601 CE and Earlier

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."

Roman border walls

Most students of Roman history are familiar with Hadrian's Wall in northern Britain, but Roman border walls can be found throughout what was once the Roman Empire. Andrew Curry of National Geographic Magazine has the feature story.

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.

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.

Another Saturday night with the Scots and Roman legions

Stracathro Fort near Stirling, Scotland, the world’s most northerly Roman fort, may have been served by a wine bar or pub. Archaeologists woring on the Roman Gas Project discovered a settlement adjacent to the fort including "a large square room – the equivalent of a public bar – and fronted on to a paved area, akin to a modern beer garden."

Archaeologists explore Vindolanda's water system

In 1930, Prof Eric Birley first recorded the pipework for the water supply at the Roman fort Vindolanda in Northumberland, England. Recently his grandson, Dr Andrew Birley, continued the legacy by identifying the spring-head and piping system for the fort.

"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.

Early Byzantine fortress and settlement found in Bulgaria

An archaeological team led by archaeologist Ivan Hristov has discovered a 5th century Byzantine town and fortress on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Experts believe the town was destroyed by an Avar invasion which sealed the area in the way Vesuvius sealed Herculaneum.

Cursed in Kent

Poor Sacratus, Constitutus and Memorianus must have had a bad time in Roman Kent, England. Their names were found among 11 others on a lead "curse tablet" discovered recently by the Maidstone Area Archaeological Group.

Roman trading vessel, cargo found in Italy

"There are some broken jars around the wreck, but we believe that most of the amphorae inside the ship are still sealed and food filled," Lt. Col. Francesco Schilardi about a 2,000-year-old Roman shipwreck found recently off the coast of the Italian city of Genoa.

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.

Channel Islands' Roman fort "probably the best in Britain"

Archaeologists working on the oldest standing building in the Channel Islands, a small Roman fort, are pondering the possible decision to turn the building into a visitor center.

Unearthed Roman road changes historians' maps

The patrons of the Stockwell Arms, in Colchester, England, probably never dreamed that they were having a pint atop the remains of a 1st century Roman road. The road was revealed recently after reconstruction of the pub.

Sicily's Roman mosaics return to public view

The 4th century Roman mosaics at the Villa del Casale at the Piazza Armerina in Sicily are considered “the finest in situ in the Roman world.” Now the newly-restored stone tiles are again open to the public. (photo)

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.

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.

Sexaginta Prista to receive facelift

The Roman heritage of the Balkans is about to get a boost with an EU-funded renovation project of the Roman fortress Sexaginta Prista near the city of Ruse, Bulgaria.

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)

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.

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."

Master Ark's jewelry web site

Master Ark has been creating authentic Medieval jewelry for over 25 years.  His cloak clasps, pennanular brooches, fibulas, Thor's hammers, brooches, and pendants are worn throughout the Known World. 

Controversy continues over role of Hagia Sophia

Devout Muslims in Istanbul are calling for the re-opening of the historic 6th century Hagia Sofia as a mosque. The move would break a Turkish law prohibiting worship in the monument.

4th century synagogue vandalized in Israel

Israel Antiquities Authority deputy director Uzi Dahari reports that vandals, possibly ultra-Orthodox Jews, have damaged a rare 5th century mosaic in a synagogue in the northern Israeli city of Tiberias.

Using science to read the Archimedes palimpsest

In a TEDTalks video on YouTube, ancient books curator William Noel discusses "the fascinating story behind the Archimedes palimpsest, a Byzantine prayer book containing previously-unknown original writings from ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes and others." (video)

Experts gather to study historic Iona, Scotland

The island of Iona was recently the site of a gathering of international experts to study the island's carved stones and grave markers, and its unique history. The workshop was sponsored by Historic Scotland and the Iona community.

Samson mosaic graces "monumental synagogue" discovery in Galilee

A team of archaeologists has discovered a "monumental" synagogue dating to the 4th or 5th centuries C.E. in excavations at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee. The excavations revealed a "stunning" mosaic depicting Samson "placing torches between the tails of foxes." (photo)

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)

Roman beads found in 5th century Japanese tomb

A recent discovery may prove that the Roman Empire was more influential than previously believed. Three Roman glass beads have been unearthed in a 5th century Utsukushi burial mound in Nagaoka, Japan. (photo)

The Dark Ages: Everything old is new again

In a new documentary, filmmaker and historian Michael Wood compares the economic gloom and social unrest of modern Europe with conditions in the western world at the beginning of the Dark Ages.