BBC News

British Broadcasting Corporation

Mystery of Stirling Castle medallions to be studied

As part of a UK£12M renovation of Scotland's Stirling Castle, historians plan to study 33 wooden carved medallions seeking to discover who the carvings depict and why they were carved.

Modern apprentices to learn medieval skills

The castles and stately homes of Scotland have an ongoing need for joiners and plumbers and the like who are trained in modern and historical arts and trades. A new program seeks to train people in the necessary skills with an apprenticeship.

Lost church of Bix Gibwyn found in Oxfordshire

Archaeologists are hoping that they have found the location of the "lost" church of Bix Gibwyn, an 800-year-old structure that was abandoned in the late 16th century. The research team has discovered three medieval graves which could pinpoint the site of the church.

Metal detectors cause of 12% rise in discovery of historic artifacts

An Iron Age torc, valued at UK£350,000, is one of the highlights of this year's archaeological discoveries in the UK. The necklace was found near Newark in Nottinghamshire. (photos)

Tycho Brahe's supernova spotted again

Max Planck Institute scientists report that they have once again glimpsed echoes of a supernova chronicled in 1572 by Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. The event was bright enough to be visible during the day. (photos and video)

Photos reveal undiscovered features of Hadrian's Wall

Researchers have been poring over more than 30,000 photos taken over the past 60 years for hints to the real nature of Hadrian's Wall. So far, the study has revealed "2,700 previously unrecorded historic features."

Scotland's annual Treasure Trove includes Roman tombstone

Scotland's Crown Office each year gets the honor of collecting rare artifacts discovered by archaeologists, metal detectorists and treasure hunters into a Treasure Trove. This year's finds include a Bronze Age sword and the first Roman tombstone discovered in nearly 200 years.

Reward offered for the return of stolen Scottish coins

A UK£50,000 reward is being offered for the return of a collection of rare Scottish coins, some dating to the 12th century, stolen in June 2007 from the home of Lord and Lady Stewartby at Broughton, Scotland. (photo)

Hadrian's Wall section to get a facelift

A major reconstruction project for a section of Hadrian's Wall has begun at Great Chesters, near Haltwhistle, Northumberland. The project will spend UK£200,000 to repair an 800m section of the wall.

Ancient Rome, meet Google Earth!

The geniuses behind Google Earth have taken on a new project: the mapping of ancient Rome. Now visitors to the website can take a virtual 3D tour of the ancient city including such buildings as the Forum and the Colosseum.

Scottish medical history display debuts in Edinburgh

A new exhibit at the library of the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh features 400 years or more of medical artifacts and books, some being publicly exhibited for the first time.

5th century church discovered in Syria

Archaeologists have uncovered what they believe to be the largest ancient church ever discovered in Syria. The remains of the 5th century structure were found recently near Palmyra in central Syria.

Ancient tsunamis devastated Asian coasts

The recent tsunamis that have caused such devastation in the Indian Ocean may not have been the first. According to a new study which sampled sediments in Thailand and Sumatra, the area may have been hit by a massive tsunami between 600 and 700 years ago.

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)

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.

Was the telescope invented in Spain?

An article for the magazine History Today claims that the telescope may have been invented in Spain by a Burgundian spectacle maker named Juan Roget, rather than in the Netherlands or Italy, as previously believed.

York skeleton shows signs of tuberculosis

The remains of a 4th century Roman discovered recently at York University may be "one of the earliest British victims of tuberculosis." Experts believe that cases of TB were rare in the north of England, and the discovery may help researchers learn more about the disease's spread across the country.

Castell Aberlleiniog to be rescued in Wales

"For over 20 years I have observed the progressive deterioration of this site as the mound suffered from erosion by livestock, and the masonry became increasingly unstable and overgrown by vegetation," said Mike Yates of Cadw, the Welsh historic monuments' agency, about Castell Aberlleiniog near Llangoed, which is being rescued from further deteoration.

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)

Royal books to be displayed in London

Over 100 illustrated books, previously owned by British monarchs, will go on display at the British Library in 2011. The manuscript exhibition will include "medieval and Renaissance books and other literary artefacts."

Renaissance humor explained

Dr. Sarah Knight, a lecturer in Renaissance literature, explains Renaissance humor in an interview for the BBC.

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)

St Margaret's church in Leicester, England ransacked by vandals

Police in Leicester, England report that vandals broke into and desecrated a 13th century church in the city's center, overturning lecterns, breaking windows and defecating through a floor panel into the church's medieval foundation.

Archaeologists search for lost Welsh towns

Two Welsh towns near Carmarthenshire are missing. Records show that they existed in the 14th and 15th centuries, but they have long since disappeared. Now researchers hope to find them within the grounds of Dinefwr Park and Castle near Llandeilo.

Youthful portrait of Elizabeth I discovered

A rare portrait of the young Elizabeth I dating from between 1650 to 1680 has been discovered in a private collection at Boughton House in Northamptonshire.

"Lost" medieval church of Dunwich found with modern technology

Marine archaeologists believe they have discovered a medieval church which tumbled off an eroded cliff into the ocean in Suffolk County, England. The remains were discovered using sonar and underwater cameras.

Spanish drought reveals medieval city

A severe drought affecting the city of Barcelona, Spain has lowered the water table in the massive Sau reservoir, revealing a once-submerged medieval village. The town was flooded when the reservoir, which supplies Barcelona, was built in the 1960s. (photo)

Practice Latin on the Vatican website

An ancient tongue gets a modern boost with the creation of Sancta Sedes, a Latin section of the Vatican's website which features papal texts and religious works.

Portrait of Shakespeare's patron discovered

Experts believe they have discovered a portrait of Henry Wriothesley, Shakespeare's only known patron, under a later portrait of his wife, Elizabeth Vernon. The painted-over image was discovered using X-ray technology. (photo)

Scottish Parliament Archive launched

An online archive of the proceedings of the original Scottish Parliament from its first surviving act of 1235 to its dissolution in 1707 has been launched.