New book sheds light on Hereford’s medieval past

Possible knight - a man of Norman origin whose injuries might be consistent with violence or combat - photo courtesy Headland Archaeology

A leading archaeologist, who uncovered the remains of what might be a wounded Knight, will reveal extraordinary details of medieval life in Hereford in a new book.

Scandinavian trade ‘triggered’ the Viking Age, researchers find

Ribe, Denmark in 1588

Archaeologists from the University of York have played a key role in Anglo-Danish research which has suggested the dawn of the Viking Age may have been much earlier – and less violent – than previously believed.

13th-century Rune Stick discovered in Denmark

13th century runestick - photo courtesy Odense City Museums

Archaeologists working in the Danish city of Odense have discovered a rune stick with Latin writing dating to the early 13th century.

‘The Halved Heads’: Osteological Evidence for Decapitation in Medieval Ireland

Skull 9(a) from No. 16., Eustace Street, Dublin, a young adult female who also displays evidence of cut marks to the face, indicative of the nose being cut off (Image reproduced courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland)

This paper examines the osteological evidence for decapitation from 30 skeletal assemblages dated to the medieval period (6th to 16th century) from Ireland.

13th-century Mongol sabre discovered in Russia

Mongol sabre - image courtesy Yaroslavl State Museum

While Russian archaeologists were conducting a routine examination of an old sabre unearthed seven years ago in Yaroslavl, they discovered that the weapon dates back to the 13th century, making it to be oldest crucible steel weapon in East Europe.

New spectrometer may revolutionize archaeology

Norton Priory foundations

A new carbon dating technology tool being developed by researchers at the University of Liverpool could lead archaeologists to date finds much quicker and easier.

‘Given to the Ground’: A Viking Age Mass Grave on Ridgeway Hill, Weymouth

given to the ground viking age mass grave

This volume describes one of the most exciting and unexpected archaeological discoveries to have been made in Britain in recent years, that of a rare mass grave of executed Vikings on Ridgeway Hill, Dorset.

Over 1,000 People Discovered at Medieval Cemetery underneath the University of Cambridge

Skeletons uncovered at cemetery below University of Cambridge. Photograph: St John's College, University of Cambridg

It is believed to be one of the largest graveyards of its kind found in Britain, with as many as 1500 people buried there.

Philippa Langley: The End of Richard III and the Beginning of Henry I

Philippa Langley placing a rose on Richard's casket. Will Johnston - Leicester Cathedral.

Amidst all the excitement, and the whirlwind that was Richard III’s reburial in Leicester, I managed to catch up with one of the world’s most famous Ricardians, ‘the Kingfinder’, Philippa Langley.

Archaeologists discover medieval castle in France

Viarnes archaeological sites - photo by Denis Gliksman/ Inrap

Archaeologists working at the northern French town of Viarmes have revealed several discoveries, including the remains of a medieval castle and a manor house destroyed in the fourteenth century.

Medieval cesspit in Jerusalem reveals 15th century diseases

British Library Egerton 1070   f. 5   Jerusalem

Analysis of a latrine in Jerusalem that dates back over 500 years finds human parasites common in northern Europe yet very rare in Middle East at the time, suggesting long-distance trade or pilgrimage routes and shedding light on prevalent infectious diseases of the age.

Environmental Crusading: The Teutonic Knight’s Impact After the Baltic Crusades

Malbork Zamek Krzyzacki. Wikicommons

Environmental archaeologist and Professor of Archeology at Reading, Dr. Aleks Pluskowski, examined Malbork and several other sites across Eastern and Northern Europe in his recent paper, The Ecology of Crusading: The Environmental Impact of Holy War, Colonisation, and Religious Conversion in the Medieval Baltic. Pluskowski is keenly interested in the impact the Teutonic Knights and Christian colonisation had on the region. His ambitious 4 year project on the ecological changes in this area recently came to a close at the end of 2014.

Up to 5 million archaeological sites in North Africa and the Middle East in danger of being destroyed

1732 map middle east

The archaeological heritage of the Middle East and North Africa, which is of international significance for all periods, is under increasing threat from massive and sustained population explosion, agricultural development, urban expansion, warfare, and looting.

Knight buried at Hereford Cathedral may have had jousting injuries, archaeologists find

Hereford Cathedral - photo by David Merrett / Flickr

The remains of over 700 individuals were discovered at the graveyard of England’s Hereford Cathedral between 2009 and 2011. Archaeologists are now revealing more details about some of the people that were buried here during the Middle Ages.

Lady in the Lead Coffin revealed

The Inner Lead Casket of the Greyfriars Medieval Stone Coffin Revealed For The First Time in 600 Years - University of Leicester

A mysterious lead coffin found close to the site of Richard III’s hastily dug grave at the Grey Friars friary has been opened and studied by experts from the University of Leicester.

Medieval Mass Grave discovered in Paris

Medieval Mass Grave in Paris  © Denis Gliksman Inrap

Archaeologists in the French capital have discovered more than 200 skeletons on what was once the site of a medieval hospital. It is believed that the remains date between the 14th and 16th centuries.

Capital and Corporal Punishment may have been rare in Anglo-Saxon England, researcher suggests

Skeletons under excavation at Walkington Wold - photo by Rod Mackey

A long standing belief about early medieval justice was that many offenders would be executed for serious crimes, or face punishments such as amputations for lesser offences. However, an examination of archaeological data suggests that these kinds of punishments were rare in Anglo-Saxon England.

Medieval Horse Stable: The Results of Multi Proxy Interdisciplinary Research

medieval horse

A multi proxy approach was applied in the reconstruction of the architecture of Medieval horse stable architecture, the maintenance practices associated with that structure as well as horse alimentation at the beginning of 13th century in Central Europe.

An Italian cemetery may provide clues on cholera’s evolution

Field School students excavate human remains buried in the post-medieval churchyard at Badia Pozzeveri - photo courtesy Ohio State University

Burial grounds ‘a thousand-year history’ into human health

Cannonball from Wars of the Roses battle discovered

Battle of Northampton cannonball  - photo courtesy  The Battlefields Trust

A lead ball, believed to be the oldest cannonball ever found in England, has been discovered on the site of the Battle of Northampton.

Gold coin hoard discovered off Mediterranean coast

gold coins israel - photo courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority

Nearly 2,000 coins, the largest treasure hoard ever discovered in Israel, was found a few weeks ago in the waters off the medieval port of Caesarea.

1500-year-old Byzantine grape seeds discovered in Israel

wine of negev

The charred grape seeds, over 1,500 years old, found in southern Israel excavation were used to produce the ‘Wine of the Negev’ – one of the finest and most renowned wines in the whole of the Byzantine Empire.

Huge Anglo-Saxon Coin Hoard goes on display at British Museum

lenborough hoard - photo courtesy British Museum

The Lenborough Hoard, which consists of over 5200 coins from Anglo-Saxon times, is now on display at the British Museum. This discovery highlights the ongoing importance of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which just released its 2012 Treasure Report.

Who lies in the mortuary chests at Winchester Cathedral?

Mortuary Chests in Lady Chapel - photo courtesy Winchester Cathedral

The remains of several kings of Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, including Edmund Ironside, Cnut and William II Rufus are believed to be in Winchester Cathedral. A new project hopes to uncover their remains after they were scattered about nearly 400 years ago.

Vikings’ homes would have been very polluted, researchers find

Viking House in Hedeby - photo by Kai-Erik

Danish researchers have found that the fires used for cooking and heat in Viking-era houses would have caused significant indoor air pollution.

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