BBC News

British Broadcasting Corporation

Winter storms may point experts to 13th century Cromarty

The 2012 winter storm surge has been a boon for archaeologists working near Cromarty in the Scottish Highlands. The storms washed away part of the shore, revealing what may be part of the 13th century town.

Roman cemetery at Glevum excavated

Experts from Cotswold Archaeology have discovered a number of new burials in what they believe was the cemetery for the Roman city of Glevum, now Gloucester. "This is probably one of the most significant finds that has been made within Gloucester within the last 30 years. It will add greatly to the knowledge of the [city]," said archaeologists Stuart Joyce.

Tithe barn foundations revealed at Warwickshire construction site

In the Middle Ages, a tenth of a farmer's crops were stored in a tithe barn for use by the Church. Now the foundations of such a structure have been discovered at a construction site in Warwickshire, England. (photo)

Machiavelli gets the sack; civilization gets The Prince

Civil servant Niccolo Machiavelli flourished at government work, but his fall from grace came in 1512 when he was fired and imprisoned for his involvement in a conspiracy against the Medicis, leading to the creation of his greatest work, The Prince. Sarah Dunant has the feature for the BBC.

The faces of Mary, Queen of Scots

In conjunction with a new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland, the BBC has created a website which offers a gallery of portraits and artifacts relating to Mary, Queen of Scots, including portraits, her tomb, and the document demanding her death.

The tug-of-war over the Lindisfarne Gospels

The Lindisfarne Gospels are a British national treasure and should be part of the national collection, says the British Library. The Lindisfarne Gospels were written in the North and dedicated to St Cuthbert. They belong in Durham, says the Northumbrian Association. Who will win?

Lincoln Castle may hide Roman townhouse

The Lincolnshire County Council is sponsoring the restoration of Lincoln Castle in England. So far, archaeologists have found the remains of the Norman foundations of the castle and a previously-unknown Anglo-Saxon church. They expect to reach the Roman era soon in which they expect to find a Roman townhouse.

The fashion of Matthaeus Schwarz

Matthaeus Schwarz was a 16th century accountant - but an accountant with fashion sense. For over 40 years, the Augsburg, Germany resident commissioned watercolor paintings of himself, documenting his wardrobe and accessories, and revealing as much about his personality and ambition as his clothing choices. (photos and video)

Welsh site spans Roman and medieval periods

The time between when the Romans left Britain and the medieval period began has usually been considered a dark age lacking in civilization, but a new archaeological discovery in Caernarfon, Wales may help to fill in the gaps.

Social media may help choose patron saint of England

There are two camps in England when it comes to who would be the best patron saint, St Edmund or St George, and both are being promoted in a surprising way: Facebook. While George has been the preferred saint since Richard the Lionheart, Edmund is gaining support.

Lancaster Castle to become tourist attraction

The site of Roman forts, a prison, a court, an execution site and the Pendle Witches Trial, Lancaster Castle now has a new role to play: tourist attraction. For the first time in 900 years, the castle will be open to the public.

Stone priory seal restoration complete

In 2011, English metal detector enthusiast Tont Burke found a treasure in a Survey field with the discovery of a copper 12th Century seal matrix of Stone Priory, bearing the image of the Virgin and Child. Now, fully restored, the seal is returning to St Michael and St Wulfad's church in Stone. (photo)

Oldest Torah scroll discovered in university library

In 1889, a librarian at the University of Bologna in Italy made a terrible mistake. He dated and labeled a scroll to the 17th century, but recent tests have placed the document in the 12th century, making it "the oldest complete text of the Torah known to exist." (photo)

X-ray technology can read the unreadable

Researchers have long been distressed by the illegibility of fragile ancient parchments, but new techniques developed by scientists at Cardiff University may help read the unreadable.

The Godwine Charter returns to Canterbury

Somewhere between 1013 and 1018, Godwine sold his swine pasture in Kent, England to Leofwine the Red for 40 pence and two pounds rent and an allowance of corn. How do we know this? The sale was recorded in the Godwine Charter, an "exceptionally rare" document which recently made its way home to the Canterbury Cathedral Archives.

Fort search hopes to change perception of Romans in Scotland

"People are always surprised when I tell them about the Roman occupation of the area - they think the Romans never got any further than the Antonine Wall or even Hadrian's Wall which simply isn't true," said Dr Birgitta Hoffmann who leads an effort to discover a "lost" Roman fort in Scotland.

Haverhill research center to be built over Roman farm

Archaeologists working on what will become the Haverhill Research Park have discovered artifacts ranging from the Iron Age to the 19th century on the site. The science research complex will be constructed on what was once a 2nd century Roman farm.

Monks chronicled 1200 years of volcanic activity

A new report, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, finds that 1200 years of volcanic activity was chronicled in the texts of irish monks. The report was the work of an international team led by Dr Francis Ludlow from Harvard University.

Medieval house found near Conwy Castle in Wales

Workers from Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, digging a trench,  were surprised to find the remains of a medieval house and cesspit beneath Castle Street near Conwy Castle in Wales. The "incredibly important" find could "provide a new insight into medieval Conwy."

Rewriting Shakespeare

Many writers have re-interpreted the works of William Shakespeare, and a new project, The Hogarth Shakespeare, is just the latest. Launching in 2016 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, the series will commission prominent authors to create "cover versions" of the Bard's plays.

Richard's new army

An army of 100, some dressed in medieval garb, marched on the city of York recently in support of their king, Richard III. Led by Vanessa Roe, the king's 16th great niece, the march was a "moral crusade" to bring Richard's body back to Yorkshire where, according to Roe, he washed to be buried. (photo and video)

Life of Elizabeth Woodville dramatized on BBC One

Best-selling historical novelist Philippa Gregory has inspired a new series, currrently running on BBC One, which tells the stories of Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville. The White Queen is based on Gregory's series The Cousin’s War.

Lindisfarne Gospels on display in Durham

Until September 30, 2013, the Lindisfarne Gospels book will be on display in Durham University's Palace Green Library as the centerpiece of  an exhibition of artifacts from Anglo-Saxon England. In conjunction with the exhibit will be performances and family activities.

BBC series on German art begins with Cologne Cathedral

In the first of a series of videos on German art, British art historian and broadcaster Andrew Graham-Dixon looks at German art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Richard's head goes on tour

Richard III is getting the rockstar treatment these days, and now he is scheduled to go on tour - or at least his head is. The re-constructed head, created using the king's actual skull, will go on display in Leicester, Bosworth, York, Northampton and the British Museum. The head will eventually reside at a museum dedicated to the discovery.

The Mary Rose sails again in her new home

More than 30 years after the Mary Rose was pulled from the Solent, the ship continues to delight and educate both scholars and visitors to her new museum. In her new home, the Mary Rose can be viewed through three-story glass walls which display the interior of the ship, complete with dim lighting and "and groaning sounds of the sea outside." Eleanor Williams of BBC News has a feature story.

More on the art of Roman hair fashion

Baltimore hairdresser, and self-proclaimed "hairdo archaeologist," Janet Stephens, discusses her unique work with Roman hairstyles with the BBC while on a recent visit to London. (video)

"Dear Edward, Leave the Scots alone!"

A copy of a previously unknown letter from Robert the Bruce to King Edward II has been discovered at the British Library. The letter, written in 1310 during the build-up to the Battle of Bannockburn, requests that Edward recognise Scottish independence and end persecution of its people. (video)

The dark history of Tom Fool

Each year, a jester is chosen to liven up life at Muncaster Castle, near Ravenglass in Cumbria, England. The custom goes back centuries to Tom Skelton, believed to be the original Tom Fool, a real-life jester believed to have a murderous past. (photo)

Houses scheduled to grace Fulford battlefield

The "most likely candidate" for the site of the Battle of Fulford, according to English Heritage, is Germany Beck, an area scheduled to be developed into a community of 600 new homes, approved by the City of York Council.