English

King Alfred found?

Researchers from the University of Winchester believe they may have found the pelvis of England's King Alfred the Great in a box of bones stored in the city's museum. The bone may also be from Alfred's son King Edward the Elder. The 9th and 10th century Saxon kings are best known for protecting their people from Viking raids.

Roman cavalry helmet found at Iron Age shrine

In the year 43 CE, a Roman cavalry helmet, decorated with a silver-gilt wreath of victory, was buried by an Iron Age tribe at a shrine in Hallaton, England. Experts are still considering how such a helmet came to be in tribal hands. (photo)

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)

Contemplating Alfred the Great

In a feature-length story for History Today, historian Barbara Yorke looks at the history and reputation of King Alfred the Great, who she names "The Most Perfect Man in History."

"Not a pretty picture" painted by pit of Roman skulls

In 1988, 39 skulls of adult men were discovered near the Museum of London. The skulls dated to Roman times and now are believed to have been gathered by "head hunters" who retrieved the heads of those who died in the nearby amphitheater. "It is not a pretty picture," said Rebecca Redfern, from the centre for human bioarchaeology at the museum of London.

Metallurgy conference to focus on personal adornment

The Historical Metallurgy Society AGM will hold its annual conference May 31 - June 1, 2014 at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, England. The them of this year's conference will be Metals used in Personal Adornment.

Little hook protector of 16th century fashion

What could be worse than dragging your elegant skirts through the muck on the streets? Nothing, apparently, as revealed by the discovery of a 20mm (0.8 inch) long gold hook designed to hold up ladies' skirts when crossing a muddy yard. (photo)

"Staggering find" links British Isles and Norway

Curator Barry Ager of the British Museum discovered a rare Viking artifact lately in an unexpected place: the storeroom of the British Museum. The ornate, gilded brooch, spotted by Ager "in a lump of organic material excavated from a Viking burial site at Lilleberge in Norway," turned out to be a rare piece of jewelry. (photo)

Rare gaming piece found in Anglo-Saxon royal hall

Archaeologists from the University of Reading have found an extremely rare board game piece dating to the fifth century during the excavation of an Anglo-Saxon royal complex in Lyminge, Kent, England. The piece would have been used for games such as backgammon or draughts. (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.

Investigation of Shakespeare's last home to enter phase 2

Archaeologists have been working on the site of New Place, William Shakespeare's last home in Stratford-upon-Avon, since 2009 and have now discovered "as much as they can" about the site, which was demolished in the 18th century. (photos)

Sweyn Forkbeard, the "murderous" King of England

Sweyn Forkbeard, England's shortest-reigning monarch, is mostly forgotten today, due mainly to his short time as king (less than five years) and his "murderous character." Sweyn declared himself King of England on Christmas Day 1013 and established Gainsborough as his capital.

Symposium scheduled to pinpoint location of Battle of Brunanburh

In 937, a deciding battle was fought which changed the course of British history forever. The Battle of Brunanburh, one of the UK's bloodiest, was fought between the Scots and the Saxons, establishing England's identity. Unfortunately, no one knows where the battle took place.

Keeping current on Stonehenge

It's been a momentous year for experts at Stonehenge, as well as those who visit the Neolithic monument, including the grand opening of its new visitor center. The Culture24 blog offers a wrapup of 2013 for the world Heritage site. (photos, map)

Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources completed

For the last one hundred years, scholars have been digging their way through documents in order to create the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources, "the most comprehensive study ever" of medieval Latin vocabulary. The 16th and final volume of the dictionary was completed in early December 2013.

Structural survey of Barnard's Castle "challenging"

Four years ago, the walls of 12th century Barnard Castle's came tumbling down, but no one has accepted the responsibility for their collapse. Now, with the help of a UK£50,000 grant, a structural survey of the Durham, England site has been scheduled.

The mystery of Longforth Farm continues

In a feature article for Current Archaeology, Matthew Symonds discusses recent discoveries at Longforth Farm with Bob Davis of Wessex Archaeology. Longforth Farm is a huge medieval complex near Wellington, England. (photos, map)

What's correct? Ax Chaucer

African-American dialect has often been criticized for the use of words such as "ax" instead if "ask," but critics may want to check their Chaucer, who used "ax" in his writing. Shereen Marisol Meraji of All Things Considered has the audio story.

Ironrose Candles

Illuminate your Renaissance world with finely scented Shakespearean candles from Ironrose Candles. Their collection, inspired by the Bard, includes classics such as "Perchance to Dream", "Pomander", "Jocund Day", "There's Rosemary" and more.

#Beow100

College students forced to read Beowulf be heartened! Welsh medievalist, Elaine Treharne, has brought social media to medieval Scandinavia with Beowulf in a Hundred Tweets. The work is available on her blog Text Technologies.

British Library adding over a million images to Flickr

The British Library has announced that it will be adding its collections of public domain digital images to Flickr. The first collection set is Highlights from the Mechanical Curator, which includes images from over 65,000 books from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Other collections are also scheduled to be added.

"Stunning" St George and the Dragon painting found in Welsh church

Beneath 20 layers of paint and lime, conservators have recently uncovered "stunning" 15th century wall paintings in the small, 13th century church of St Cadoc's in Llancarfan, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. (video)

King Harold and the roundabout

Traditionally it is believed that King Harald was killed on the spot where Battle Abbey now stands, but new evidence, promoted by Channel 4's Time Team, place his death in the Battle of Hastings at a mini roundabout on the A2100.

Free Shakespeare course offered online

On the Lochac list, Katherine Kerr reported that the University of Warwick and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust will be offering a free, 10-week, online course entitled Shakespeare and his World.

Celtic coins to remain in Jersey thanks to UK£738,000 government grant

In 2012, Reg Mead and Richard Miles discovered a hoard of 70,000 Celtic coins in a field on the island of Jersey. Now a grant of UK£738,000 will allow the UK£10m treasure to remain on the island.

Mass medieval burial found near Durham Cathedral

Archaeologists are endeavoring to puzzle out the significance of a mass grave discovered during renovation of Durham University's Palace Green library. Instead of defined burials, the remains of 18 individuals seem to have been "tipped" into the grave.

"Grubby, old pot" contains rare coin

For eight years, a grubby, old pot sat in a basement in Rothbury, England. It was not until recently that builder Richard Mason, who found the pot on Lindisfarne, took a second look, discovering a hoard of gold and silver dating to the 16th century.

Might Roman ring have inspired Tolkien?

The history of a stolen Roman ring and its discovery in the 18th century are the subject of a recent feature article in History Today by Lynn Forest-Hill, fellow of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture, University of Southampton, theorizing that the ring may have been the inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien. (photos)

Richard III to be reburied with medieval pomp and ceremony

Reburial of nobles was common practice in the 15th century, so the spirit of Richard III should feel right at home when he is soon reinterred in Leicester Cathedral. Experts have discovered a medieval ceremony of reburial, parts of which will be used in the upcoming service.