Archaeology

Archaeology and related sciences

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.

Whitehall Roman Villa dig completed

In 1996, archaeologists began the investigation of Whitehall Farm in Northamptonshire, England, and were pleased to find coins and pottery buried beneath the farmland. Now, in 2012, the Whitehall Farm Roman Villa and Landscape Project has been completed. (photo)

Roman dig to showcase "level of history" in Ewell, England

Archaeologists believe that there had been continuous occupation of the area around Ewell Village in England since the 4th Century. Now a three-week dig hopes to uncover evidence of a Roman settlement along the road which ran from Chichester to London. (video)

The truth about "really dirty Vikings"

Many movies and books portray Vikings as "really dirty savages who wore horned helmets," but the website ScienceNordic sets the record straight with the educational article What Vikings really looked like.

Trusty’s Hill reveals royal Scottish stronghold

Archaeologists working at Trusty’s Hill, near Gatehouse of Fleet in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, have unearthed an early medieval Pictish fort. Artifacts at the site were protected by the collapsed ramparts of the fort.

Hoard of gold coins found in crusader castle

"This is the first hoard of gold coins that we have in Israel that we can date to the Crusader period," said Oren Tal, director of the excavation of the 13th century Crusader castle of Arsur, where a hoard of 108 gold coins was recently discovered.

Olive pit sheds light on early British imports

The discovery of a 1st century BCE olive pit found at an archaeological site in England gives further evidence to the theory that trade in Mediterranean luxury goods pre-dates the Roman empire.

Modern warriors help excavate ancient ones

British soldiers taking part in an excavation in Wessex found fellow soldiers buried 1,400 years ago. The modern soldiers were part of a rehabilitation program for those who were wounded in Afghanistan.