Located near the small coastal town of Maryport in northwestern England, remains of the ancient Roman fort of Alauna were first uncovered by amateur archaeologist Joseph Robinson in the late 19th century. Among the finds were an assemblage of no less that 22 stone altars, some bearing inscriptions, that tell a story of successive Roman commanders who commanded this, one of Imperial Rome’s northernmost outposts during the height of the Roman Empire’s expanse. The altars now grace the nearby Senhouse Museum, which serves as a popular tourist attraction.
Now a team of archaeologists and volunteers have returned to the site where the original stone altars were found to uncover more clues about the layout of the fort and its associated settlement, and about the lives of the military officers and soldiers who manned this remote garrison. Led by Newcastle University’s Professor Ian Haynes and site director Tony Wilmott, the archaeologists have been here before. Read more.
A September 1935 article heralding the potential discovery of the bones of King Richard III is among the haul of newspaper articles newly digitized by a genealogy website.
The project, collaboration between findmypast.com and the British Library, is an effort to scan 50 million pages of newsprint from more than 200 years of history. Of course, history has proven the Richard III article mistaken — the likely discovery of the king’s real bones was just announced Feb. 4 in Leicester, England — but the find illustrates the long history of fascination with the dead monarch, who ruled for only two years. Read more.
Remnants of an Iron-Age feast, including cattle skulls and 13 cauldrons, have been unearthed in Chiseldon, United Kingdom, according to a report in the latest British Archaeology.
The discovery marks the largest grouping of early cauldrons ever found in Europe. One cauldron features a handle plate in the form of a cow’s head; zoomorphic decoration is otherwise unknown on a British cauldron.
“Analysis of the interiors of the cauldrons has even revealed traces of animal fats, a tantalizing suggestion that these objects might have been used in cooking and serving meat-rich stews at Iron-Age feasts over 2,000 ago,” Julia Farley, curator of European Iron Age collections at the British Museum, told Discovery News. Read more.
A retired probation officer in England cleaning out his chimney recently was startled to sweep up a 70-year-old secret amid the soot: the skeleton of a World War II carrier pigeon with a coded message still attached to its leg.
David Martin, 74, found the bird’s remains while renovating a unused fireplace at his Surrey home not far from the wartime headquarters of Gen. Bernard Montgomery, the Daily Mail writes. The British commander planned the D-Day invasion at a hotel in nearby Reigate.
“It could have been a secret message for him. I hope it is something interesting it will be amazing if we discover an unknown detail from such an important part of British history,” Martin told the newspaper. Read more.
When Danish Vikings sailed across the North Sea and conquered England, they left their mark on the English language and place names. That’s common knowledge, at least to historians.
What’s perhaps less known is that the influence cut both ways. Although England was under Danish rule in the Viking Age, the English were culturally and politically more sophisticated than their neighbours to the east.
Historian Marie Bønløkke Spejlborg was one of the more than 300 Norse mythology researchers who attended the 15th International Saga Conference held recently in Aarhus, Denmark.
She is currently writing her PhD thesis about how the English some 1,000 years ago left a significant imprint on Danish society. It is, for instance, likely that it was the English who inspired Danes to organise themselves into cities, according to her historical sources. Read more.
The search for the long-lost remains of King Richard III in Leicester, England, has turned up traces of what may be the church where the slain monarch was buried.
Leicester University archaeologists announced Friday that their excavations in a city council parking lot have turned up medieval window tracery, glazed floor tile fragments and medieval roof tile. The high-quality materials suggest that the team is indeed digging around the Greyfriars church, where Richard III is said to be buried.
“Today, what we are saying is that we have found the Greyfriars and have uncovered tantalizing clues as to the location of the church,” Richard Buckley, who co-directs the University of Leicester Archaeological Services, said in a statement. “It has gone about as well as we could hope for.” Read more.
A bid to find the remains of England’s King Richard III is starting more than 500 years after his death on a Leicestershire battlefield.
A University of Leicester archaeological team is digging in a Leicester car park where they think he may have been buried.
King Richard III was killed at Bosworth in 1485 and his body taken to a Franciscan Friary in the city.
Over time, the exact location of the grave has been lost.
The project team said their work is “the first ever search for the lost grave of an anointed King of England”.
Richard III was crowned at Westminster Abbey in July 1483 and died in August 1485 fighting his enemies led by Henry Tudor.
He was the last English king to be killed in battle and the last Plantagenet king. He was followed by the Tudor kings Henry VII and Henry VIII. Read more.
Nobody thought much about the locked metal cabinet in the medical school at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. It was another forgotten fixture in the anatomy department — until a researcher last year found seven skulls with yellowing labels indicating the remains were those of Native Americans from California’s Central Coast.
Earlier this month, the skulls and several bone fragments were boxed and gingerly placed aboard a jet to LAX at London’s Heathrow Airport. In a quiet ceremony, they were reburied in San Luis Obispo County, more than a century after their odyssey began.
“They didn’t volunteer to leave the U.S.,” said John Burch, a spiritual leader of the tiny Salinan tribe. “They were kidnapped, and now they’re home.”
Repatriation, the return to tribes of indigenous bones and artifacts, is not always a smooth road. A 1990 federal law, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, calls for museums and other institutions to give remains and relics back to federally recognized tribes that request them. Read more.