Archaeology

Archaeology and related sciences

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.

Did Stonehenge unify Britain?

Experts from the Stonehenge Riverside Project have concluded that "Stonehenge was built as a monument to unify the peoples of Britain, after a long period of conflict and regional difference between eastern and western Britain."

Artifacts discovered in 13th century Bulgarian monastery

A team of archaeologists has found a number of structures and artifacts, dating to the 13th century, from an excavation of the St. Peter and St. Paul Monastery at Veliko Tarnovo, the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire.

Elizabethan pottery hoard found in England

A large amount of glazed late16th century pottery has been found in a garden in Rainford, England. The find includes many drinking vessels.

Fabled seat of Danish kings discovered in Germany

A team of Danish archaeologists believe they have discovered the fabled Viking town Sliasthorp by the Schlei bay in northern Germany, the "center of power for the first Scandinavian kings." The discovery may give a new prospective on Scandinavian military organization. (photo)

Medieval fishing hut excavated in Iceland

Archaeologists are racing against erosion to excavate a 15th century fishing hut in Iceland. While people in the area have been known for centuries to use temporary huts during the fishing season, this one shows signs of longer occupation.

Archaeologists hunt for site of Battle of Lewes

In 1264, England's King Henry III refused to honor an agreement given to his barons, thus initiating the Battle of Lewes and prompting the creation of Parliament. Now an archaeological dig is underway to locate the site of the historic battle.

Scientists claim to have found the remains of Mona Lisa

Archaeologists excavating the Convent of Saint Ursula in Florence believe they have found the remains of Lisa Gherardini, thought by art historians to be the model for Leonardo DaVinci's famed Mona Lisa.

1000 years in Sicily: from Roman villa to monastery

For over 1,000 years, a farmland estate in the northeastern Sicilian village of Torrenova was in constant use, according to archaeologists from the University of Vienna. The land is believed to have hosted a Roman villa in late antiquity and a monastery throughout the Middle Ages. (photo)

Anglo-Saxon woman found buried with cow

Archaeologists excavating a late 5th century CE grave in Cambridgeshire, England have come across something completely uniquie - a women buried with a cow. This is the first known burial from this period of a woman with an animal in England, and the first case of anyone being buried with a cow.

Japanese tomb yields Roman jewelery

Glass beads found in a 5th century tomb near Kyoto, Japan probably originated somewhere in the Roman empire. The beads were made between the 4th and 1st centuries CE.

Trepanned skulls found in Spain

Two skulls were found in Spain with holes drilled in them. The skulls were found in a cemetery that dates to the 13th and 14th centuries.

Queen's jewelery found in medieval toilet

Archaeologists excavating a latrine at the site of a palace outside of Paris, France have found a hair pin belinging to 16th century French queen Catherine de Medici.

Remains of St. John the Baptist found (again)

Archaeologists excavating a church in Bulgaria have found a small ossuary with an inscription claiming to be the remains of St. John. Radio carbon and DNA testing have given some collaboration to the claim.

Byzantine settlement found in central Greece

Construction workers excavating for a new home uncovered the remains of a Byzantine settlement recently in Lefokastron in central Greece. Experts believe the 11 sites date between the 4th and 11th centuries.

Irish shipwreck the site of mystery and coconuts

A shipwreck found off the coast of Ireland carried an exotic cargo of Iberian pottery and coconuts. The coconuts, which likely sank in the late 16th or early 17th century, would mark the earliest known arrival of this fruit in Ireland.

New terracotta warriors found in China

Over 100 new terracotta warriors have been found in China, some with bright paint on them. Terracotta horses along with real weapons and parts of a chariot have also been found.

16th century "vampire" burial stirs controversy

The burial of a Venician woman with a brick in her mouth was originally publicized as a suspected vampire. Other researchers dispute this.

Elizabethan shipwreck is sunk again

Adding insult to injury, a ship that sank in the Thames in 1574 is now being resunk in a lake in Leicestershire, England. The wreck will be used as an aquatic classroom to train underwater archaeologists.

Evidence of early Jewish presence on Iberian Peninsula

Archaeologists have found the earliest evidence yet of Jews on the Iberian Penninsula. An excavation of a Roman villa in Portugal has revealed a marble slab, probably from a tombstone, with a Hebrew inscription dating to 390 CE.

What lies beneath Fort Pocahontas?

Beneath the earthwork of Fort Pocahontas in Virginia lies a treasure: Fort James, the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Now archaeologists must make a painful decision: preserve a Civil War fort or discover the secrets of the 1607 settlement.

Pathologist finds answers to medieval mysteries

French pathologist Philippe Charlier has used high-tech imagery and DNA analysis to answer questions about Joan of Arc, Napoleon, and a mistress of King Henri II of France. He is now turning his attention to Richard the Lionheart.

Cirencester's Roman amphitheatre to be revamped

The Cirencester town council has plans for their city's Roman ruins, including "the remains of one of the largest Roman amphitheatres in Britain."

Archaeologists hope to find Roman suburb in Northampton

Archaeologists in Northampton, England are set to excavate a site that may reveal 1,000 years of local history, from the Iron Age through the end of the Roman period. They believe the site might have been a suburb of the Roman city of Duston.

New finds shed light on Berlin's twin city Cölln

Little is known about the city of Cölln, across the Spree River from Berlin, Germany, but that may change with the discovery of medieval buildings and nearly 4,000 skeletons. Cölln, the older of the two cities, declined and was incorporated into Berlin.

Ecuadoran archaeologists hope to find Atahualpa's grave

Archaeologists from Ecuador's Cultural Patrimony Institute hope to discover the tomb of Atahualpa, the last Inca emperor, during a dig to be conducted at Sigchos, about 70km south of Quito. The site was found in 2010 by Ecuadoran historian Tamara Estupinan.