Archaeology

Archaeology and related sciences

Archaeologists ask for police help to uncover Bannockburn story

Stirling Council archaeologist Murray Cook has made an unusual request of the Central Scotland Police headquarters at Randolphfield, Stirling to allow experts to search the police grounds for evidence of the location of the Battle of Bannockburn.

Roman cemetery could rewrite history of Roman Banwell

Construction on a UK£3.6million main between Banwell and Hutton, England is being held up while archaeologists investigate an unearthed Roman cemetery, possibly linked to a villa, containing a huge hoard of artifacts. (photos)

London burials surprise archaeologists

The discovery of over 500 skeletons, some dating to the Middle Ages, has halted plans for the construction of a UK£20m leisure centre in south-east London. BBC London's Nick Beake has a video report.

In search of Hastings

Tradition (and tourism) have long held that Battle Abbey was the site of the famous Battle of Hastings. However, while as many as 10,000 men may have died there, no bodies or major artifacts have been found. Historian John Grehan thinks that the battle may really have taken place in Caldbec Hill, a mile away.

Podcast discusses significance of Richard III discovery

An Academic Minute on WAMC radio discusses the recent archaeological discovery of remains which could possibly be those of King Richard III who was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. The podcast features Norman Housley, a professor of history at the University of Leicester.

Possible second New World Viking site discovered on Baffin Island

Artifacts from an excavation on Baffin Island, Canada have yielded evidence that the Vikings may have had a settlement there in the 14th century. Evidence includes traces of bronze, European-style stonework and tools, Old World rat pelts, and yarn similar to that made in Greenland at the same time.

11th century Tibetan statue carved from a meteorite

In a story fit for an Indiana Jones movie, a statue carved by the Bon people of Tibet in the 11th century and excavated by Nazis in the 1930s has been found to be carved from a meteorite that fell to earth between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago.

Anglo Saxon discovery at Caistor St Edmund changes minds about 5th century England

Excavations at the Roman town of Venta Icenorum at at Caistor St Edmund, near Norwich, England, are changing minds about life in 5th century Britain. The discovery of an Anglo Saxon building "showed the site was far more complex than first thought, and not solely a Roman settlement."

Early Irish monastery discovery "beyond wildest dreams"

Archaeologists are excited by the discovery of an early medieval monastery in Carrowmore, Co Donegal, Ireland. The site was previously known as an early Christian settlement, but the discovery of a circular boundary wall leads experts to believe that a monastery was located there.

Saxon "paupers' cemetery" found under British construction site

The remains of a 9th-10th century church and its graveyard have been discovered during construction along the Ipswich, England waterfront. 300 graves, consisting largely of very old and very young bodies, were found, exceeding the expectations of researchers who knew that a church might exist on the site.

Volunteers encouraged to help excavate Roman bath house

Archaeologists from the Grampus Heritage team are encouraging volunteers to take part in excavations to uncover a Roman bath house at the Derventio site near Papcastle, England. “This is genuinely a once in a lifetime opportunity because I don’t believe you will see something like this again in my lifetime.," said Mark Graham, project manager.

Operation Nightingale unearths thoursands of artifacts on Salisbury plain

A team of volunteers from Operation Nightingale, a project to give soldiers recovering from injuries in Afghanistan a chance to gains new skills and interests, has unearthed an "astonishing" haul of artifacts on the Salisbury Plain.

Discovered village offers "a glimpse of rural 13th Century life"

Archaeologists have begun work on a site near Bromyard, England where they believe they will find the remains of a medieval village. "It may be part of a village called Studmarsh, on land known as the Grove."

Development threatens War of the Roses battlefield

The Northampton Borough Council in Northampton, England is eager to turn over the 85-acre Delapre Park to sports club for their use, but there's a glitch. The park may be the site of a decisve battle between the Houses of York and Lancaster in 1460.

"Exotic items from abroad" found at Norse site in Scotland

Archaeologists have discovered a wealth of artifacts dating from the late Iron Age through to the end of the Viking era on the west side of the island of South Uist in Scotland. Included among the artifacts was a piece of bone marked with an ogham inscription.

Irish crannog reveals early medieval treasures

A road crew excavating near Enniskillen, County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland has unearthed a crannog, complete with human remains and a wealth of artifacts dating to the 9th century. Items found included a carefully-crafted, fine-toothed nit comb. (photo)

10th century pen nibs found in Bulgaria

Archaeologists have discovered a set of 11 bronze pen nibs dating back to the Age of Simeon I of Bulgaria. The artifacts were found at the site of a royal palace and church complex that housed a literary school during that time period.

St Donnan's grave found on Eigg

St Donnan, who brought Christianity to Scotland's West Highlands, was killed by Viking riaders in the early 7th century. Now archaeologists from the University of Birmingham are investing remains found at Kildonnan Graveyard to ascertain if the body is that of the saint.

Finding the bones of Mona Lisa

Historians' obsession with the real life Mona Lisa continues with the recent discovery of a complete skeleton beneath the floor of the derelict Convent of St. Orsola in Florence, Italy. Some experts believe the remains are those of Lisa Gherardini, AKA Mona Lisa.

14th century English coin found in southern Maine

A woman walking along the shore of the Neddick River in southern Maine (USA) came acorss an unusual find - a 14th century penny, likely minted in Canturbury, England.

Medieval well found under living room floor

Mrs. Colin Steer is not enthused about her husband's discovery of a medieval well under their living room floor. Curiosity about an indentation in the floor led to the discovery that has now sparked tension in the family. David Greene of NPR has the brief story.

Anglo-Saxon artifacts found at Polesworth Abbey

Excavations at Polesworth Abbey near Tamwoth, England, have yielded a variety of exciting artifacts including a brooch and decorates ceramic tiles. The site was originally a Benedictine nunnery founded in the 9th century.

Grave of Richard III found

Archaeologists working on a dig beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England believe they have discovered a grave containing the remains of King Richard III who was killed in battle in 1485.

50 volumes of "Medieval Archaeology" online

The Society for Medieval Archaeology has announced that the first fifty volumes of Medieval Archaeology have been made available in digital form.

Highway excavation produces ancient treasures in Romania

The excavation for a new highway in Romania has unearthed a plethora of artifacts - from Greek and Roman coins to a Celtic miniature chariot. Archaeologists have taken control of the site with the goal to preserve the artifacts for the country.

In search of Kitezh

Archaeologists are looking for evidence of Kitezh, the “Russian Atlantis,” on the shores of Svetloyar Lake near Nizhny Novgorod. According to legend, Kitezh is "a hidden city where the righteous live and work in prayer, and where only the chosen ones can enter."

"Immense volcanic eruption" may have led to death of thousands in medieval England

Archaeologists for the Museum of London recently discovered 175 mass graves dating to around 1250, 100 years before the Black Plague. What killed over 10,000 people in England may have been an immense volcanic eruption.

Large Roman cemetery found in Norfolk

Excavations for a housing development in Great Ellingham, Norfolk, England have uncovered a large cemetery dating to Roman times. The 85 graves are thought to belong to a rural settlement.

Byzantine-era olive press discovered in Israel

An olive press dating to the 6th – 8th century CE has been discovered at a road construction site near Hod HaSharon in Israel. The press "had been carved into huge building slabs that were sunk into the ground."

Roman Brits enjoyed a "refined diet"

Ongoing excavations at the Silchester Roman Town in Hampshire, England show that Roman citizens in the area seasoned their food with spices imported from the Mediterranean, and enjoyed foods such as olives, celery and dill, native to warmer climes.