Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "england"

An MP is to seek talks with Church Commissioners in a bid to ensure an internationally-important Roman fort in the North East is protected for future generations.

Binchester Roman Fort near Bishop Auckland, County Durham, has been dubbed the Pompeii of the North after archeologists unearthed artefacts dating back 1,800 years.

But there are fears for its future because the Church Commissioners, who own the land, have put it up for sale as separate lots.

Helen Goodman, Labour MP for Bishop Auckland, raised a series of questions about the sale in the House of Commons. Read more.


Two thousand years after they were laid by Iron Age builders wooden walls and floors from Glastonbury’s internationally renowned Lake Village have been brought into the light of day again.

Archaeologists have been carrying out excavations at the site more than 100 years after its original discovery and excavation.

The waterlogged peat and clay that built up over the village excludes oxygen and so prevents decay, allowing the preservation of a wealth of structures including complex wooden revetments forming the edge of the village.

No other prehistoric site in England has this level of preservation. Read more.

The grave of King Richard III, immortalised by Shakespeare as one of history’s great villains, was opened up to the public on Saturday in central England.

The remains of the infamous ruler were found in 2012 under a car park in the city of Leicester.

Around a hundred visitors were on hand to watch city mayor Peter Soulsby cut the ribbon on the £4 million ($6.8 million, 5 million euro) new visitor centre at the discovery site.

Early arrivals at the building, in an abandoned school close to Richard’s grave, were able to examine a replica of his skeleton made using a 3D printer. Read more.

Medieval graffiti of straw kings, pentagrams, crosses, ships and “demon traps” have been offering a tantalising glimpse into England’s past. What do the pictures reveal about life in the Middle Ages?

A project to record the graffiti, which began in Norfolk, has now been rolled out to other areas and is gradually spreading across England.

Armed with just a torch and a camera, a team of volunteers have recorded more than 28,000 images from churches in Norfolk alone and are a third of the way through searching Norwich Cathedral, where there are many more examples.

Although the drawings discovered so far undoubtedly offer an insight into the minds of some - possibly bored - churchgoers in the Middle Ages, their precise meaning is not always clear. Read more.

In 2017 a new £1 coin will appear in our pockets with a design extremely difficult to forge. In the mid-16th century, Elizabeth I’s government came up with a series of measures to deter “divers evil persons” from damaging the reputation of English coinage and, with it, the good name of the nation.

The Royal Mint announced last month that in 2017 it will introduce a new £1 coin, said to be the “most secure coin in the world”. The reason behind the decision, which could cost businesses as much as £20 million, is the surge in counterfeiting. It is estimated that around 3% of £1 coins are fakes with an estimated 45 million forgeries in circulation.

Four and a half centuries ago, Elizabeth I made the reform of currency one of her government’s top priorities. Invested as queen in 1558, she inherited a coinage which was fraught with problems. Read more.


British scientists have discovered human footprints in England that are at least 800,000 years old—the most ancient found outside Africa, and the earliest evidence of human life in northern Europe.

A team from the British Museum, the Natural History Museum and the University of London uncovered imprints from up to five individuals in ancient estuary mud at Happisburgh on the country’s eastern coast.

British Museum archaeologist Nick Ashton said the find—announced Friday and published in the journal PLOS ONE—was “a tangible link to our earliest human relatives.” Read more.

A trove of ancient artifacts dating back 5,000 years has been unearthed at one of England’s top tourist attractions. The find wasn’t discovered by sleuthing archaeologists, however, but a family of burrowing rabbits.

Every year, hordes of tourists journey to Land’s End, the westernmost point of Great Britain where the azure waters of the Celtic Sea lash the weathered rocks strewn at the base of Cornwall’s imposing cliffs. Visitors to one of England’s iconic landmarks soak in spectacular views from atop the rugged tip of Land’s End’s fingered peninsula, which points directly across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States, more than 3,000 miles away.

Based on newly discovered archaeological evidence dating back to the Bronze Age, the stunning natural scenery that has made Land’s End one of England’s top tourist attractions in recent years has been drawing people for millennia. Read more.

A team of archaeologists said on Friday they believed they might have found part of the remains of ninth-century monarch King Alfred the Great, one of the best-known and most important figures from early English history.

Tests have shown that a pelvic bone found in a museum box is likely to have been either that of Alfred - the only English king to have the moniker “Great” - or his son King Edward the Elder.

The bone was found among remains dug up at a medieval abbey in Winchester, southwest England, the capital of Alfred’s kingdom. Read more.