The bones of a young woman who died of syphilis more than 500 years ago, the reassembled jaw of a man whose corpse was sold to surgeons at the London hospital in the 19th century and the contorted bone of an 18th-century man who lived for many years after he was shot through the leg, are among the remains of hundreds of individuals which can now be studied in forensic detail on a new website.
The Digitised Diseases website, to be launched on Monday at the Royal College of Surgeons in London, brings together 1,600 specimens, many from people with excruciating conditions including leprosy and rickets, from stores scattered across various university and medical collections. The original crumbling bones of some specimens now available in 3D scans are too fragile to be handled. The database is intended for professionals, but is also available free to members of the public who may be fascinated by the macabre specimens. Read more.
Archaeologists excavating a medieval church in a dales village have found further evidence that the site was an Anglo Saxon settlement.
A carved section from an eighth century stone cross was unearthed during a dig at St Botolph’s field in Frosterley in Weardale this week.
The discovery was met with great excitement from the archaeologists and volunteers who were digging on the site as part of the Altogether Archaeology project.
Paul Frodsham, historic environment officer at the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership, which is leading the project, said: “This is not the kind of thing that happens every day. Read more.
The 13th-14th century leather harness, which went around a horse’s chest and was attached to the saddle, is covered in gilt, copper-alloy shields, and boasts heraldic symbols.
It may have belonged to a medieval knight and is the only intact example ever found in Britain or Ireland.
The treasure trove of artefacts includes scores of pieces uncovered around the castle at Caherduggan, near Doneraile, Co Cork.
The finds were made by archaeological consultants commissioned by Cork County Council. Read more.
In advance of the creation of an artisan centre in the federated districts of Bléré-Val-de-Cher, central France, archaeologists have been excavating Neolithic, Antique and Medieval remains. Among the Medieval remains, a well preserved underground refuge chamber was discovered, representing a rare archaeological find.
The entrance to the underground refuge was hidden under the floor of a small building on stilts.
The discovery of a ceramic cooking pot in the infill of the underground chamber allows it to be dated to the end of the 11th century. At this time, the Counts of Anjou and Blois were quarrelling over the possession of the Touraine region, where there was a large network of military installations. Read more.
Archeologists investigating the site of a former Dominican monastery in Cluj have uncovered a remarkable tale of love, preserved in the bones of a medieval grave. Two skeletons, of a young man and a woman, were found clearly buried together with their hands clasped for eternity.
Dubbed Romeo and Juliet by the archeological team, the couple are thought to have lived between 1450 and 1550, as the grave’s position and proximity to the monastery are typical of this period.
Lead archeologist Adrian Rusu said that several graves from the period had been found in what was the courtyard of the monastery, including the couple buried together. Read more.
The daily lives of medieval townsfolk have been brought to light by an extraordinary haul of graffiti found in Norwich Cathedral.
Messages have been scratched into the walls of the historic buildings over hundreds of years, but few people have ever stopped to work out what they say.
Archaeologists have now started a major project to decipher the extraordinary messages, and have found a mixture of musical pieces, pious exhortations and even supernatural curses.
While most church-goers these days would never even contemplate defacing the walls of a Norman cathedral with graffiti, medieval residents of Norfolk had a far less protective attitude to their monuments. Read more.
Pieces of a medieval board game and 1,000-year-old combs are among rare artefacts uncovered during an archaeological dig that is set to rewrite the history books.
Experts have hailed the finds in Co Fermanagh as internationally significant, claiming they shed new light on life in medieval Ireland and its connection with the wider world.
Iron, bronze and bone ornaments have been discovered at the crannog just outside Enniskillen, along with the chess-like pieces believed to have been part of the game. Parts of log boats, leather shoes, knives, decorated dress pins, wooden vessels and a bowl with a cross carved on its base were also unearthed during the six-month dig.
The style and design of the antler and bone combs suggest influences from northern Europe and indicate that the Fermanagh settlement had international links 1,000 years ago. Read more.
Fragments of an early Anglo-Saxon silver brooch found in Norfolk has given archaeologists new evidence of a cremation burial in the area.
Experts say the 6th Century brooch, found near West Acre, could possibly have originated in mainland Europe.
The brooch, along with a Medieval copper coin-like medal known as a jetton and a Middle Anglo-Saxon sword belt mount, has been declared treasure.
An expert from the British Museum said the 13th Century jetton was “unusual”.
The objects were found by metal detector enthusiasts close to West Acre, Flitcham and Great Dunham.
Erica Darch, from Norfolk Historic Environment Services, said: “The really important thing about these finds is the location. Read more.