601 CE to 700 CE

Woruldhord Project launched at Oxford

Dr Stuart Lee and the Oxford University Faculty of English have announced the launch of the Woruldhord Project "to create a comprehensive online archive of written, visual and audio-visual material related to Old English and the Anglo-Saxon period."

Buddhist wall paintings pre-date western technique

Researchers studying 5th-9th century Buddhist cave paintings in the Afghan region of Bamiyan have learned that the paintings used an oil technique, centuries before the same technique was used in Europe.

Anglo-Saxon settlement discovered in the Cotswolds

Steve Sheldon, of Cotswold Archaeology, has called the recent discovery of an Anglo-Saxon timber hall in Cheltenham, England "one of the best finds of his career." The settlement is believed to date between the 6th and 8th centuries.

Lives of Celtic pilgrims and monks online

Dr. Deborah Vess of Georgia College & State University has created an online overview of Celtic monasticism illustrated with photographs of monastic and pilgrimage sites.

Mayan History Preserved in Floors

Maya commoners of their Classic Period --  "illiterate farmers, builders and servants" -- preserved their history by burying their old possesions in the floors of newly built homes. 

Corpus Coranicum hopes to shed light on the history of the Qur'an

A team of scholars at Germany’s Berlin-Brandenberg Academy of Sciences is about to complete the first phase of the Corpus Coranicum, a 20 year project to create "a central repository of imagery, information, and analysis about the Muslim holy book."

"Dead Cities" offer glimpse into Byzantine life

The "Dead Cities" of northern Syria, actually suburbs of Antioch, were deserted in the 7th-10th centuries after continual natural disasters and warfare. Now the remains of over 100 small towns are giving insight into life in the Byzantine Empire.

"Song of the Sea" pages reunited in Jerusalem

Two fragments of a 7th century biblical manuscript of the Song of the Sea, a triumphant hymn to the destruction of the Egyptian Army and the freeing of the Israelites, have been reunited for an exhibit at Israel's national museum.

Early Christian brooch found in Irish turf

A zoomorphic penannular brooch dating to the 7th century has been discovered in a clump of turf cut for burning in Mantara, Ireland. The Brooch is believed to have belonged to an early Christian clergyman. (photos)

Byzantine Wine Press found in Israel

Archaeologists working near Tel Aviv, Israel have found a wine press whose size and advanced design are exceptional for its period.

Roman temple and early medieval church found in Spain

Archaeologists working on excavations in the chancel of the Church of Sant Feliu Girona in Catalonia, Spain, have discovered the remains of a 6th or 7th century tombs, as well as an ancient Roman temple.

Dark Ages really more "gray," say economists

In a recent story for NPR's All Things Considered, Madeleine Brand discusses new theories about the Dark Ages, the medieval spice trade, and the Black Plague with Chana Joffe-Walt and Adam Davidson.

300 early medieval graves found near Paris

Archaeologists working in Noisy-le-Grand, a suburb of Paris, have discovered two burial grounds dating to Merovingian and Carolingian times. The site is believed to contain more than 300 graves.

Vikings attacked in self defense, says Norse scholar

The latest effort to revamp the reputations of the Norse come from Robert Ferguson in an article for the December 2009 issue of BBC History Magazine. Ferguson writes that Vikings raided in reaction to a threat to Denmark by Emperor Charlemagne.

Robert Ballard finds Byzantine ship in the Aegean

A 60 Minutes segment on underwater explorer Robert Ballard includes a discussion of the discovered wreck a 7th century Byzantine ship in the Aegean Sea.

Mural shows that Koreans visited 7th century Uzbekistan

A mural, discovered in 1965 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, may prove that envoys from Korea visited the country in the 7th century. A replica of the original mural, now destroyed, is on display at the National Museum of Korea.

Graveyard reveals medical secrets of medieval Ireland

The history of medieval medicine in Ireland got a major boost with the discovery of a previously unknown medieval church and graveyard in Ballyhanna, County Donegal. Among the surprises was evidence of successful brain surgery performed around the year 800.

7th Century Anglo-Saxon Jewelry Remain in Northumberland

An Anglo-Saxon Royal treasure will remain in the North East part of England after a cash donation allowed its purchase.

Bosphorus tunnel project creates "Indiana Jones-type" archaeological dig

When construction workers for Istanbul's overwhelmed subway system opened up a tunnel running under the Bosphorus Strait, they expected to begin a process to relieve the traffic congestion. Instead, they uncovered the lost Byzantine port of Theodosius, complete with "an ancient armada: 34 Byzantine ships ranging from dating between the 7th and 11th centuries AD."

7th century Islamic manuscripts from the J.J. Marcel collection online

In 1864, the Imperal Library of Russia acquired the "collection of ancient Kufic Qur'ans on parchment bought from Mme Desnoyer, heiress of Arabist Marcel who was among the members of the learned French expedition to Egypt equipped by Bonapart," a magnificent set of about 2000 parchment leaves in Arabic, illuminated in full color and gold.

Kells beauty "in the (crossed) eyes of the creators"

The intricate and precise artwork of the manuscripts of 7th and 8th century England and Ireland, including the Book of Kells, has amazed artists and scholars for centuries. Now paleontologist John Cisne believes he knows how it was done. (photo)

Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found

The BBC is reporting on a treasure find in England that rivals that of the Sutton Hoo burial, if not in quality then certainly in quantity.

Sweden's oldest burial ship found

Archaeologists working on a site near Sunnerby on the island of Kållandsö in Lake Vänern in central Sweden have discovered a 7th century burial ship, the oldest yet uncovered in Scandinavia. The discovery includes animal sacrifices and burial gifts.

Palace of the Khan discovered by satellite

A Russian information satellite may have located the remains of the palace in the the ancient Bulgarian capital of Volga-Kama Bolghar. The city existed from the 7th through 13th centuries, until the empire was overthrown by the advance guard of Genghis Khan's army.

Experts continue to debate mystery of Sutton Hoo

Archaeologists agree that the person buried at Sutton Hoo in East Anglia at the beginning of the 7th century must have been a king, but opinions differ on which king he was. New studies seem to indicate that the ship burial held Raedwald, King of east Anglia and King of the Britains.

Peacock and pomegranates subject of Byzantine painting

An archaeological team working near Salqin, Syria have discovered a large painting dating to the Byzantine era. The work depicts a large peacock (a symbol of the early church), two pomegranates, a small bird and olive trees. (photo)

Dog Skeletons Indicate Medieval Custom of Sacrifice

A discovery of multiple buried dog skeletons in a medieval town outside Budapest suggests that the custom of animal sacrifice was much more widespread in early Christian Hungary than previously thought.

Late Roman village discovered in Austria

The remains of a village, dating to late Roman times, have been discovered at the site of a proposed retirement home in Salzburg, Austria. Archaeologists believe it is the "largest find from that period of history in Salzburg to date."

Bulgarian and British team will study early European settlement

Archaeologists from Bulgaria and Great Britain are joining efforts to begin research in the area of the lower Danube River, concentrating on the 5th through 7th centuries. The goal of the project is to study "changes in lifestyle and social life in the transitional period from antiquity to the Middle Ages."

"Marvelous discovery" of 1500-year-old Saxon graves in Sussex

"It was a bit scary at first because we were unsure if it was a murder scene," said metal detectorist Bob white who, with his friend Cliff Smith, recently discovered a 1,500-year-old Saxon burial ground in Sussex, England.