Archaeology

Archaeology and related sciences

"Young Warrior's" grave reveals links to Kyivan Rus king

National Geographic's website offers a slideshow of artifacts discovered recently in eastern Europe. Among them are the remains from a grave in Poland dubbed the "Young Warrior."

Grant awarded to search for Viking "court circle" in Sherwood Forest

Several years ago, the Friends of Thynghowe, an amateur history group, was instrumental in discovering a Viking Thing in England's Sherwood Forest. Now the group has received a grant to search a wider area.

Guinea pig joins the ranks of favorite medieval pets

Was there a guinea pig sitting in the cage of a 16th century classroom? A new archaeological find proves it's possible. The 3rd ever early European guinea pig skeleton has been found in Belgium. Experts believe it was buried like a pet.

Ancient stone may hold the fate of modern London

The Stone of Scone and the Tower Ravens may have some competition. A fight has broken out over the fate of London's Stone of Brutus. A development company wants to relocate the stone, while tradition holds that, "So long as the Stone of Brutus is safe, so long will London flourish."

"Cumbrian Dragon" may have belonged to a knight

A stunning miniature of a 15th century knight slaying a dragon has been found in Carlisle, England. The cast silver gilt piece is of high quality and thought to be a piece of jewelery rather than a pilgrim's badge.

Evidence suggest that London was built by Iceni slaves

An essay from a recent issue of British Archaeology suggests that the city of London was  built as a military base by the captured Iceni tribesmen of rebel Queen Boudica, who were then executed. Author Dominic Perring bases his theory on the discovery of hundreds of skulls of young males.

Jewish bread stamp found in Acre

In the Israeli city of Acre around 500 CE, Larry the Baker left his mark. A ceramic Byzantine bread stamp has been unearthed bearing the classic Jewish seven branch Menorah and the name "Laurentius" written out in Greek letters.

Maria Vretmark and the mystery of the king's tomb

Maria Vretmark has a "fantastic story" to tell: Who is buried in King Magnus Ladulås' tomb? New DNA tests carried out by her team have determined that at least some of the bodies in the tomb in central Stockholm, Sweden are several centuries younger than the reign of Magnus, who ruled from 1275 until 1290.

Restored Roman helmet to go on display

A Roman helmet found in Leicestershire, England is going on display after a 10 year restoration effort. The elaborate helmet dates to the 1st century CE.

Will skeletons tell story of Norwegian town?

The people of Stavanger, Norway are on a quest to discover the exact year their town was founded. A good starting place may be with the huge collection of human bones dating to the Middle Ages found beneath their cathedral.

British Museum given "gifts to the gods"

Curators at the British Museum are happy to accept a collection of "over 3,000 objects including coinage, jewellery, furniture fittings and pottery vessels" thrown in the River Tees at Piercebridge in Roman times as gifts to the gods. (photos)

17th Century "fairytale cottage" may have link to dark history

Workers from United Utilities in the village of Barley, England, were "stunned" to discover a well-preserved 17th century cottage during a construction project. The cottage included the bones of a cat found inside a wall, possibly put there to ward off evil spirits.

Chatham's Tudor shipyard confirmed

Archaeologists working on a dig in Chatham, England have confirmed that a dockyard dating to the time oif Henry VIII existed on the site of the Command House pub on the banks of River Medway. Officials hope to make a bid to declare the dockyard a World Heritage site.

1000-year-old Icelandic remains may prove ritual sacrifice

A recent report in Urðarbrunnur, the journal of the science association at Laugar in the rural district Þingeyjarsveit, Iceland, suggests that remains found in a large hole in the turf wall in Þegjandadalur, Iceland show the practice of ritual sacrifice in the time before the country converted to Christianity.

"Exciting" Anglo Saxon discovery in Yorkshire Dales National Park

A team of amateur archaeologists from the Ingleborough Archaeology Group has discovered evidence of an Anglo Saxon building in the Yorkshire Dales National Park in northern England. The "exciting" discovery is "the first building in the national park that is firmly dated to the 7th Century and is one of only a handful in the north."

Japanese train yard reveals luxury lodgings

A site excavated at a train yard in Japan is thought to have been a facility that provided food and lodgings to Korean and Chinese enyoys. The facility is mentioned in ancient manuscripts and dates to the 8th or 9th century CE.

New study traces the origin of board games from ancient times to modern era

A study published in Antiquity looks at board games and traces their spread from ancient Mesopotamia through medieval Europe and into 20th century America.

Disturbed remains may not be fault of grave robbers

Archaeologists who have found graves from the early Middle Ages with remains disturbed have long believed that grave robbers were responsible, but new research may show that the destruction was done for other reasons than material gain.

Pictish power centered in Rhynie

Excavations near the site of Scotland's Rhynie Man, a six-foot boulder carved with the image of a Pict, have revealed a fortified early medieval settlement, possibly the seat of the mysterious Kings of Pictland.

Anglo-Saxon burials reveal life of hardship

A 7th-8th century CE cemetery has been discovered during a patio renovation at a home in Warwickhire, England. The burials, probably part of a much larger cemetery, have revealed new insight about life for people in the Middle Saxon period.

Pierced skull leads to 1,000 year old murder mystery

As the saying goes, "Bows don't kill people, arrows do." Such seems to be the case for a burial in Galway, Ireland. Evidence of a shallow grave and an arrow found in the victim's skull has led researches to conclude that the man may have been murdered.

Acre: “one of the most exciting sites in the world of archaeology”

Archaeologists and tourists alike are rediscovering Acre, the Crusader city in Israel. Now the ancient city is being viewed as a goldmine for medieval artifacts. Eliezer Stern, the Israeli archaeologist in charge of Acre, calls the city “one of the most exciting sites in the world of archaeology.” (photos)

Five-year York Hungate dig comes to an end in December, 2011

Archaeologists are beginning to pack up their tools five years after the excavation of York, England's Hungate dig began. In 2012, the York Archaeological Trust will turn the 2,500 sq m (26,900 sq ft) excavation over to developers for a modern housing project.

"Mysterious" Silk Road city found

Chinese archaeologists believe they have discovered evidence of an important Silk Road city which disappeared in the 3rd century CE.

Crusader inscription found in Arabic

A 13th century inscription written in Arabic has been translated and found to be a proclamation by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. The inscription is thought to originally be from a wall in Jaffa, Israel. The inscription is the only known example of its kind.

Spirits banned at Nevern Castle

Archaeologists excavating at Nevern Castle in Pembrokeshire, Wales have uncovered several slates dating to the 12th century scratched with images of stars and other symbols designed to ward off evil spirits. The slates were found in the castle's entranceway.

Remains of fifteen Anglo-Saxons given Christian burial

Last year, fifteen skeletons dating to Angelo Saxon times were discovered during a construction project at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Bicester, England. Recently the remains were re-interred in a church memorial garden. (video)

16th century Spanish artifacts found in Georgia

Jewelry and other artifacts from the 1500s have been found in an excavation of a Native American village in Georgia (USA). The artifacts suggest that conquistador Hernando de Soto may have travelled far off course in his exploration of Florida and points west.

Scottish archaeologists investigate vitrified fort

1,300 years ago, a tribe of warriors tried in vain to defend a fort below Abbey Craig in Stirling, Scotland. Their failure led to the total destruction, or vitrification, of the fort by fire. Recently archaeologists spent four days investigating the site.

14th century Ottoman conqueror found at Perperikon

Discoveries continue to be unearthed at the Perperikon archaeological site in Bulgaria. The latest is the tomb of a 14th century Ottoman conqueror.