Archaeology

Archaeology and related sciences

“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)

Javelin head offers proof of Roman army occupation near Dumfries

Construction workers at Wellington Bridge near Kirkton, Scotland have unearthed a number of artifacts which relate to the Roman occupation of southern Scotland. Among items found were "an iron javelin head, the remains of a Roman boot, samian pottery and tile fragments." (photos)

Scholars pinpoint site of Columbus' departure

In the 15th-century, Palos de la Frontera in southwestern Spain was a thriving port. New scholarship, and the discovery of pottery and a reef, have led experts to establish the site as the departure point for Christopher Columbus' 1492 voyage.

Archaeologists to wrap up dig at Flodden

9 September, 2013 marked the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden between the Scots and the British in the fields of Northumberland, England. In October 2014, excavations of the site will be terminated, ending several years of work. The latest dig will concentrate on the bridge at Ellemford, believed to be the muster site for the Scottish army.

Byzantine compound shows evidence of wine production

Researchers working 30 kilometers west of Jerusalem were surprised to discover ancient cisterns which led them to a cave. Upon further exploration, they found a Byzantine-era compound where monks once lived and pressed grapes for wine and olives for oil.

Liao Dynasty nomadic campsite found in China

A team of archaeologists has discovered the remains of an ancient campsite for nomadic emperors from the Liao Dynasty (907-1125) in north-east China's Jilin province. One of four seasonal camps, the site is believed to have been an administrative centre during the reign of the nomadic Khitans.

Viking ring fortress might have launched English invasion

Danish Archaeologists, thrilled by the discovery of a Viking ring fortress on the island of Zealand, are considering the possibility that the site might have been used as a training camp to launch an invasion of England. (photo)

Viking history as told by the victims

Just how bad were the Vikings? Historians have debated the issue for decades. In a feature article for National Geographic by Christopher Shea, Yale history professor Anders Winroth, author of The Age of the Vikings, argues that contemporary accounts were exaggerated, and the writers often contradicted themselves.

Dig to explore medieval town and plantation in Northern Ireland

Experts in Antrim County, Northern Ireland, are intrigued by evidence of a "lost" medieval town beneath a plantation-era Gaelic Scottish settlement and a 16th century castle. The evidence consists of a metal buckle and a silver groat, both dating to the 1550s.

Mysterious Gedi: Kenya's Machu Picchu

In 1927, archaeologists discovered the remains of the fabled city of Gedi deep in the jungles of Kenya, but only recently have they begun to appreciate the advanced nature of the city. (photo)

Early medieval tavern found in Bulgaria

The discovery of "more than 100 glass cups, which were most likely used for drinking wine," has led experts to believe they have found a medieval tavern. The discovery was made at a site in the town of Misioni, Bulgaria.

"Great warrior" unearthed from Russian burial site

An 11th century burial site near Omsk in south western Siberia has revealed the remains of Bogatyr, meaning "great warrior," who lost an arm in his final battle. The "giant," measuring 5'11", was buried with amazing grave goods. (photos)

Trust bids to buy Roman fort from the Church

A Roman dig considered "the Pompeii of the North" is being sold in order to keep the site out of the hands of developers. Binchester Roman Town, in Bishop Auckland, England, owned by the Church of England, has drawn a UK£2m bid from the Auckland Castle Trust.

Roman soldiers "meditated" in comfort

Finding objects relating to everyday life is common for archaeologists at Vindolanda, the Roman fort near Hadrian's Wall, but the recent discovery of a wooden toilet seat - the oldest known - was special moment.

The face of medieval Edinburgh

In 2009, archaeologists discovered the burial site of 400 14th century citizens of the Leith area of Edinburgh, Scotland. 30 skeletons were chosen for intense study, and now forensic artists have put faces to a few of the remains. (photo)

Northampton's oldest brewery found during construction work

Archaeologists working at the site of the new Northamptonshire County Council headquarters have uncovered what is believed to be the town of Northampton's first brewery. Dating to the 13th century, the large stone pit shows scorch marks where barley had been roasted. (video)

Novelist finds human remains in IKEA bags

Perhaps Swedish erotic novelist Kicki Karlén briefly considered changing her genre to mystery when she discovered the remains of 80 people, dating to the 16th century, stashed in large IKEA bags in a chapel in Kläckeberga in southern Sweden.

Leiston Abbey dig reveals gaming piece and curse tablet

Leiston Abbey in the 14th century must have been an interesting place, considering some artifacts found by volunteers during a two-week archaeological excavation in the summer of 2014, including a Nuremburg jetton "poker chip" and a metal tablet expected to contain a curse. (photos)

Aerial photography pinpoints lost Polish village

From the ground, a grassy area near the village of Niedźwiedziny in Wielkopolska, Poland, appears to be an ordinary field, but archaeologists believe differently. Recent aerial photographs show crops growing with the outlines of an oval-shaped medieval village.

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)

Long lost Salisbury Hall discovered beneath former stadium car park

In 1322, the Salisbury Manor was built in Walthamstow, a suburb of London. The manor burned in the 16th century and was replaced by a Tudor structure, but was also lost. Now a team of archaeologists from Archaeology South East have found Salisbury Manor  beneath a former car park for Walthamstow Stadium.

Abandoned school becomes Richard III grave visitor center

Leicester, England mayor Peter Soulsby was on hand recently to celebrate the opening of a UK£4 million visitor center near the site of the grave of Richard III, discovered in 2012 in a city car park. The center is housed in an abandoned school building.

Archaeologists fail to solve mystery of Silchester

Archaeologists have packed their tools and left the site of the Silchester Roman town in Hampshire, England, still without an answer as to why the major town was abandoned in the sixth century.

Viking burial research project draws to a close

In 1999, Stephen Harrison and Raghnall Ó Floinn have headed a project to catalog Viking burials beneath the city of Dublin. Their work has produced an 800-page book entitled Viking Graves and Grave Goods in Ireland. The site is now considered the largest Viking burial zone in western Europe outside of Scandinavia.

Medieval teen given face in Scotland

In 2009, the remains of nearly 400 people were discovered by workers for the Edinburgh Trams system in Leith, Scotland. Now forensics experts have given one of the individuals, a teenage boy, a face. (photos)

French necropolis offers "rich grave goods"

Archaeologists in Saint-Aubin-des-Champs, France have discovered a burial ground containg more than 300 graves dating from the 5th through 7th centuries. The graves were single burials and included "rich grave goods." (photos)

Battle of Grunwald search to include lakes

Archaeologists working near the site of the Battle of Grunwald, between the army of King Jagiello of Poland and the Teutonic Knights in 1410, plan to use an electromagnet to drag the bottom of several lakes in the area, hoping to find weapons lost lost before and during the battle.

Medieval tagging: what it means

"We want to record it before it's lost," said Brian Porter of Lincolnshire's medieval graffiti project about thousands of medieval doodles found on the walls of English churches. Porter is co-chair of the volunteer project to record the graffiti and learn more about the thoughts of the people of the time. (photos)

What killed Richard III?

A new report, published in The Lancet, reveals that King Richard III was "probably killed by two blows to the head during a 'sustained attack'" when he perished August 22, 1485 in the Battle of Bosworth. (photos)

Medieval tithe barn unearthed at Croxton Kerrial dig

Project leader Tony Connolly of the Framland Local Archaeology Group has been hoping to find the "lost" 12th century manor house at Croxton Kerrial, near the Lincolnshire border in England. This summer's excavations have revealed several structures including a tithe barn.