ager "in a lump of organic material excavated from a Viking burial site at Lilleberge in Norway," turned out to be a rare piece of jewelry. (photo)

BM's Sutton Hoo gallery receives facelift

Room 41 of the British Museum has received a facelift in order to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the discovery of the Sutton Hoo ship burial. The room, which houses the museum's early medieval collections, was refurbished with new flooring, roof and internal architecture renovation thanks to a gift from Sir Paul and Lady Jill Ruddock.

"Organic lump" holds rare Celtic brooch

In 1891, the British Museum acquired a lump of organic material found at a Viking burial site in Lilleberge, Norway. The material had metal pieces in it, but no one took the time to examine it further - until recently when Curator Barry Ager took a second look and ordered the material x-rayed. (photo)

Might Roman ring have inspired Tolkien?

The history of a stolen Roman ring and its discovery in the 18th century are the subject of a recent feature article in History Today by Lynn Forest-Hill, fellow of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture, University of Southampton, theorizing that the ring may have been the inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien. (photos)