Sunday, 24 July 2016

A bronze age barrow and an Anglo-Saxon cemetery have been unearthed in Rothley

Archaeologists from the University of Leicester have discovered the hidden gems of the Leicestershire village during an investigation into how different generations have re-used ancient sacred places.



Archaeologists have dug into Rothley's ancient past and discovered a bronze age barrow and an Anglo-Saxon cemetery - shedding important light on the history of the area.
Archaeologists from the University of Leicester have discovered the hidden gems of the Leicestershire village during an investigation into how different generations have re-used ancient sacred places.
The project, funded by Persimmons Homes in advance of a new housing development off Loughborough Road, Rothley, explored the concept of Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon people possibly making connections with Bronze Age barrow builders in order to create their own sense of place in the landscape.
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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Evidence Of 'Largest Anglo-Saxon Building In Scotland' Found


Archaeologists have unearthed evidence of what is believed to be the largest Anglo-Saxon building found in Scotland.
The dig at Glebe Field, Aberlady, has uncovered the foundations of a large Anglo-Saxon structure dating back to between the 7th and 9th century
[Credit: Aberlady Angles Project]
The foundations of the building, which may have been a monastery or even a royal home dating back to about 1,200 years ago, were discovered during excavations in Glebe Field, Aberlady.

Tests on an animal bone found at the scene have confirmed it dates back to between the 7th and 9th century.

Ian Malcolm, from Aberlady Conservation and History Society, described the first date evidence from the site as “very, very exciting”.

He said: “It is evidence that it was an important and a wealthy site.”


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Thursday, 14 July 2016

Lindisfarne monastery evidence found by amateur archaeologist

The stone was found by a member of the public who had contributed to the crowd-funded dig

An amateur archaeologist has unearthed what is believed to be evidence of one of England's earliest Christian monasteries in a dig on Lindisfarne.
The rare grave marker, thought to be from the mid 7th-8th Century, has been described as a "stunning find".
A £25,000 project off the north-east coast was crowd-funded by 200 donors, including 60 who took part in the dig.
Project leader Lisa Westcott Wilkins said the name stone was "absolutely fantastic diagnostic evidence".
"It was a spectacular moment and, even better for us, is that...it wasn't found by one of the team leaders or experts, it was found by a member of the public who had helped to fund and make the project possible," she said.
The team has made a 3D interactive image of the find.

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Monday, 27 June 2016

THE DAY OF ARCHAEOLOGY 2016 WILL BE HELD ON FRIDAY 29 JULY!




We are looking for people working, studying or volunteering in the archaeological world to participate with us in a “Day of Archaeology” in July 2016. The resulting Day of Archaeology website will demonstrate the wide variety of work our profession undertakes day-to-day across the globe, and help to raise public awareness of the relevance and importance of archaeology to the modern world. We want anyone with a personal, professional or voluntary interest in archaeology to get involved, and help show the world why archaeology is vital to protect the past and inform our futures.

Explore posts from previous years here...

Monday, 20 June 2016

Story of one of the largest Saxon cemeteries ever found in Wessex revealed 42 years after its discovery

One of the largest Saxon cemeteries ever found in Wessex contains cremations, inhumations and warrior burials


Found in Collingbourne Ducis in Wessex, this skull shows a well-healed trepanation. There is no indication that the man had suffered any head injuries prior to the procedure
© Wessex Archaeology

Cremations, inhumations and graves accompanied by shield bosses, knives and spearheads were among the 77 burials at one of the largest Saxon cemeteries ever discovered in Wessex, say archaeologists who have released their findings at the site after re-examining a tricky terrain first excavated during the 1970s.

A local woman alerted the local council in the village of Collingbourne Ducis when she saw bones protruding from the ground at a housing development site in late 1973. More than 30 graves were found there by archaeologists in 1974, with a further 86 – believed to date from between the 5th and 7th centuries – uncovered in 2007.


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Wednesday, 11 May 2016

More Anglo-Saxons - including a warrior and a high-status woman - have been found by archaeologists in Wiltshire

A six-foot warrior and a high-status woman were part of an Anglo-Saxon cemetery excavated in south-east Wiltshire


Last month, archaeologists found an Anglo-Saxon cemetery, Neolithic monuments and spears, knives and bone combs at a proposed Ministry of Defence housing site on Salisbury Plain. In the nearby garrison town of Tidworth, they’ve now excavated a 1,300-year-old cemetery of 55 burials from between the late 7th and early 8th centuries, containing the remains of men, women and children representing a cross-section of a local community.

“The mid-Saxon cemetery is of particular importance in its own right,” says Bruce Eaton, the Project Manager for Wessex Archaeology, surveying one grave confining a six-foot tall warrior with an “unusually large” spearhead and conical shield boss. “But taken together with the excavation of the cemetery on MOD land at Bulford, which was of a similar date, we now have the opportunity to compare and contrast the burial practices of two communities living only a few miles apart. They would almost certainly have known each other.”

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Thursday, 28 April 2016

The Viking Great Army in England: Torksey, treasure and towns


The Viking Great Army in England: Torksey, treasure and towns

Tuesday 3 May 2016, 5.30PM

Speaker: Julian Richards


From AD 865 to 879 a Viking army wreaked havoc on the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, leading to political conquest, settlement on a substantial scale, and extensive Scandinavian cultural and linguistic influences in eastern and northern England. This critical period for English history led to revolutionary changes in land ownership, society, and economy, including the growth of towns and industry, while transformations in power politics would ultimately see the rise of Wessex as the pre-eminent kingdom of Anglo-Saxon England. 

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Sunday, 24 April 2016

Did volcano eruptions tip Europe into Dark Ages?


Back-to-back volcanic eruptions in the mid-6th century darkened Europe's skies for more than a year and may have ushered in the Dark Ages, according to finding to be presented Friday at a science conference in Vienna.
"Either would have led to significant cooling of Earth's surface," said Matthew Toohey, a climate modeller at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel Germany who led the research.
"But taken together, the two eruptions"—in 536 and 540—"were likely the most powerful volcanic event affecting the northern hemisphere climate over at least the past 1,500 years," he told AFP at a meeting of the European Geosciences Union.
Their combined impact lowered temperatures by two degree Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) during what is probably the coldest decade in the last two millennia, he added.
This sudden drop, caused by a Sun-blocking blanket of sulphur particles in the stratosphere, had a devastating impact on agriculture, provoking famine throughout much of Europe and beyond.
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Romsey Abbey: The mystery of the hair in the coffin


For the past few months, archaeologists have been testing a full head of hair found in a coffin. Is it the hair of a saint?
In October 1839, the work of some gravediggers came to an abrupt halt when their tools hit something hard. It was a lead coffin. Inside they found some hair. Human hair.
In the year 2000, a seven-year-old boy called Jamie Cameron went on a school trip to his local parish church, Romsey Abbey in Hampshire. It was where the gravediggers had made their discovery more than a century and a half earlier.
He was taken to a display case and was immediately drawn to the full head of hair, which was still resting on the oak "pillow" on which it was found.

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Monday, 18 April 2016

Prehistoric monuments and 150 Anglo-Saxon graves found at Bulford


Excavations on MOD land in Bulford, Wiltshire, have uncovered 150 Anglo-Saxon graves spanning the later 7th to early 8th century, and a host of prehistoric finds – as well as new insights into early medieval burial practices.
Containing the remains of men, women, and children, the burials were arranged in neat rows, packed closely together – though as none of the graves intercut, the team from Wessex Archaeology (excavating on behalf of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, ahead of the construction of new homes for army families) suggests that they may once have been picked out in some way.
‘It is likely that the graves were identified somehow, perhaps with some kind of marker or a low mound,’ said Wessex Archaeology osteologist Jackie McKinley. ‘This is a planned cemetery.’

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Anglo-Saxon graves and Neolithic pits and monuments found at MOD army base where anti-tank weapons were tested


The graves of men, women and children could have contained members of the same families on Salisbury Plain

This workbox was found in the grave of a woman on Ministry of Defence land in Bulford
© Wessex Archaeology

Two Neolithic monuments, prehistoric pits and an Anglo-Saxon cemetery of 150 graves containing spears, knives, jewellery and bone combs have been discovered at an army site where anti-tank weaponry was tested during World War Two.

One burial at Bulford has been radiocarbon dated to the mid Anglo-Saxon period, between AD 660 and 780. The graves have been found as part of a £1 billion Ministry of Defence development to create 1,000 homes for service personnel.
Archaeologists are now planning to excavate the monuments next to the cemetery, which are made up of Early Bronze Age round barrows and are likely to become scheduled monuments. Grooved ware pottery, stone and flint axes, a disc-shaped flint knife, a chalk bowl and deer and extinct wild cattle bones were found in the pits.

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Sunday, 20 March 2016

Unique jewellery from the British Isles found in Danish Viking grave

A Danish Viking burial site contains a buckle that may have come from Ireland or Scotland.

 The history of this bronze buckle might share some light on just how “global” the Vikings were. (Photo: Ernst Stidsing)


At just 6 cm in diameter, this little buckle is causing quite a stir in archaeological circles.

The small gilt bronze buckle once held a petticoat together and was buried between 900 and 1,000 years ago with its female owner in a Viking grave in west Denmark.

It is a rare find for Denmark, as the buckle appears to have come from Scotland or Ireland.
But just to determine this has been quite a journey, says project manager and archaeologist Ernst Stidsing, from the Museum East Jutland, Denmark.

The find is described in a collection of articles "Dead and buried in the Viking Age", published by Saxo Institute at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

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British Buckle Found in Danish Viking Grave A gilt bronze buckle dating to more than 1,000 years ago has been found buried with a woman in a Viking grave in west Denmark. Determining the origin of the 2.4-inch-wide buckle has been a major challenge, according to archaeologist Ernst Stidsing of the Museum of East Jutland. Stidsing sent photos of the buckle to a colleague who was stumped and who sent them on to other experts. They agreed that it was from the British Isles, but were divided on exactly which part—some said Ireland, others the south of Scotland. They agreed, however, that the disc was originally a decoration on a religious box and was only used as a buckle after it was stolen. Read the rest of this article...



A gilt bronze buckle dating to more than 1,000 years ago has been found buried with a woman in a Viking grave in west Denmark. Determining the origin of the 2.4-inch-wide buckle has been a major challenge, according to archaeologist Ernst Stidsing of the Museum of East Jutland. Stidsing sent photos of the buckle to a colleague who was stumped and who sent them on to other experts. They agreed that it was from the British Isles, but were divided on exactly which part—some said Ireland, others the south of Scotland. They agreed, however, that the disc was originally a decoration on a religious box and was only used as a buckle after it was stolen.

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Friday, 4 March 2016

Anglo-Saxon 'island' settlement discovered


The remains of an Anglo-Saxon island have been uncovered in one of the most important archaeological finds in decades. 

Anglo-Saxon 'island' settlement discovered Liason officer Adam Daubney and metal detectorist Graham Vickers have discovered a 'significant' archaeological site [Credit: University of Sheffield] 

The island which was home to a Middle Saxon settlement was found at Little Carlton near Louth, Lincolnshire by archaeologists from the University of Sheffield. 

It is thought the site is a previously unknown monastic or trading centre but researchers believe their work has only revealed an enticing glimpse of the settlement so far.

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Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Remains of Anglo-Saxon island discovered in Lincolnshire village

The site in Lincolnshire (not pictured) is thought to have been a previously unknown monastic or trading centre. Photograph: Jon Boyes/incamerastock/Corbis

The remains of an Anglo-Saxon island have been uncovered in Lincolnshire in a significant find that has yielded an unusually wide array of artefacts. 

The island, once home to a Middle Saxon settlement, was found at Little Carlton near Louth, Lincolnshire, by archaeologists from the University of Sheffield after a discovery by a metal detectorist.

Graham Vickers came across a silver stylus, an ornate writing tool dating back to the 8th century, in a disturbed plough field. He reported his find and subsequently unearthed hundreds more artefacts, recording their placement with GPS, thus enabling archaeologists to build up a picture of the settlement below. 

The artefacts include another 20 styli, about 300 dress pins and a huge number of sceattas – coins from the 7th-8th centuries – as well as a unusual small lead tablet bearing the female Anglo-Saxon name “Cudberg”.

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Monday, 22 February 2016

Dunwich: The storms that destroyed 'lost town'

In the 11th Century Dunwich was the 10th largest town in England

Evidence of violent storms that destroyed a lost town known as Britain's Atlantis has been uncovered.

The finds were uncovered off the coast of Dunwich, Suffolk - a small village which in the 11th Century was one of the largest towns in England.

The town was hit by a succession of storms in the 13th and 14th centuries and is now largely below the sea.

Researchers said sediment gathered from the cliffs independently corroborated the historical record.

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Friday, 19 February 2016

Anglo Saxon gold mount 'mystery' in Norfolk

The triangular gold mount, found near Fakenham, is less that an inch in width and length

A "mystery" gold mount found in a Norfolk field has provided "another piece of the jigsaw" for historians looking for Anglo-Saxon settlements. 

The item was found near Fakenham and is possibly from a sword grip, but experts say it has differences to similar finds.

Dr Andrew Rogerson, county archaeologist, said: "It's a fragment, but there's no context for it."
No evidence of dwellings has ever been found in the village.

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Monday, 15 February 2016

Lost in Translation? Ibn Fadlan and the Great Unwashed


Lost in Translation? Ibn Fadlan and the Great Unwashed

14–15 March 2016 

MBI Al Jaber Building, Corpus Christi College, Oxford


Ibn Fadlan’s vivid eye-witness report of his mission to the Bulgars on the Middle Volga in 921/2 is probably one of the most widely known and intensively studied of early Arabic texts. Yet the importance of Ibn Fadlan and his mission has yet to receive a full and rounded assessment.

Our two-day interdisciplinary conference will draw on historians, numismatists, textual scholars and archaeologists and will attempt to set Ibn Fadlan’s account within the broader context of tenth-century Europe, the Islamic world and the Eurasian steppes.

Further details...

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Archaeologists uncover buried village on Anglesey

Remains of a house found at Rhuddgaer, near Newborough by 
the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust

Archaeologists in Gwynedd have discovered what is thought to be a buried village on Anglesey.

The discovery was made at Rhuddgaer, near Newborough, following a survey using technology to map out buried features without digging holes.

The village is believed to date back to the 7th or 8th Century, after the Romans had fled Britain.

The Gwynedd Archaeological Trust said: "We don't have any others to compare it to as this is a first."

Volunteers joined students and staff from Bangor University to revisit the location where a fourth or fifth Century coffin was found in the 1870s. The coffin is now in Bangor Museum.

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