Archaeology

Archaeology and related sciences

"Groundbreaking" discovery may give insight into Fujiwara-kyo, Japan's first capital

Researchers from the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties are studying a series of square holes they believe may have held the foundation for an important building in Fujiwara-kyo, the nation's capital between 694 and 710.

Hyde Abbey Garden may halt search for bones of Alfred the Great

The Friends of Hyde Abbey Garden are not keen on the idea of archaeologists digging up the garden in search of the remains of King Alfred the Great. The garden was established in 2003 above the site in Winchester, England, believed to be the grave of the king.

DNA study shows Viking families traveled together

A team of experts from the University of Oslo, led by Erika Hagelberg, has recently published its research in The Royal Society Philosophical Transactions B showing that "women played a significant role in Viking migrations." Their findings were made by comparing ancient Norse and Icelandic mitochondrial DNA with mitochondrial DNA of modern Northwestern Europeans.

Geophysical survey maps Old Sarum

A geophysical survey carried out by students and archaeologists from the University of Southampton has mapped, for the first time, the layout of historic site of Old Sarum near Salisbury, England, from its origins in the Iron Age to its decline in the 13th century, concentrating heavily on the prosperous medieval town. (photo)

St Piran's Oratory in "pretty good" shape

In 1910, the remains of St Piran's Oratory, a 6th century church in Cornwall, England, were encased in concrete to preserve them from the elements. Now for the first time in over 100 years, the church has been unearthed. (photos)

Finding Harald Bluetooth's fortress

In September 2014, archaeologists from the Danish Castle Centre and Aarhus University were waiting expectantly for the outcome of carbon-14 dating which could determine whether or not the Viking ring fortress, located west of Køge, Denmark, could have been built by King Harald Bluetooth.

21 Anglo-Saxon skeletons with grave goods found in Suffolk

The remains of 21 Anglo Saxons were discovered recently during a development project in Exning, Suffolk, England. The skeletons, dating to the mid 7th century, included those of four or five adolescents and a warrior, and they may have links to royals. (photos)

Aska barrow identified as possible Viking feasting hall

What was long identified as a burial mound near Vadstena, Sweden has been determined to be a huge building, probably a feasting hall, measuring almost 50 metres in length.

Cambridge hospital skeletons revealed

From the 13th through the 15th centuries, the Hospital of St. John the Evangelist operated on what is now the grounds of St. John's College, Cambridge University. In 2010, archaeologists working there discovered the hospital's cemetery, considered one of the largest medieval hospital burial grounds in England. Photos of the discovery have now been released. (photos)

Maryport named Research Project of the Year 2015

Each year, Current Archaeology magazine gives an award for the Research Project of the Year. Senhouse Museum Trust and archaeologists from Newcastle University have been working for over four years at the Camp Farm site near Maryport, and they have been named the 2015 recipients of the award.

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)

Richard III: Just misunderstood?

Members of the Richard III Society have long believed that the last medieval king of England got a bad rap from the conquering Tudors and their bard, William Shakespeare. Now, with the discovery of Richard's remains, others are beginning to reconsider the monarch. (audio interview)

Auckland Castle Trust buys Binchester Roman Town

Plans are afoot for the revamping of the Binchester Roman Town in County Durham, England, with the purchase of the archaeological site by the owners of nearby Auckland Castle. Among those announced are the construction of a glass walkway over the dig, and a visitors' center.

Volunteers aid in dig at York's All Saints' Church

The first phase of an archaeological dig at All Saints' Church in York, England has wrapped with the discovery of artifacts from Roman times to the 19th century including "two medieval dice, Roman pottery and a spindle whorl thought to be from the Viking era." Phase two will begin next spring. (photos)

Metal detector hobbyist finds treasure in English fields

Treasure hunter Stephen Auker is a bit of a metal detector rock star. In recent years, he has discovered more than 100 Roman coins in a field near Silsden in northern England, offering them to a museum in Keighley. More recently, Auker found a merchant's signet ring dating to the 1550's. (photo)

Tower timbers found on Firth of Clyde

The west Scotland Firth of Clyde may have housed a 13th century harbor and large timber tower, according to archaeologists from Wessex Archaeology Coastal & Marine and members of the local community who have been studying the site since the destructive winter storms of early 2014. (photos, map)

The search for King Harold continues

Cousins Terry Muff and Kevin McKenzie, who claim King Harold, of Hastings fame, as an ancestor, believe that the remains of the Saxon monarch lie beneath an ancient church in Hertforshire. Ellie Zolfagharifard of the Daily Mail has a feature story. (photos)

Staffordshire Hoard gallery as never seen before

The discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard is undoubtedly some of the greatest news in archaeology in the past decade. The incredible collection of Anglo-Saxon gold is on display at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Now you can watch a time-lapse video of the construction of the exhibit.

"Battle, Bricks and Bridges" lead experts to the truth about the Battle of the Ford of the Biscuits

"Archaeology is an evolving process so you always learn more and more," said archaeologist Paul Logue from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, about new discoveries on the 16th century Battle of the Ford of the Biscuits in County Fermanagh, Ireland.

Medieval city of Ukek found in Russia

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a 750-year-old city along the volga River in Russia. Ukek, a major city of Batu Khan's Golden Horde, is believed to have been founded by the descendents of Genghis Khan.

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)

St. Augustine dig: "a 16th century jackpot!"

Archaeologists working at the site of a new garden at the gallery of the Art Association in St. Augustine, Florida, have unearthed "some of the earliest artifacts found in the downtown area." City archaeologist Carl Halbirt said, "This is a 16th century jackpot!" WFGA, Jacksonville, has the story. (video)

"Magical mud" of Novgorod reveals treasures

“Send me a shirt, towel, trousers, reins, and, for my sister, send fabric. If I am alive, I will pay for it,” wrote a 14th century father, Onus, to his son, Danilo, in the block letters of Old Novgorod language on a birch bark scroll. The note, among a dozen others, was discovered recently in the "magicial mud" of Veliky Novgorod, Russia.

Remains of "witch girl" found in Italy

In early medieval Italy, "burying the dead facedown was a way to prevent the impure soul threatening the living,” says anthropologist Elena Dellù. This might explain the remains of a teenage girl discovered recently at the complex of San Calocero in Albenga, Italy. (photo)

Medieval friary stonework among finds at Yorkshire dig

A team of archaeologists from AOC Archaeology Group, along with members of the community, were intrigued by discoveries resulting from two weeks of excavations near York, England's Guildhall. The workers found artifacts dating from Roman times through World War II, including evidence of a medieval friary.

Where is Harold?

The Bayeux Tapestry famously depicts King Harold II's death by arrow to the eye during the Battle of Hastings, but new evidence may show that the king survived the battle.

Community gets involved in Sudbury's "big dig"

Dr Carenza Lewis is well known to audeinces of Channel 4’s Time Team and the BBC’s The Great British Story, but now she has a different role: leading members of the community of Sudbury on an archaeological survey. Lewis heads up the "big dig" organized by the Sudbury Society, the Sudbury History Society, and the Sudbury Museum Trust.

Gagliana Grossa subject of study by Texas A&M students

In 1583, the merchant ship Gagliana Grossa sank off the coast of Biogradna Moru, in Croatia. Now the shipwreck has become a subject of study by a group of Texas A&M students led by Filipe Castro, in partnership with Irena Radic Rossi from the University of Zadar. (video)

Archaeologists complete geological survey near grave of medieval warrior

In 2013, archaeologists in Janakkala, Finland were thrilled by the discovery of the grave of a medieval warrior in what might be an ancient burial ground or even a settlement. The discovery has sparked enough interest to support more excavations, depending on the results of a recent survey.

“Lord, help Veronica”

Since 2000, Nikolai Ovcharov has headed excavations at Perperikon in southern Bulgaria, revealing some amazing finds. The latest includes a 12th to 13th century container inscribed with the words in Greek, “Lord, help Veronica.” (photo)