Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "england"

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.

Unexploded bombs, rare dinosaur fossils and an unknown boat wreck have been unearthed on England’s beaches during the recent stormy weather. But what else could appear on our shores?

Pounding waves and high tides have led to the coastline being eroded and changed beyond recognition.

In the past month, World War Two bombs were washed-up on an Essex beach, a near-complete ichthyosaur skeleton was unearthed in Dorset and in Cornwall a boat wreck was discovered.

But why is this happening and what other hidden treasures - or dangers - are waiting to be revealed?

During the storms, mighty rock stacks and arches have been reduced to rubble, but for some there is a silver-lining to the destruction. Read more.

LONDON: Frogs’ legs are considered a French delicacy, but new archaeological evidence suggests Britons were the first to discover their culinary qualities — up to 8,000 years ago.

Archaeologists at a site close to Stonehenge in southwest England have discovered the charred leg bone of a toad among other food remains dating back to between 6250 BC and 7596 BC.

This makes the discovery “the earliest evidence of a cooked toad or frog leg found in the world”, said the team from the University of Buckingham in a statement late Tuesday. Read more.

The dark secrets of the legend of Beowulf, England’s oldest work of epic literature, are gradually emerging from under a field in eastern Denmark.

Archaeologists in the country’s  earliest royal ‘capital’ – Lejre, 23 miles  west of modern Copenhagen – are investigating the joys of  elite Dark Age life in and around what was probably the great royal feasting hall at the violent epicentre of the Beowulf story.

The archaeologists – led by Tom Christensen, director of the Lejre investigation – have so far managed not only to find, excavate and date the late 5 or early 6 century building most likely to have been Lejre’s first royal hall (described in Beowulf as `the greatest hall under heaven’), but have also succeeded in reconstructing what was on the menu at the great feasts held there. Read more.

It sounds like a case for Sherlock Holmes: a 900-year-old medieval manor mysteriously vanishes, only to be uncovered later by British archaeologists.

The ancient site has been stripped of its materials except for the foundation — and there is no record of it ever existing.

Got chills? So do the archaeologists who discovered it.

"This is a significant find and therefore very exciting, particularly as there are no documentary records that such a site ever existed here," said Wessex Archaeology’s senior buildings archaeologist Bob Davis, who participated in the excavation. Read more.