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.
A second prehistoric circle on a Norfolk beach has been dated to the same summer more than 4,000 years ago as its famous neighbour, Seahenge.
Archaeologists believe the two circles, which originally stood inland in boggy freshwater but are now being eroded gradually by the tides, were part of the same monumental complex connected with rites to honour the dead.
Unlike the giant boulders of monuments such as Stonehenge, the only evidence for most prehistoric timber structures is post holes in the ground. However in Norfolk, because the salty silt preserved the wood, the two circles at Holme Beach are the only ones in Britain to have been dated precisely, to 2049BC. Read more.
The remains of trenches believed to have been dug by soldiers preparing for the battlefields of World War One have been found on private land in Norfolk.
The trenches were discovered on the land at Bircham Newton, near King’s Lynn.
Landowner and businessman Nigel Day at first believed the tracks on his land were drainage ditches.
But aerial photographs taken by the RAF in 1946 revealed the network of practice trenches.
Mr Day, owner of the Dreamy Hollow campsite, said he realised there was something “odd” about the land, so contacted Norfolk County Council’s archaeology department. Read more.
A small Roman silver disc, thought to have been part of a signet ring, has revealed evidence of Christian worship in late Roman Norfolk.
The disc, circa 312 to 410AD, found near Swaffham in February, is inscribed ‘Antonius, may you live in God’.
Adrian Marsden, finds officer based at Norwich Castle Museum, said: “We have practically no other evidence for any Christians in Norfolk.”
The disc was declared treasure at an inquest in King’s Lynn.
Mr Marsden added: “The disc that would have been set into the bezel from a signet ring constitutes important evidence for Christianity in late Roman Norfolk. Read more.
The remains of a boat which could be more than 600 years old has been discovered by a team excavating a new drainage dyke in Norfolk.
The oak timber remnants, dated circa 1400, were found near Loddon during work on the Broadland Flood Alleviation Project (BFAP) along the River Chet.
Archaeologist Heather Wallis said: “No boats of this date have previously been found in Norfolk.”
She added it was a “unique opportunity” to “record a vessel of this type”.
The BFAP is a long-term project to provide a range of flood defence improvements, maintenance and emergency response services within the tidal areas of the Rivers Yare, Bure, Waveney and their tributaries. 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.
Archaeologists have discovered 85 Roman graves in what has been hailed as the largest and best preserved cemetery of that period found in Norfolk.
The site at Great Ellingham, near Attleborough, has been excavated over the last four months and the findings have now been revealed.
Among the skeletons, which have been exhumed for further study, there were some which were beheaded after death.
The cemetery is thought to date from the 3rd/4th Century.
The excavation was part of a planning process following an application for the residential development of a site in Great Ellingham.
Complete burials and isolated finds of human bones have been recorded at, and immediately adjacent to, the site since the late 1950s. Read more.
The distinctive Bronze Age landmark at Fiddler’s Hill has been transferred to the ownership of the Norfolk Archaeological Trust (NAT) for a token value of £1.
The agreement will mean improvements to public access and historic interpretations at the 4,000-year-old site, which lies next to a crossroads on Binham Road, between Binham and Warham.
Prehistoric human remains, burnt flints and evidence of possible cremations have previously been recorded at the mound, but the focus will be on preservation rather than excavation.
The NAT has assumed responsibility for keeping the site clear of scrub and putting up public information boards, for which funding has been agreed by English Heritage. Read more.