601 CE to 700 CE

Medieval church wall and remains unearthed by electrical workers

The excavation of a ditch to bury an electrical cable has led to the discovery of a medieval church wall at St Ffinan's Church in Anglesey, England. The original church, believed to have been built in 620 CE, was mostly destroyed when the newer church was built in the 19th century.

Forgotten warrior-saint may have inspired Tolkien's Aragorn

British historian Max Adams believes that 7th century King Oswald has been overlooked as a hero. This opinion was apparently shared by author J.R.R. Tolkien, when he based his own warrior king Aragorn on the early English monarch who also "was exiled as a young man before returning to his homeland in order to claim his birthright and become king." (photos)

Cambridge hopes to acquire Codex Zacynthius

In 1821, the Bible Society, in Swindon, England was presented with the Codex Zacynthius, a 6th or 7th century Gospel of Luke. Now the Society is offering the Bible for sale, with Cambridge University as its buyer of choice. In order to acquire the manuscript, Cambridge will need to raise UK£1.1m. (photo)

BM's Sutton Hoo gallery receives facelift

Room 41 of the British Museum has received a facelift in order to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the discovery of the Sutton Hoo ship burial. The room, which houses the museum's early medieval collections, was refurbished with new flooring, roof and internal architecture renovation thanks to a gift from Sir Paul and Lady Jill Ruddock.

Basilica "of enormous importance" excavated on Cyprus

Archaeologists from the Cyprus Antiquities Department have unearthed the remains of a 7th century basilica the size of Westminster Abbey near the Royal Air Force Station of Akrotiri on Cyprus. Experts believe that the huge church was only used for 30 years.

Anglo-Saxon game piece found in Kent great hall

Archaeologists excavating the remains of an Anglo-Saxon in Lyminge, Kent have discovered a game piece "made from a hollow piece of bone closed with delicately turned wooden caps, held in place with a bronze pin," part of a high-end backgammon set. (photo)

Aristocratic burials found at Polish dig

Archaeologists working on excavations in Burdąg, Warmia and Mazury, Poland have discovered rich burials dating to the 6th and 7th centuries. Believed to have belonged to local aristocrats, the graves contained such artifacts as a silver breastplate, glass beads and silver fibulae. (photo)

Early medieval grave finds "quite a surprise"

Until recently, archaeologists believed that the site of a dig in northern Poland was "considered quite poor," but then more than 40 graves, containing a wealth of early medieval artifacts, were discovered in Burdąg, Warmia and Mazury. The experts were "surprised." (photos)

Site of "national importance" trumps carpark in Donegal

“I am hugely excited by the discovery. We have definitely put it up there to be possibly on a par with Clonmacnoise or Inishmurray,” said archaeologist Mick Drumm of Wolfhound Archaeology about the recent discovery of a 7th century monastery at Drumholm, near Ballintra, Co Donegal, Ireland. (photo)

Treasures from a Byzantine garbage dump

Early Byzantines in Tel Aviv, Israel probably thought themselves very clever when they buried a hoard of "400 coins, 200 intact Samaritan lamps and gold jewelry" in a garbage heap somewhere between the 5th-7th centuries. Perhaps they were, because the hoard was only found recently by a team of archaeologists from Tel Aviv University and the Israel Antiquities Authority. (video)

Coroner's inquest finds coin pendant treasure

A coroner's inquest has declared an "early-medieval gold pendant created from an imitation of a Byzantine coin," found in a field in Norfolk, England, to be treasure. The necklace was created as an imitation of a Byzantine-era coin, and is believed to have been made in France. (photo)

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.

Looters unearth Byzantine church in Jordan

In most cases, looters are detrimental to archaeological sites, but recently in Jerash, Jordan, the criminals began the process that led to the discovery of a 6th century Byzantine church with an amazing mosaic floor.

Scientists find that same bacterium caused Justinianic plague and Black Plague

In 2011, DNA evidence confirmed that the infamous Black Plague that ravaged Europe in the 14th century was, as had been suspected for many years, caused by the Yersinia Pestis bacterium. Now a team of scientists have used skeletal microbiology and DNA testing to show that a 6th through 8th century pandemic was caused by the same bacterium.

Byzantine wine press discovered beneath the streets of Tel Aviv

What is believed to be a large wine press, dating to the 6th or 7th century, has been discovered beneath the streets of Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality in Israel during modernization of the city's infrastructure. The installation was the first important Byzantine structure in the city. (photo)

Escrick ring baffles archaeologists

A beautiful sapphire ring discovered in 2009 by a metal detectorist in North York, England, has stumped experts who have been unable to date the ring. (photo)

Power lines to come down at Sutton Hoo

A UK£200,000 grant is set to finance the removal of power lines and poles from the site of the world-famous Anglo-Saxon burial mounds at Sutton Hoo near Woodbridge, England. Over a mile of lines will be replaced with underground cables.

Additional pieces added to the Stafforshire Hoard

Archaeologists have returned to the field where the Staffordshire Hoard was found to look for more pieces. Several gold pieces fit in with items already identified.

Southwell skeleton identified as "deviant dead"

A 6th-7th century skeleton, discovered in 1959 in the town of Southwell, Notts, England, has been classified as a "deviant burial" by Matthew Beresford, of Southwell Archaeology.

Saxon skeleton reburied

In 2009, the Chequers Inn in Bressingham, England caught fire and burned. During the demolition, the remains of a 7th century Saxon man were discovered buried beneath the pub. Now the man has received a burial in the churchyard of St John the Baptist.

Oxfordshire Museum displays Anglo Saxon brooch

Until the end of December, 2012, the Oxfordshire Museum is proudly exhibiting a 7th century garnet and gold brooch discovered in a woman's grave in Oxfordshire in 2009. (photo)

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

Anglo-Saxon artifacts win Renaissance Museum Award

A treasure of Anglo-Saxon artifacts, found in Loftus, England between 2005 and 2007, has won the Renaissance Museum Award in Durham. The collection has been on display at the Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar, since May 2011. (photo)

Mercia Movement hopes to return government to Anglo-Saxon times.

Some British citizens, disgusted with the current government, are looking to their Anglo-Saxon roots for inspiration. They would like to institute a new level of "civic engagement" harking back to the moots and witans of the post-Roman times.

British Library successful in purchase of St Cuthbert's Gospel

In 2010, the British Library began its quest to own the St Cuthbert Gospel, a manuscript discovered in 1104 when the saint's coffin was opened after a Viking raid. The book was finally acquired from the Society of Jesus (British Province), or Jesuits, for UK£9m.

Excavations reveal medieval trading center in Northern Ireland

Dr Philip MacDonald, leader of an archaeological excavation on Dunnyneil Island in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, believe he has found the "Holy Grail of retail" with the discovery of a 7th century trading emporium visited by merchants from around the world.