Archaeology

Archaeology and related sciences

Battlefield discovery inhibits rail construction

Riders of a English railways will have to wait a little longer for the HS2 line thanks to the discovery of a previously "lost" site of a Wars of the Roses battlefield. The site of the Battle of Edgecote between the Earl of Warwick and King Edward IV, fought July 26 1469 in Northamptonshire, lies along the route of the high-speed rail link.

Archaeologists ponder Swedish "murder mystery"

"It's like Pompeii: Something terrible happened, and everything just stopped," said Helene Wilhelmson, a researcher from Sweden's Lund University about the recent discovery of a well-preserved fort on the island of Öland, just off the Swedish coast, which contained a number of skeletons.

Roman skulls unearthed by "lost" London river

The Walborn River used to run through London until it was paved over in the 15th century. Recently the river made it's presence known when 20 skulls, dating to the 3rd or 4th century, were discovered washed from a Roman burial site.

Horse and rider return to Mildenhall

In 1997, the remains of an Anglo Saxon warrior and his horse were discovered, along with over 400 other graves, at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, England. Now the horse and rider have come home for display at the Mildenhall Museum.

Aristocratic burials found at Polish dig

Archaeologists working on excavations in Burdąg, Warmia and Mazury, Poland have discovered rich burials dating to the 6th and 7th centuries. Believed to have belonged to local aristocrats, the graves contained such artifacts as a silver breastplate, glass beads and silver fibulae. (photo)

3rd century shop found at Roman Maryport

Archaeologists working at Roman Maryport, along Hadrian's Wall, have discovered evidence of six buildings and a road. One of the buildings is believed to have been a Roman shop.

Search for sultan's heart continues

Archaeologists working at a site near Szigetvar, Hungary have discovered an Ottoman-era town near the site of the 16th century siege between Suleiman the Magnificent and Croatian-Hungarian nobleman Miklos Zrinyi. Experts hope to find the location where the sultan's heart is buried.

Early medieval grave finds "quite a surprise"

Until recently, archaeologists believed that the site of a dig in northern Poland was "considered quite poor," but then more than 40 graves, containing a wealth of early medieval artifacts, were discovered in Burdąg, Warmia and Mazury. The experts were "surprised." (photos)

Roman Child's Lead Coffin Unearthed

Dating to about the third century CE, a small lead coffin was recently unearthed in Leicestershire, England. It is presumed to be a Christian burial due to its east-west orientation and is less than a meter long. (photo, video)

Were headless skeletons slaves of Vikings?

In the 1980s, a number of graves were discovered on an island in the Norwegian Sea, some without their heads. New research may show that the headless burials were slaves to their dead Viking masters.

History from Below

In an article posted on ManyHeadedMonster website, Chris Briggs, Lecturer in Medieval British Social and Economic History at the University of Cambridge, discusses the possessions of the peasantry of England and Europe during the later middle ages (1200-1500). The Future of History from Below is the 16th piece in an online symposium.

Lincoln Castle excavations yield interesting finds

Construction of a new museum to house a copy of the Magna Carta at Lincoln Castle in England has halted after the discovery of the remains of a church, human skeletons and other artifacts. Among the finds was a sarcophagus, believed to contains the bones of "somebody terribly important." (photos)

Mystery of the disappearing manor solved

Once upon a time, a medieval manor house graced the countryside of Leicestershire, then it disappeared. Today the land is a sheep pasture, at least until archaeologists reveal what lies beneath the field.

Soil samples help analysize death of Danish child

Analysis of soil samples has revealed the suffering of a 13th century Danish child in the days before his death, according to chemist Kaare Lund Rasmussen from University of Southern Denmark. The 10-13 year-old child from Ribe had been treated with mercury, causing great suffering.

First of Leicester's double coffins opened

While the impact of the Leicester car park's second most interesting find will not not be as great as the discovery of the remains of Richard III, archaeologists are still excited about the mysterious coffin-within-a-coffin found at the site. The lid of the first, stone coffin was lifted recently to reveal an inner lead coffin, which was removed for further analysis. (photo)

Author "in love" with Richard III?

For over seven years, screenwriter Philippa Langley worked to prove that King Richard III, killed at nearby Bosworth Field in 1485, was buried beneath a car park in Leicester, England. In 2012, the discovery of the remains was captured on video by Channel 4, the defining event in Langley's new book Richard III: The King in the Car Park. (video)

Portsmouth Roman well stumps experts

The discovery of a Roman well beneath a garden in Portsmouth, England has left archaeologists intrigued - and puzzled. The well contained Roman coins, a bronze ring, and the skeletons of eight dogs. (photo)

"Lost" medieval village found beneath Southwell

Archaeologist Matt Beresford is hoping that his team will find conclusive evidence that a "lost" pre-Norman village may be found beneath the streets of the Nottinghamshire town of Southwell. The project was being funded by a UK£5,800 Heritage Lottery grant. (photos)

Roman temple near Hadrian's Wall identified

The remains of a building near Hadrian's Wall, dating to the second century and first unearthed in the 1880s by a local archaeologist, have been identified as a Roman temple. The temple is the most north western classical temple from the Roman world yet discovered.

Will excavations at Grey Friars uncover headless bodies of executed monks?

80 years before Ricard III was buried at Leicester's Grey Friars church, three friars were beheaded by Henry IV for spreading rumors about the continued life of the deposed Richard II. Now archaeologists hope to solve the mystery by discovering their graves.

"Vampire" graves found in Poland

Archaeologists in Poland, investigating a roadway construction site, have discovered a group of what they consider "vampire" graves containing skeletons whose heads have been severed from their bodies and placed at their feet, "a ritualized execution designed to ensure the dead stayed dead."

Archaeological survey hopes to locate War of the Roses battlefield

Historical documents show that in 1460 a decisive battle took place on the grounds of Northampton's Delapre Abbey, leading to Yorkist Edward lV taking the throne of England, but the actual site of the battle has never been identified. Now archaeologists hope to locate the site before the area becomes a sports field.

Archaeologists search for graves at Flodden

In September 1513, thousands of bodies were buried on or around the battlefield of Flodden in Northumberland, England. Now, 500 years later, excavation has taken place to locate and protect the remains and to declare the burials as war dead.

Boat burials might help solve mystery of Viking trading center

To most historians, Steinkjer was just a name mentioned in the Norse Sagas, but new evidence discovered in two boat graves in Lø, Norway, may have solved the puzzle of the mysterious trading center.

Remains of Irish mother and children considered "significant"

Experts from the Caherconnell Archaeological School are pondering the discovery of the remains of a “45-year-old plus” woman" and two infants beneath the remains of the 10th century cashel (fort). The archaeologists believe that the remains belong to a wealthy family, possibly the local Gaelic rulers, the O’Loughlins.

New book relocates Battle of Bosworth

For centuries, everyone knew that the Battle of Bosworth, which led to the death of Richard III and the ascendence of the Tudors, took place on Ambion Hill, but new research by Glenn Foard and Anne Curry places the site two miles away by a marsh called Fen Hole.

Secret of Northamptonshire chapel revealed

Under an unassuming village church in Rothwell, England lies a 700-year-old crypt containing hundreds of skeletons, only one of two still remaining in the country. Why were they there? Experts from the University of Sheffield's Department of Archaeology think they know. (photos)

High-class tableware among finds at Ewell site

Roman Ewell, in Surrey, England, was once located along the Stane Street, between London and Chichester, and acted as a market center, suppling travelers with accommodations and food for their journeys. Now the Church Meadow Project is taking a look at the 2nd century site and what it can tell experts about its history. (photos)

Late Roman well offers insight into technology

A well-preserved, late-Roman well near Heslington, England demonstrates use of the latest technology of the time, including curved stone facings and a dish-shaped base. Archaeologists from the University of York believe the well had "significance in contemporary local agricultural cycles and fertility practices."

Richard III to be honored with Leicester museum

The Leicester City Council has approved plans to construct a UK£4m Richard III museum on and around the car park where the king's remains were discovered. The building is expected to be completed in 2014. (slideshow)