Archaeology

Archaeology and related sciences

The spiritual life of the Vikings

Recent discoveries of Viking burial sites have led researchers to rethink previously-held beliefs about the lives of the Norse, especially in regard to their spiritual life.

"New" Vikings enjoyed fashion and poetry

Scholars at Cambridge University feel that Vikings have gotten a bad rep, and they have set out to right it by way of a campaign "to recast them as 'new men' with an interest in grooming, fashion and poetry."

Study of graves gives new insight into early Norse life

New research on excavations of early pagan Norse burial sites has given scholars a new understanding of the lives of the Vikings, especially in regard to their funeral practices.

Archaeologists puzzle over layers of history in Hungary

A 3,500-year-old gravesite, a Roman military camp, and a medieval road are just three of the possibilities archaeologists are exploring at a dig near Rábapatona, Hungary.

Did Norse bring Christianity to Scotland?

A team of archaeologists from the University of Nottingham are trying to determine if Vikings brought Christianity to Caithness, Scotland before Saint Columba brought the religion to Iona. (video)

Fifty years of "Medieval Archaeology" available online

In honor of their fiftieth anniversary of publication, the scholarly journal Medieval Archaeology has made fifty years of articles available on the web in scanned-page format, free for nonprofit research and educational purposes.

Vindolanda site receives funds for museum upgrade

The Roman fort of Vindolanda in northern England will receive UK£4M from the Heritage Lottery. The money will be used to upgrade the museum allowing them space to display many of the Roman site's spectacular discoveries.

"Gateway to the Roman invasion" found

New excavations in Kent, England have uncovered the hard surface of the country's coastline during the first Roman invasion (43 C.E.). The coast would have been two miles from the current coast. Also found: a Roman wall and a medieval dock.

Garum helps date Pompeii volcanic eruption

Garum, a pungent, fish-based seasoning, used in Roman cooking is being used to help precisely date the volcanic eruption that buried the city of Pompeii.

Roman villa found in Budapest

Several months of excavation have unearthed the remains of a second century Roman villa in Budapest, Hungary, thought to be one of the earliest in the country.

Stonehenge dating controversy continues

New research on Stonehenge finds that it is actually older than previously believed. A recent excavation headed by Mike Parker-Pearson, professor of archaeology at Sheffield University, finds the monument to date to 3000 BCE and to have connections to cremation of the dead.

Russian horse tomb stumps archaeologists

The discovery of a 14th century tomb at Staraya Russa holding the remains of 14 horses puzzles archaeologists. The experts feel the site was not used for slaughter or rituals, but have no other explanation for the mass grave.

Vikings needed women!

New research may show that the Viking raids of the 8th through 11th centuries may have been triggered by a shortage of marriageable women, possibly brought on by the Norsemen themselves.

Roman bones found near Fosse Way

Several ancient graves were found recently near Leicestershire, England containing the remains of several humans believed to have been Roman. The graves were found near the Roman Fosse Way.

Lakenheath dig reveals 450 Saxon graves

Over 400 graves dating to the Saxon period have been discovered at the site of a road project near the RAF facility Lakenheath in Suffolk, England.

Russian archaeologists find Khazar capital

Archaeologists from Astrakhan State University believe they have discovered the long-lost capital of the Khazar kingdom in southern Russia. The Khazars were a semi-nomadic people who converted to Judaism between the 8th and 10th centuries.

Lifestyles of the rich and Roman

A new exhibit on life in a Roman villa is now open at the Complesso di San Nicolo in Ravenna, Italy. Titled Otium: The Art of Living in the Roman House of the Imperial Age, the exhibit includes frescos, mosaics and over 100 household items.

14th century cemetery found in Berlin

Workers at a building site in central Berlin have stumbled across a huge medieval cemetery containing 2,000 bodies dating to the 14th century. Many of the remains are those of children.

Female remains found in Newcastle Roman sarcophagus

Archaeologists working on a burial site near Newcastle, England, have opened a pair of sarcophagi, one containing the remains of a child, and the other the remains of a woman. The site is believed to have been a former chapel near Hadrian's wall dating to the 4th century C.E. (video)

Vikings not driven from Canada by the Thule

New research shows that Viking settlers in Newfoundland were not driven from the country by the native Thule, a native ancestor of the Inuits. Scientific re-dating has placed the native tribes in the area 150 years after the Viking settlements.

Carmelite friars graves found in Perth

A team of archaeologists have discovered the over 50 skeletons dating to the 13th century, of Carmelite friars and other later burials. The remains were found at the future site of retail units in Perth Scotland. The experts have also uncovered the site of the friary church.

12th century Byzantine still found in Bulgaria

Bulgarian archaeologist Prof Nikolay Ovcharov has discovered a 12th century still believed to have been used in the study of alchemy in the remains of a Byzantine mansion near the village of Tatul, Bulgaria.

"Caesar" donated to charity shop

The 2,000-year-old skeleton of a Roman greyhound has been donated to a Lincolnshire, England charity shop. The bones were first discovered at the Lawn in Lincoln in 1986, and are believed to date to the Roman era.

Rare Roman lance found at Caerleon

Archaeologists working on a Roman site near Caerleon, Wales have discovered an extremely rare legionary's ceremonial lance. "I don't know of any of that type in Britain," said Dr Peter Guest. (video)

Pompeii declared in a "state of emergency"

For the next year, the ancient city of Pompeii will exist in a "state of emergency" while Italian experts strive to save the historic ruins which suffer from "lack of investment, mismanagement, litter and looting."

Northumberland Iron Age dig one of largest ever in NE England

Archaeologists working at the Delhi surface mine in Northumberland, England have unearthed the remains of at least 50 Iron Age houses, making the project one of the largest in northeast England's archaeological history.

From the halls of Montezuma

Mexican archaeologists believe they have, at long last, found the fabled palace of Aztec emperor Montezuma, destroyed by the conquistador Hernando Cortés in 1521.

7th century Lomard buried with horse

Italian archaeologists have discovered the burial site of a Lombard warrior interred with his horse. The skeletons were found n a park at Testona, near Turin, Italy.

Alabaster bust of Cleopatra Discovered in Egyptian Temple

It's a bit early for SCA, but still interesting: A bust of Cleopatra made from alabaster and a mask that may have belonged to Marc Antony are among the many items discovered in the Taposiris Magna temple, north of Alexandria, Egypt.

Scandinavians "genetically diverse" for over 2000 years say researchers

A study of Danish burial grounds dating to the Iron Age by a team of forensic scientists from the University of Copenhagen finds that humans were much more genetically diverse than previously believed.